the list i made in 2015 about moving to hong kong or not . . . 

I used to laugh at people who had five year, ten year, more-than-that year plans. “I don’t remember what I thought I was going to do this time today, why would I have a plan for the next few years?” I thought I was cool and spontaneous. Silly.

For the last week I’ve cried nearly every hour, going through revelations that make me rethink decisions and the plan I didn’t even realize I had in mind for the next 3-6 years. Feels like free-falling, grasping at anything that is real and true, wondering where I went wrong. I’m feeling broken and disappointed and vulnerable.

Today I took a mental/emotional health day to find peace and perspective. With everything that’s out of my control, what I can control is my attitude and reaction. I’m choosing (and it’s hard, and taking a lot of effort, and I’m posting this here for accountability) to find specific things about my life in Hong Kong to be grateful for, to remind myself why God called me here, to celebrate all the challenges and changes that have become joys, and to document and look forward to what he’s going to carry me through.

100 very specific things I am grateful for. In not much order at all. But just 25 right now.

100. I really like the couple that runs our laundry spot. They know the intimate details of my sweat patterns and my underthings and the slogans on the stupid t-shirts I wear and still always are super friendly.

99. My hair is beautiful and soft and smells like summer right now. I decided to dye it the night before school photos and that was risky but you know what live fast die young bad girls do it well.

98. The aloe plant i bought last year is still going strong. I’ve never kept a plant alive this long. This is very encouraging.

97. The wine shop across the street that never expresses any judgement.

96. The escalators by my house that go upwards and save me probably 15 flights of stairs a day.

IMG_824195. The satisfying pluck of an errant hair with tweezers in perfect sunlight in your living room. Felt that a bit today. Not sharing where. But each one was a gift.

94. How fun it was to teach the 1st and 2nd graders a silly Vacation Bible School song at assembly. How much they loved the hand motions.

93. How fun it is to dump out each gallon of water that the dehumidifier has collected.

92. Wifi. How amazing is wifi? Remember the old dial up modems?? Or no internet at all? Thank you, sweet baby Jesus, for wifi and internet in general that lets me keep in touch with people so far away while i live abroad. Don’t know if I could make it otherwise.

IMG_804391. How easy it was to register to vote from Hong Kong.

90. I’m healthy. My legs can walk and my arms can carry. I can see and hear and taste and smell and feel. I can hike and dance terribly. I can hug and kiss and I’m not allergic to the sun. I can sit crisscrossapplesauce on the floor. I am so so alive.

89. Other people in my life who have kids that love me and that I can love on. I’m not ready for small people to live with me full time for the next 18+ years. I’m glad I get to borrow some for a wee bit and then hand right back for the pooping and the “go to bed!” wars. But I love the cuddles and “Auntie Rachie” is the sweetest thing I’ve heard in a long time.

88. Ice cubes. It’s fragging haaawt right now.

87. Whiteboard markers in multiple colors with beautiful slanted tips that students haven’t ruined yet.

IMG_821986. “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and how it always gives me warm fuzzies and makes me cry and how loveable all those guys are. Bobby is so underrated and I will die on that hill.

85. How great the word “YAS” is.

84. Candles that mask the sewage-y smell spiraling up our shower drain ri now.

83. Friends and family members who text out of the blue, who are always up for a chat, who don’t let time or distance diminish how much they care.

IMG_817482. The little shop in Soho that smuggles in Trader Joe’s products so that I can get my salsa verde, Cookie Butter, and pumpkin bread mix fix.

81. “Anne with an E” and how it makes me feel inside – how it celebrates quirkiness, and speaking your mind, and shines a light on childhood trauma, and how it takes a village.

80. The app on my phone that translates every address in HK into Cantonese so I can show the cabbie.

79. The idea of free-flow brunches in Hong Kong. Fashion forward. Revolutionary. Innovative. YAS.

78. The cleaner Zhen at work, who is studying English, and loves saying whatever she can to me to practice. Champion.

IMG_821577. A nice, new marker set to do my adult coloring book with.

76. Tomorrow is staff volleyball day after work. AHHHHHH!!!!!

75. A flatmate that wants to put up silly things like this in our apartment.

It’s a good good life. If you haven’t heard it yet today and you need to, I’m glad I get to share this life with the likes of you.