Category Archives: Personal

Posts that do not fit elsewhere

#9 of 10Q: Limiting Fear

ThinkerThe ninth question of 10Q*:  What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?

My answer: The theme that keeps coming back to my thoughts is the fear of uncertainty; i.e. lack of security. I need to acknowledge that there are external conditions that may change that I have zero control over. Acknowledgement means stop fretting about it. E.g. worrying about a coming earthquake doesn’t help me. OTOH making sure that my home is reasonably earthquake -proof is something I can work on. So my tasks is find the things I can change, attack the cause of the fear I can.

On a more fundamental level I have to learn to embrace change. The opposite of uncertainty is not being overconfident, but realizing that (total) control doesn’t exist. Yes, planning is still important, including gathering the best information to base decisions on, but being attached to the plan under changing conditions just causes frustration. Plans need to change to eliminate the frustration from uncertainty.


* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#8 of 10Q: Investigate in 2016

AnyaThe eighth question of 10Q*:  Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in 2016?

My answer: My wife. This year will include the tenth anniversary of our wedding. I have changed, she has changed, our lives has changed in this decade. I want to spend more quality time with her and re-get to know her. No, I don’t want to “investigate” her. :-) I do want to go beyond the mundane (, which is important and often fun) daily routine and make my life, her life and our family lives more meaningful, spiritual, and deep.

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#7 of 10Q: Self Improvement

The seventh question of 10Q
*:  How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you?

hello-sunshineMy answer: I wrote too soon again. Yesterday, for the achievement questions I wrote stress less, which really should have been today’s answer. So the next best thing, although related to the first is mood management. When I get grumpy sometimes I am having  hard time to get out of it for no good reasons. I want to better utilize the tools I already know of and find new ones if necessary to change that. Snapping out of it is possible. Not getting upset or at least not showing being upset when doing so can cause more harm than ideal is also possible. I can learn how to do it.

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippu

#6 of 10Q: Achievement by Next Year

The sixth question of 10Q*:  Describe one thing you’d like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?

StressMy answer: My first thought was to keep my family financially afloat. Then I realized that’s exactly the same thing I thought last year so I felt it would be a failure to do it again and be unoriginal. Then I realized that we are still here and doing well, so it was not a failure. So my next thought was to achieve work/life balance. But that still didn’t sound wide enough, thus I finally got to the notion of significant improvement of quality of my life. Considering that finances will be OK, and considering that I have a loving, healthy and beautiful family the main thing that stands between that achievement and me is my own tendency to stress. So what I really want to achieve is stress less. Changing my attitude is the name of the game.

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#5 of 10Q: Spiritual Experiences

The fifth question of 10Q*: Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? “Spiritual” can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.

My answer: I am a city boy, grew up in a metropolis. Every time I encounter nature I feel spiritual. This year we want out to the ocean 2-3 times and to the redwood forest a few times. I felt a sense of awe every single time, emanating from the largeness of natural forces and elements, that has nothing to do with man-made objects. It may be the simplest form of spiritual experience, but I believe it is more than fine not being sophisticated in this regard.

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#4 of 10Q: World Event

The fourth question of 10Q*:  Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?

Refugees Budapest Keleti railway station My answer: The “refugee crisis” in Hungary had triple affects on me : sadness, shock, sympathy. I had put it in quotation marks for two reasons. First the real crisis is the war where these people are running from. Compared to that what happens at the borders an train stations of Hungary is not a crisis. (Of course compared to the fact that Hungary is just not used to this kind of influx it is a crisis.) Second, because it was mostly due to the action (or inaction) and propaganda that turned this situation into such a contentious crisis. With more humane values, less ideology and political tactics, with more planning, empathy most of the issues and violence that had risen would have been completely avoidable.

This crisis has effected me because I am Hungarian, with strong ties to Hungary. My friends and family are witnessing personally the tragedies that I only follow through the internet. Most of them are trying to help them the way they can. But a lot of Hungarians–out a combination of fear, nationalism or being sucked into the government propaganda– are vehemently against them, the refugees.

I have total sympathy for anyone who lost a home or friends/relatives due to war. I fully understand why they need to (it is a not a question of want) from their countries. I am in shock at what the government does against these people, how it treats them. And my overall feeling is sadness, because I feel so helpless. Both for the refugees who are caught in this mess and for the Hungarians who have to live under such a cruel regime.


* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#3 of 10Q: Major Milestone

The third question of 10Q*:  Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?

Rosie RiveterMy answer: My first two choices for answering this question would be my second daughter and the reorganization of our finances. But I mentioned them already in the previous posts in this series and I don’t want to repeat myself. The third biggest milestone in our family this year was my wife taking a “proper,” part-time job, starting July 1. She having a job with a regular income–combined with my regular income,–provides the base for the financial stability I so desire. This resulted a tremendous decrease in my stress level. The other major way it affected me was the shift in our schedules. The job was supposed to be 20 hours a week, but it regularly takes 23-27 hours, plus commuting. Hence I had the opportunity to spend more time with my children. Which I really enjoyed. Now that school started for the older one I am home with the younger one 20+ hours a week. I treasure the time I can see her playing, developing and being a great 1 year old. The change also brought challenges in terms of finding time to to work. I didn’t manage to do as many extra projects (on top of my steady job)  as in the past. However the overall affect on me of my wife’s new job was/is much more positive than negative.

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#2 of 10Q: Differently Done Wish

The second question of 10Q
*:  Is there something that you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you’re especially proud of from this past year?

Money flowerMy answer: This year we did some reorganization of our finances. I am pretty proud of myself, because it required giving up or changing a lot of ideas, beliefs and values I had about money. I embraced the change. But it wasn’t easy. I wish I wouldn’t have stressed so much myself and my wife in the process. I know that stress is self induced and basically a reaction to circumstances. Nevertheless I was less then successful to avoid inflicting this on myself. I have to keep re-learning about stress and worry that is not worth it and tools to avoid them.

* “10Q” is a series of 10 question to be answered between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur

#1 of 10Q: Significant Experience

This year, like the last two years, I will answer the 10 questions, one a day for each day between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, provided by the 10Q project/space.

The first question: Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

And my answer: I first wanted to write that the birth of my second daughter was the significant experience of the year. Then I realized that technically she was born four days before last Rosh Hashanah, so sh belongs to 5774. However experiencing the growth of both of my children was the most significant experience. Recognizing and practicing my responsibilities and getting the rewards for them is changing not just me, but them too.

The older one is a sensitive, smart, sassy girl and I know it fro her words and actions. Parenting her is sometimes challenging and always interesting even when I have to be repetitive. She is teaching me patience whether I want it or not. And watching and really seeing her doing what she loves (including reading and playing) teaches me new meanings of fun.

Learning about the likes and wants and needs of the younger one is also an amazing experience. I semi-consciously compare and contrast her with how was her sister and the same age and enjoy the differences and similarities. Witnessing how she builds up her personality or how it manifests itself through a more and more varied communication (not really verbal yet though) is a learning experience itself, where I want to pay attention.

Thank you daughters to coming to my life. Thank you wife for bringing them to our life.


From Fear to Fix

Fear, fence, future, fixI have been wanting to write something for days about the current refugee crisis in Hungary. But I read so many wise, sane and good analytical posts that I felt I have nothing new to add. Then the idea for the collage above occurred to me. Let me explain. The prime minister of Hungary is afraid that the refugees who are pouring in and through Hungary will ruin Europe/Hungary and take away its Christian tradition and form of life. From his rhetoric it seems like he envisions them as a zombie horde, attacking just like in the movie World War Z, from which the top picture is from. So he built a temporary, mostly symbolic and ineffective fence, see the middle left image. According to news reports the government is trying to figure out how to build a fence similar to the one separating Egypt and Israel, shown on the middle right picture.

From my perspective the solution, the fix is “simple.” Allocate enough resources to do the registration of the refugees, as required by EU law and then help them where they want to go, mostly Germany. (The PM blames them not wanting to get registered, while he made it extremely slow and difficult and conducted months long hate campaign against them.) This would be the most humane solution, and possible even cheaper than a fence system. I agree with the PM that registering the people coming in is important. So he should make everything possible that it happens as fast as possible. I acknowledge the slight chance that there are possible terrorists among them. However even if that’s the case the vast majority of them are “just” refugees, people who are running for their lives from war torn countries. Yes, always in the hope for a better life, but who can blame them for it.

So the fix is a proper gate and administration system. Hence the last picture. It is one of the gates from the celebration of Hungary’s 1000th birthday from 1896, taken from here. Gates are important, and can be symbolic of letting people in the proper way. I am saddened and shocked with what kinds of events Hungary jumped into the news this week. I’d rather celebrate the tireless volunteers who help the needy and practice traditional Hungarian hospitality and kindness.