26 January, 2017

Five Minutes of Control

Today I am participating in Five-Minute Friday (back from a holiday hiatus). On these posts, I am following the one-word prompt from Kate at Heading Home

If you want to join, click that link to her blog. Every Friday is a new word, and the only rules are:  Write for 5 minutes.  Link your post on hers.  (You have a whole week to get your post up.)
 
 

It's pretty cool, and I find a new blog every week.
(Now if only I would make the time to revisit more often during the week.)
 
This week's one-word is "Control".
 
Timer starting...

I don't think I'm a "control freak"  but I am a planner. I make lists of what needs to be done, delegate if possible, get things done in advance as much as I can, and try to make things go smoothly. When I married a "pantster" - my word for someone who flies by the seat of their pants - we had to find compromise.

We love our road trips. We travel well together. So... if we are taking a trip for him, or to visit his friends, he makes whatever plans need made. If it is for me, or to visit my peeps, I determine what needs to be set in stone.

Our greatest example was a trip we took to one of my friends' wedding out in Utah. We wanted to make an adventure of it, so planned a week-long trip, flying into and out of Denver and renting a car. My trip - My timeline. I controlled ordering airplane tickets, renting a car, dates we stayed with my aunt, hotel reservations in Moab. Timeline?
Be at the airport by XXX time.
Be at hotel in Moab by XXX.
Be back at my aunt's house for supper on XX/XX/XX.

It worked beautifully. Between then, we visited a friend of his, stopped at whatever sites he decided on each day, and even made a mutual decision to stay one extra night in Moab before heading back.

Sometimes, relinquishing control can help you find adventures you might have missed!

...end timer.

12 January, 2017

Connect with What Brings you Joy

Today I am participating in Five-Minute Friday (back from a holiday hiatus). On these posts, I am following the one-word prompt from Kate at Heading Home
If you want to join, click that link to her blog. Every Friday is a new word, and the only rules are:  Write for 5 minutes.  Link your post on hers.  (You have a whole week to get your post up.)
 
It's pretty cool, and I find a new blog every week.
(Now if only I would make the time to revisit more often during the week.)
  

 This week's one-word is "Connect".
 
Timer starting...


When I saw this word a few days ago, I set it aside, to stew, as it were, in my brain. I have been quite low lately, and connecting with people was the furthest thing from my mind. People are the cause of all my problems!

But every Tuesday night I go "tutor" (read: play with) a 2yo Chinese girl whose parents want her exposed to more English from a native speaker. She is a bright spot in my week. We battle language barriers through play, and neither one of us care if the other doesn't truly get it - well, I am trying to teach something, a little bit, so I want her to learn, but it's not a critical thing like finding the right medicine without a translator.

The first few times I went to their house, if I touched her - tapping her to get her attention, or accidentally brushing her hand - she shied back a bit, pulled away. But her mama assured me she liked me, and that I was "doing better than the last teacher" so it was fine. I can play/teach without touching.

This week, she didn't shy away from me. She responded more, in speech, in eye contact, and even, when she started to fall, leaning on me for stability. She practically sat on my knee at one point.

We connected. And it was pretty cool.
It made me smile on the way home.
I've been so down, it was nice to find this nugget of joy.

Timer Stop.

03 January, 2017

THIS moment

My heart hurts. For no reason.
It's not home-sickness. It may be the cumulative effect of being in limbo for so long and still not having any clue how this situation will resolve itself. Or it may just be the depression I've been fending off finally settling in.

[By "situation" I am referring to the fact of living in Beijing without a clear-cut job situation, and working whatever we can, as we can, while paying bills in two countries, and searching for better employment opportunities. It takes its toll.]

I look out our windows at this busy, crowded, smoggy, crazy city and smile thinking, "I love our town. This is home," but I'm not happy. I walk down to my produce vendor and smile and greet her, and love the produce I get, but I'm not happy.

I love my husband, but we've been basically home almost every day together for weeks, and it's taking it's toll. I'm not happy.

Today, my heart hurts. I want to stay home and curl up under a table and do nothing, but that doesn't help. Nothing does.

I could try to eat away the pain, but that wouldn't help - it would just add a stomach-ache to the heart-ache.

I could try to drink away the pain, but that wouldn't help and I'd feel awful when I woke up.

I'm trying to focus on the moments. THIS moment - I am writing. THIS moment my stomach is full. THIS moment I am sheltered from the pollution by staying in my home. THIS moment I have completed a load of laundry and hung it to dry. THIS moment I chuckled at my husband's silly dance while singing "happy birthday" to his daughter.

In THIS moment, I am fine. In THIS moment, heart-ache doesn't matter. Maybe if I can string together enough "THIS moments", my heart will begin to feel better on its own.