Holidays.

We travel a fair bit. Partly, I think because of our location - which makes Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam relatively short flights away but mostly because of our global family. We travel a lot to see family. The joke is that we couldn’t be further apart. We’re in China, Mum and Dad are in Mauritius, sister is on the West Coast of America and my brother is in the UK. Mum and dad buy round-the-world tickets to visit us all.

When we had just had our eldest we travelled a fair bit with her because 2:1 is a decent ratio for childcare but we’re finding that with a second child that ratio ain’t so grand. It’s a holiday, but not as you know it.

We’ve just got back from 6 days in Sanya on the island of Hainan on the south coast of China. I realise we are lucky to have gotten away in the current situation.

It was very up and down. The pools were lovely, obviously hotel breakfast is great but the much smaller space of a hotel room made things more difficult sometimes and stressful.

I am glad we did it though. I am back and feeling a little calmer about things generally. Now to start put my computer down a little more, spend a little more time with the kids and wife, exercise a little more and read a little more.

There’s a thousand things swirling around my head. That I’m hopeful I’m going to have time to put down to paper over the coming weeks as I try and wean myself of my compter a little. We’ll see…

School finished today.

Students had their last day yesterday and teachers finished today. We did a little more packing up and that was that.

It’s always a strange day. In international teaching, there’s always staff leaving as contracts end. As well, this year, some teachers are still out of the country. Of whom some will return and others won’t. The last we saw of them was them was the end of January. Those who won’t return, we likely won’t ever see them again.

I’m trying to dampen the anxiety of next year. There’s going to be so many changes and I can’t help let the worries build, a little at least. How will I do this or that and how will things work out? I’m trying to let them go, for now at least.

Instead, to try and relax a little. To maybe reflect on the last 5 months. Of our the quarantine, e-learning programme, of going back to school again.

Engaging.

After reading some of @MDonaldson’s newsletter about starting to use Micro.blog and how it encourages people to interact. It has got me thinking about how I find it hard to engage online. In that, I actively choose not too. I spend a lot of time reading, but not interacting. I’m thinking particularly about Twitter and Reddit. That that is a for a variety of reasons. I feel like I’m breaking that habit more and more with Micro.blog but it’s still hard.

Lyra has taken the kids out to a friend’s for a few hours! So, I’m obviously, struggling to make the most of it. Which, obviously, means I’m not relaxed at all. With that in mind, I’m starting with some meditation and then some exercise.

Morning jealousy

I’ve always been a little jealous of other’s morning routines. Since, these days, mine rarely involves, peace, quiet or stillness. Instead it involves 1 or 2 small children, argy-bargy, nappies, a rushed coffee and getting out the door with my head-not-right at 7am.

It wasn’t always like this, and I’m sure it won’t be like this forever but for now, it’s hard. Especially since work is especially is, how to put it - time-consuming at the moment. We continue to support out students not coming into school, while some students are in school.

With all that said. Every morning, either in the Didi (Uber) or sitting in the car park after driving to work, I’ve been putting a few words into my Day One journal. And it’s been good, actually. Not all of it has been positive but I’m hoping it’s a start of a habit…

Our team is a little more on top of things today. And as a result, have a little more time to talk (not just about work!), to work things out, to work on things. To give things a little more of my time. To have a little more focus, less rushed.

How nice that feels!

School.

In no particular order: - Reports are done but… - Doing e-learning and teaching students in school is ‘time-consuming’ and draining. - It doesn’t feel like the end of term. - I don’t know what it feels like, honestly. - Starting to learn a little more about what next year will look like since our student and teacher numbers will be down. Lots of change. - There’s going to be an, optional and paid, summer school for a week. - Is it worth it?

A morning routine Darling children all around Everyday a storm

Having small children awake from 5:30 when work is stressful is the worst way to do a morning routine.

We were watching the Matthew Mconnughey and Anne Hathaway film Serenity last night and the best bit was realising some of it is filmed 5 minutes walk from my parents house! If that means nothing to you, save yourself and don’t watch it. It’s not great.

Up

This site said we were 439m on the 69th floor. Now, most of the time I take things for granted. Planes can fly thousand of feet in the air, there’s people on the International Space Station, I can send messages in the blink of an eye - my dad tells me when he first moved to the UK he had to schedule a long distance phone call, and it’s all normal.

But last night, as we sat there I felt a little nervous. Not sure why now. Being so high up in this man made structure.

Hole - Violet

I listened to it again recently after discovering it on an old hard drive. It takes me back to my teens and Napster, Freeserve, the sounds of dial up, logging on to just check my email.

🌈

I was doing so well with talking to Elise but it kind of fell off.

Anyway, I did a short video for a friend yesterday and relised I could share that audio. So, I’m going to do that and to do that I needed to upgrade my plan, which I’ve just done.

One thing at a time

Yesterday was rubbish.

Today, I’m __ trying__ to not try and do everything at once and then beating myself up for inevitably failing.

Today, is one thing at a time. Exercise, not exercise and send work messages and trying to decide on the optimal music. Eat breakfast, not eat breakfast and check work emails and decide on what music.

Just one thing at a time

One of these day, I’ll sort out my morning routine.

At the moment it always leaves me stressed out, between posting work online and starting to work and watching my two.

I know I should separate those things but I find it so difficult to do it.

I think I realised what it is.

IMG_2152 The reason that I feel like I do.

There was the time I drank tequila straight on the balcony at 2am. It all got a bit much. But really that passed pretty quickly, the hangover lingered but I moved on from the reasons for it the next day.

Yet this time, coming back from Cambodia. The hangover has lingered. I faced it down yesterday and started to feel like it was passing.

Yet today, it’s still here.

It’s because all all my priorities have changed. Things that were important, that felt so, aren’t anymore.

The things that are, just are.

They come before everything else now.

Glorious

This week was glorious. Like a holiday should be but which we’re never sold on. Instead of beaches and pools it was evening meals and sitting on the sofa. Time with friends, of nothing much, nothing to excess, but more then enough. Too much. I am overflowing.

It was the time out that I sorely needed. A step back and away, away from everything that is daily life - of work, friendships that don’t feel enough, of the burdens of living abroad, of how soon there’ll be three of us in our little family. I didn’t realise how everything had combined to burden me in the way it did. This week has helped me remember again the important things in life. Love, friendship, kindness, done unconditionally. As well as how potent the opposites are at poisoning our thoughts.

Of how lucky I am in a multitude of ways. How too often that never seemed enough. How it never does. How I’m working to replace jealousy with love. Replacing wishing I had that with being glad that someone else does.

Cambodia.

Untitled

Different.

Different is good. It’s a holiday. It’s time with friends. It’s time to see someone where new. To relax. It’s time off. It’s time to think. To reassess. To plan.

Living.

You can take a horse to water…

I’ve been sending a friend a lot of quotes lately. She’s been having a hard time and likes them but really I can’t help think how useful they really are. The difference between treating the cause or just the symptoms. Somethings you just have to learn for yourself.

This is something that I have learnt for myself.

I'm fine

I want to write more. I never know what to write about. I say I’ll sit down and just see what comes… But that never happens.

So, I just spent 10 minutes putting photos on Flickr.

Was off sick today, felt horrible yesterday. Drained, lethargic, with no appetite, tired.

Today, felt better but stayed off because it wouldn’t have helped. I did go in for a parent information evening because no one else could do it. Got told that I didn’t look well, I thought I was feeling better.

But it did make me think about how good, or bad a judge of how we are.

Am I fine?

Am I well enough? Should I be doing more of this or less of this? Should I be staying at home instead of going to work? Should I be making more of effort to do this or that?

Are we a good judge? By what standards are we judging anyway?

Those times

When you fall off the edge and getting back involves a long climb. Returning isn’t simply a single step.

a list

I meant to start a list of things I was going to start doing in the coming school year. I just never got around to finding the time to do it. I had a thought that I might do it tomorrow but realistically, I’m just gonna dilly dally. I want to do overhead squats and burpees but I think the school gym is under construction still.

I was going to meditate more, stick to the strength programme that I’m now paying for, write more, practise my Chinese more (especially outside in the real world), to try and get my head around teaching Year 2 and the particular requirements that our school presents.

Maybe I should just do all of them.

Goodbye

I don’t think I like good byes. It’s not easy when it’s ‘good bye, see you next year, possibly, visa permitting.’

And not ‘Good bye, see you soon’ or ‘good bye, see you next week’ because you work together or they live in the same city or the same country.

Coming back to the UK full of good byes, often said too shortly said after saying hello again.

I feel an obligation to make the very most of it, whatever that means. To make it meaningful perhaps. To try and say all those things that I’ve been meaning to get off my chest. To say to someone I feel knows me better.

It’s never that way, of course.

Spending time with good friends isn’t like that. It’s filled with comfortable silence, jokes, memories, simply talking.

But I’ve realised, that that’s enough. It’s not that I need to get it all out, more I needed to find a place when I can instead cope with the things I’ve been thinking about.

home

Home is the place I go back to, the place I sleep and eat, where I spend most of my time, a place I feel comfortable, a place I feel I belong.

I think about it a lot, especially when I come back to the U.K..

When I think about why I’m coming back, what I’m going to do, where I’m going to stay, who I (need/want/am going) to see.

It complicates it in ways that still makes me feel the anxiety rising.

This time I came back because there were people and things I missed living abroad.

I suppose it is significant the people I have seen and those I didn’t get around to seeing.

The people who can make me feel like I’m home, the places I can say the same.

jealous

Jealousy is easy. You can be jealous of everyone!

Look at that person in a fancy car that you don’t really care about! It’s expensive! I bet it makes them so much happier then you are right now!

Look at that person in the shop buying stuff that you neither want, nor need! I bet it they feel a kind of pure joy that is unobtainable without spending money!

Look at that person in First Class! They will know happiness for the next 10 hours that you will never know, stuck back there in the economy seats as you head across the world on holiday.

Look at that couple! Don’t they look so happy. They are probably happy all the time. Don’t they look so perfect!

Look at that guy in that shop, working there would be simpler? Sure it might be a bit monotonous but you wouldn’t have half as much stress. Wouldn’t need to take work home either!

Look at them. They must earn less then you, they must be nice. Who needs stuff anyway? Clothes or fancy food, you don’t really. I think it must be great being them.