The election is over so, let’s kiss and makeup, ’cause the year ahead is sure to be challenging and it’s gonna take all of us to pull together and weather the storm. Good riddance to 2020!
Hawaii has suffered more than most. We have been great in protecting ourselves from “The Virus” but in the process our economy has been ravaged and I am sure many other areas that rely heavily on tourism have also experienced a big setback.
This time of year is when we should pause , be thankful for what we have and celebrate with our family and friends, even if that means doing so from a distance.
So my friends, be safe and be well. Health, happiness and prosperity in the coming year.
I always wanted to get a drone. Over the last few months I have had plenty of time on my hands and took the opportunity to learn something new. So I went ahead and got two drones. A not very expensive Eachine E58 to learn and practice with and a not so inexpensive Mavic Mini.
The Eachine cost under $75 so if it crashed (which it did several times) it was not a crushing loss. It is very durable and was able to fly again even after quite a few mishaps. It was O.K. in light wind but became unstable in higher winds. If I knew then what I know now I would have spent a little more and gotten the GPS option. But not having GPS really improved my skills.
After feeling more confident with my piloting skills I went ahead and purchased a DJI Mavic Miniwith the Fly More option which includes multiple batteries a charging pack, prop guards and a nifty carrying case. Although not a commercial level drone it is certainly not a toy. This package cost just under $500.
Flying this drone is a pleasure even in pretty high wind. Very stable and responsive to the controls. Both photos and videos are of very high quality and add a whole new dimension to digital photography.
In the process of learning these new skills I discovered that there is a whole culture surrounding these photography tools. There are quite a few lucrative commercial applications for skilled pilots, these include: real estate photography, outdoor home inspections, construction site surveying, wedding photography and more. To fly commercially you need to obtain a special license.
If you would like to get into this, there are plenty of YouTube training videos as well as high end professional training.
In a previous post I referred to the overwhelming negativity and divisiveness we’ve all been battling this year. As 2020 unfolded, with “all that’s gong on” I made a concerted effort to continue to pursue new ways of dealing with the world around us.
To make positive changes in my health, I joined NOOM * and, over a period of several months, have slowly and steadily lost 20 lbs.
To make positive changes in my attitude, to soften the urge to become cynical and depressed, I’ve adjusted my expectations of “what should be” to more helpfully, “what is really true?”
*Noom is a psychologically-driven digital weight-loss program that uses an app to deliver support from certified health coaches. Cognitive behavioral therapy, a type of talk therapy used in clinical psychology settings, is the basis behind Noom’s weight loss program
In the midst of these lofty efforts, I’ve discovered a new (to me) book to inspire me along the way.
Feeling Good – The New Mood Therapyby David D. Burns, M.D. The subject of this book is understanding how cognitive therapy can help you adjust your mood, to see the world around you in a different, more hopeful light.
I hesitate to over-simplify the concept; it’s really so profound. But I will simplify the theory here that applies to not only lifting you out of depression, but also helping you make clearer, more sensible choices in general, including eating. Take a look at this handy table presented in the book.
According to Dr. Burns, this table outlines a technique that can be used to restructure the way you think about yourself when you have goofed up in some way. The aim is to substitute more objective rational thoughts for the illogical, harsh, “distorted” or “sabotaging” thoughts that may appear when a negative event occurs. The technique I’ve taken from this is to observe the automatic thought and ask yourself, “is this true?”
Remember this example just touches the very tip of a comprehensive and complex therapy process. The goal in this book is to substitute distorted or sabotaging thoughts to treat depression; but the very same cognitive therapy concept is present in the NOOM program for losing weight and another book that supports NOOM’s approach, The Beck Diet Solution by Judith S. Beck, Ph.D.
Dr. Beck’s book describes a program that teaches you how to talk back to your sabotaging thoughts in a convincing way, by questioning your automatic thoughts and asking yourself, “is this true?”
For example, when you hear a little voice in your head say “oh, just eat it; it won’t matter” you’ll be able to tell yourself, “yes, it does matter. . . I want to be thin. . .every time I eat something I’m not suppose to, it makes it more likely that I’ll give in again in the future . . .etc.” You learn how to replace your “distorted” thought with a more rational, helpful thought, leading to healthier actions and attitudes.
Lots of food for thought. Pun intended.
This approach of asking myself “is it true?” has prevented many an immediate meltdown this year. Some of the meltdowns come later; we do what we can! But I’m enjoying the fact that I’m not taking as much as personally as I used to. Baby steps to sanity.
Looking forward to 2021 – wishing everyone moments of sanity and more moments of health!!
If you are planning to travel to Hawaii in the near future, Please be aware of the following requirements:
You must receive a negative Covid test from a trusted partner 72 hours prior to arrival. If not, you may be forced into a strictly enforced quarantine until you do.
Masks and social distancing are required when out in public. This requirement will be enforced.
Everything is in flux. Check before you book your hotel and flight.
So far, thanks to our rules, we have for the most part dodged this bullet. That can easily change if our rules are not followed. We do not have the medical infrastructure that exists on the mainland. A serious surge in cases could easily send us back into lockdown, devastating an already ravaged economy.
We welcome you with aloha and hope that you can respect our culture and rules with your own aloha. I am attaching a link with up to date information on travel rules.