As a firm believer in always looking on the bright side of situations and appreciating the small wonders on a daily basis, last Friday shaped up to be an absolutely fantastic day. One after another, little bits here and little bits there fell together to make it a perfect end to what was a super busy and tiring week. (With our big FLOTUS visit just a week away, there’s a lot of overtime being logged in Chengdu! I always know the stress is ramping up when I start to have dreams about work and Saturday night, all I dreamed about was the million ways my “meet and greet” event could crash and burn: kids out of control, a ballroom without air conditioning, forgetting flags, a podium, a stage…if it is a possible disaster, it has run through my head over the last week.) Regardless of my out of control stress-induced dreams, last week ended on a series of high notes.
1) It was Friday! That in and of itself was a nice little gift, even if I did have to work Saturday morning.
2) When I got up and put on my brand new dress, I discovered it had pockets. This is about as great of a start to a new day as I can think of. I got the dress as a birthday gift when I was in Hawaii back in January, but it is just now starting to warm up to the point where I can consider busting out those summery clothes I wistfully bought in the middle of winter. So, Friday morning, the tags came off, the dress went on and EUREKA! Pockets!
3) Sunshine. Actual rays of sunlight were coming in the window of my office on Friday morning. It was absolutely glorious and I took every opportunity to get out and about that I could. I went to Noodle Alley for lunch, and then ran back out to go to the bakery for bread when my jinjiang rousi ended up being 98% green peppers and only 2% rousi! Later in the afternoon, there was a pile of welcome packets that needed delivered to a hotel that is a few blocks from the consulate, so I jumped at the chance to deliver those. (I may have walked slower than necessary for that little errand!) All of this was done sans jacket! So nice. I had planned to walk home on Friday (about an hour walk), but my walking buddy was caught up in FLOTUS visit issues and my MP3 player was dead, so I did opt out of that chance at some sunshine, but still, skies were blue, clouds were white and the warmth of the sun on my skin was a much needed mood booster after the long, gray Chengdu winter.
4) Fridays are mail day, which makes them great on thier own, but then when your best friend gets a giant package filled with boxes of Girl Scout cookies from her mom, the day is pretty much made. She busted into the box while we were still in the mailroom, handing me a box of Thin Mints and one of Samoas. I sure did open up those Thin Mints, step outside into a patch of sunshine and enjoy what was possibly the best meal of the week!
5) Finally, when I got home from work, I opened the sliding glass door in my living room and the window that sits in front of treadmill and enjoyed a bit of fresh air. (And by fresh, it was pretty close to fresh! I think our AQI dipped down into the 60s on Friday afternoon.) It was nice to have a literal breath of fresh air coming in the window as I ran on the treadmill, rather than the status quo where I just pretend that the air being displaced by the air purifier is a breeze! And, after a winter of total lockdown, just a bit of new air circulating through the apartment put a smile on my face. (Granted, my face was red and my lungs were burning from the treadmill, but I’ll take that pain with the windows open any day!)
Any one of these things would have made my Friday magnificent, but when you add all of them together, it was one of the best “regular” days that I’ve had in Chengdu and it makes me glad that spring is finally showing her face. We’ve only got about ten weeks left in western China and if each of them has even one day half as good as last Friday, it is going to be an extraordinary end to our two year tour.
Now, enough of this jabber- back to FLOTUS planning!