Mexico City, Day 11 - Wednesday

Another day, another lesson, but I try to keep to my daily routine.


There's something about having most of the distractions of your life removed so you can focus on one thing.  I have a morning routine that is ridiculously long.  It's not hard, it just takes a long time.  I already shared this but what the heck, here it is again.

I start, usually, by making cup of coffee - I am really starting to dig this little Italian coffee maker and milk foamer.

It's a slow process, cleaning out the old grounds, filling the water reserve, grinding the beans, then assembling the whole thing. I put it on the gas stove and while I wait for it to boil, I make the foamy milk.  (And I just love the product name - "bodum" - sounds like you're humming a tune).

Today Marcela is on vacation with her partner and her two dogs, so I have the place to myself, but I'm always up super early for most Mexican's so it's usually quiet... inside.  I can always hear the traffic outside.

It's really strange, I can't imagine what people are driving.  Sometimes it's normal traffic, then I'll hear Harley pipes, or a truck that sounds like I'm at a copper mine - you know, the sounds are SO loud I imagine I'm hearing the brakes of a building size dump truck grind to a halt.

After the coffee is done, I go through my devotionals.  I don't usually like to start the day with anything like news - I want to carefully select what I put into my head. I try to focus on things that will lift my spirit - not crush it with frustration, outrage, and clickbait (but there are times my iPhone will lure me in... it takes willpower to ignore the "For you" feed.

What am I reading?

On my kindle I have 4 books I read a few pages from each day.

  • 365 best inspirational quotes
  • The Intellectual Devotional by David Kidder (sorry if you're the second author, I really only have patience to write down the headliner)
  • The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday (my 4th reading, it's just good stuff), and
  • A very brief introduction to Thomas Aquinas by Fergus Kerr.  This one is thanks to Arthur Brooks of From Strength to Strength fame who pointed out that as adults we need to read adult materials about faith, not children's stories.  Aquinas is one of the legendary philosophers of Christian faith, so I thought - alright what does he have to say.  I can only take a few pages at a time. It's dense stuff.

So, each one is a page to two at most.

Next in my morning mental gymnastics routine is to review my readwise quotes - when I see one in particular, I like, I save it as a quote image.  When I have done all 6 for the day I then decide if I have enough time to create any social media posts.

Here's an example quote I'll make a post from.

I tend to create them in batches, and schedule them with buffer.

Now I'm ready to begin the work of the day.  At home I would walk Cookie the Dog but here I have been using a portable gym called the tension toner. I honestly have no idea if it is making any difference, but my muscles feel sore, so I think I'm doing some good.  For me it's no longer about bulking up or looking sexy, I want to be as healthy as I can for as long as I can and maintaining muscle mass according to Dr. David Sinclair of Lifespan fame is a key to healthy aging.

With all of that out of the way, I will do some homework. Everything is about learning Spanish this month - so I tend to pour as much time as I can into that.

No Grades

It's interesting. I'm not getting a grade, but I think I'm working harder than I did in school because I really want to learn. I want to be able to communicate.  In her podcast "The Happiness Lab" Dr. Laurie Santos did an episode on how grades make us perform worse (we learn much more conservatively) and overall have a negative impact on our performance. There's a book I'm meaning to read called, "punished by rewards".  It sounds interesting.


I keep buying books in Spanish like this one

I have read it in English. My theory is it will be easier to read in Spanish if I already know what it is about. My reading is getting faster, but it's slow... I don't know where my unbridled optimism comes from that I'm going to read this thing. But there it is.

I do also happen to have the Spanish edition on Audio book, so I can listen and read along which I have heard is another way to accelerate learning.  At least, that's what I tell myself.

Well, time to get ready for class. I still have some teacher assigned homework to do.