03 February, 2017

The Alphabet Soup of Life

Caution: This is extremely random and disjointed. Not my proudest writing moment. But I needed it.

I know, I know. I just posted... literally today. But that one links up to the Five Minute Friday Challenge, and this is just me.

I actually have a question for the few of you who may see this.

It dawned on me last night that the A to Z Challenge is coming soon. Last year I participated and SURVIVED to the END! (I guess that's an achievement, since I get to wear the badge on my blog.) Last year I was prepared. Last year I knew my theme and had selected most of the daily topics in advance, even dropped in some writing prompts to make it easy on me.

While doing last year's challenge, I found out I have a heart problem.
Well, not precisely. But I will.
Specifically, I'm "high risk for a cardiovascular event." 

It freaked me out because I am one of the healthiest people I know. So I started researching heart health. I found so much material - good and bad - that with A to Z fresh in my mind, I thought I could do 2017 A to Z on all these crazy findings. Debunk some myths.

Now, that seems kinda tame and lame.
Shortly after 2016 A to Z we decided to move to Beijing. I've learned a lot through that process and our few months here, too. I'm still learning. So now I'm thinking that China might be a more interesting topic. 

But I'm no travel blog. I'm just me, being me in a new location. 
Besides, I did travel-type stuff last year.

Maybe I should just take my ESL 3rd-graders answers in the "I'm Going to Grandma's House" game. That's A to Z, but pretty basic.

So my question to you, you fortunate few, is actually a challenge to help me resolve my internal debate!

During the A to Z challenge, would you rather read about heart health or China or ESL answers? That is, which would be better on this blog (there's already a lot of China here, but I guess repetition is okay)? Or should I be a non-themed theme? I don't know if I could do that... I could create a theme that changes daily: "Mondays are XYZ, Tuesdays are #qT, Wedne..." That could be fun...

I don't know why I'm concerned about this. I guess I'm just used to being prepared.

I actually intended to do a short post about death today, but got distracted. So here it is:

My godfather died recently. 

My godparents divorced decades ago, and my godmother is the blood relative, so I hadn't seen my godfather since Jr. High. Until a couple years ago, on a trip out west, we were visiting the right town and he came to dinner. I'm glad I have that. I'm glad I got to see he hadn't changed much, was still getting around, still had all his faculties, his sense of humor, good relationships with my cousins, etc.

So I have no real sense of grief. He's been gone from my life for years, came back for an hour or so, and that's it. Only now he's gone for good. So I feel I ought to throw some words out to the cosmos, but I don't want to clutter up horrible facebook and glean so many condolences when my cousins really should be the condoled ones. 

No condolences needed, but I am curious if anyone has an opinion about A to Z. Or a completely different suggestion.


  1. All three topics are great. But the China wins hands down. You write from a interesting first person perspective and not a travel log highlight list.

    I'm sorry to hear of the heart problem. Forewarned, you can stave of the event by taking prescribed medications, watching your diet big time, and exercise as recommended by physician. Heart disease runs in my family. I had an aunt who really had a bad heart due to rheumatic fever as a child and heredity. She had paid for her funeral 30 or so years before she passed from complications of a broken hip at 84. She made the mistake of not making herself eat and became too weak to get better. So take care of yourself. You can do it.

    1. Thank you, Ann! It's good to know that my China writing hasn't become so much "blah blah blah"!
      No drugs yet, just a CoQ10 supplement. I definitely do what I can to stay healthy!

  2. I would love to have you write about China. I love hearing the things you are learning while you live there. I don't know if I am going to do the challenge this year. But I will certainly read yours!

    1. Maybe it's just because all the "China stuff" is becoming every day for me, it seems like it's getting old. I'm glad to know it isn't!

  3. I second (or third) the two above me. I enjoy reading about China from you and Brett's perspective. I end up reading exerts to my wife from those post. It's always an interesting read.

    1. Thanks Jeff. Sometimes it's the ordinary things that strike me as unique. Like the giant pile (the equivalent of 2 overflowing dumpsters) of firework garbage that I saw in a back-street today: Guess the new year festivities are over!

  4. Hi, I haven't commented here before but I love hearing you write. Always so real. Thank you. I would be interested in hearing about your heart health and how it impacts you. How being in China has impacted on your health and decisions too. Whatever you choose to write I look forward to hearing it. Jo

    1. Really, the biggest impact the heart issue has had on me is to scare me silly! I already live a pretty healthy life and my doc said it's just a heredity thing. So it's not so much how it's impacted me as what I've learned or am learning.

      I haven't changed my life much.
      Thanks for the encouragement!

  5. All three of those are interesting, but I also like hearing about China, especially because you AREN'T a travel blog. Those lame travel blogs always try to paint such a happy, sunny, touristy facade... and honestly, I like seeing the real side of it. The good AND the bad.

    1. Well thank you. There is actually a clause in contracts here that forbids you to say anything bad about China!
      (Thankfully I'm not under contract. Ha!)
      But we enjoy it, overall, anyway. It's just different.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.