Thursday, April 21, 2011

In the Zone

I have nothing to write about. Nothing new has happened. No new revelations and no new activities. I teach my few classes, enjoy the occasional movie, definitely enjoy emailing back and forth with my friends and certainly enjoy chatting with my family. And now, there are the English Teacher seminars that I host. All of that is good.

Last week I reflected that I had not left the house for 6 days except to teach or go to the farmer’s market for fresh veggies and fruit. At that, going to the farmer’s market barely constitutes leaving campus because it is so close. During the Qing Ming festival I had a total of 5 days off but opted to stay at home rather than take a short trip somewhere. I always have 4-day weekends and do not go anywhere.

What is going on here?

I can honestly tell you that depression is no longer a factor. With my good health restored, the depression has gone away. I’m not sleeping twelve hours a night and dragging through daylight hours. I am actually quite content in my little apartment, even though it is still a bit chilly in here. I have started exercising again, I’m keeping the place clean, writing my stories and my blog and my emails. I’m studying Chinese again: my lexicon of words is growing by leaps and bounds. And, during the evening I turn on my space heater and cozy up to my new TV to watch a movie, eat my simple dinner and go to sleep at a decent time.

I have come to the conclusion that I have hit a comfort zone. I know where to shop, what to eat, how to entertain myself, how to communicate, how to get around… and I’m wallowing in it! Happily and contentedly wallowing away is what I’m doing.

There is nothing wrong with finding a comfort zone and wallowing in it… for a while. I don’t want to just sit in comfort here though; I want to find new things. I want to go exploring and take nice pictures and share them with you.

There is a small stumbling block to that, though.

The end of the school year is rapidly approaching: July is only 3 months away. I will have 2 months off. I plan on returning to the States to visit during the two months I am off and I will need money to do so.

Not that I’m broke. And I’m certainly not living from paycheck to paycheck. But with oil prices steadily rising, I need to make sure that I will have enough money to not just fly back but also to sustain myself and travel around, visiting friends and family all across America. Also, I will need to update my wardrobe while I’m in the States, and buy some things I’ve learned that I cannot get here. I would like some new books, too. All of that takes money.

So: do I take pleasure and entertainment while I’m here and hope I will have enough money for my trip to America, or should I just wallow in this comfort zone to make sure I have enough money for this summer’s trip back?

I vote for the latter. I’m OK with sitting around for now if it means I can go back to see everyone I love this summer. What do you think?

In the meantime, I have nothing to report. Nothing to write about. Nothing new going on. I suspect that that will soon change. Surely one of my students will do something noteworthy, or one of my sessions in class will be worth reporting on, or I’ll go on an outing with friends that you’re bound to hear about.

Stay tuned!

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