My Trip to China: Huangshan Part 4

Okay, so since we were leaving the mountains, the climb had to be easier because we were going down. Nope. It was the most torturous thing ever.

My family and I tried leaving early so we wouldn’t get caught in the rain. Once it starts raining, you can’t go anywhere because of what lightning can do at such high altitudes.


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Daily Prompt: Learning

via Daily Prompt: Learning

Learning is essential in developing and maintaining a healthy brain, which is important at any age. It helps with your creativity, imagination, memory, and adds interest to your life. It engages with the world. It brings us self-achievement and happiness, especially after a little perseverance. 😉

Below are just a few ideas of great skills you can learn when you’re feeling unproductive. Discover a hobby (other than staring at a screen, watching stupid videos)!

1) A new language *still learning French*
2) Coding *A super important skill to have nowadays! Codecademy is great for this*
3) An instrument *Improves your self-esteem. Learn to play piano or guitar or anything that appeals to you*
4) Photography *To capture the beauty around you*
5) Writing *It’s SOOO important, c’mon, your resume determines everything*
6) A sport *To stay healthy and find a hobby- I like swimming and jogging and I have been getting to yoga…*
7) Cooking *Who doesn’t like food? Ditch your McDonalds and learn to make real food*
8) Organizing *From folding clothes to room design- it helps keep your home (and life) in order*

So stop waiting for time to pass- use it to learn ( it can be fun) !

Life Lessons at a Senior Home

This summer, I have been spending much of my days helping out at a senior home.

I love it! The building is really nice, with cozy furnishings and friendly people. My job includes talking to the residents, serving them treats and coffee, setting back the table (after a meal), playing trivia with the residents, and just helping out.

I was really surprised with how old some of the residents are. It’s kind of nerve-wracking to be surrounded by all elderly people.

Many of the residents feel useless and abandoned. “What can we do?” “We sit here and do nothing everyday” and “This place is dead”. It’s sad to see their stage in life when they’re too old to look after themselves, when all they can do is wait.

Many of them have trouble hearing, speaking, and walking. Some look like walking skeletons. Or actually skeletons in wheelchairs.

As a young person, seeing this pains me. It’s the least I can do to take someone on a walk or hold a hand or talk with them. This experience also motivates me to work harder and do something meaningful with my life. How lucky I am! I am capable of so much. How the residents would love to be young and free again.

Sometimes we fail to see truly how lucky we are. We get so caught up with life that we forget we can see and breathe and laugh and dream and walk and remember and go to places. And for the most part, we forget we have two good eyes and legs and arms and all of our fingers.

So whatever that’s bothering you today- forget it. Smile because you still have your life to live. You aren’t forced to wait in a building for the rest of your life- and don’t make it seem like that way.


The Moon

Daily prompt: Moon

It’s easy to see why so many great things were inspired by the moon. Armstrong’s historic step. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Romeo and Juliet. The 90’s Sailor Moon TV series. The Man in the Moon. The moon’s influence is everywhere.

It is beautiful, a glowing, mysterious orb of light that throws a light blanket over the dark world beneath. It is a symbol of so many things- of romance, time, mystery, and cycles.

Gods and goddesses of the moon are also very popular. The Greeks prayed to Artemis for successful hunting, protection, and childbirth. The Chinese celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival when mooncakes and fruit are offered to Chang-e. The Egyptians worshipped Khonsu who watched over night travellers and had powers of healing.

The natural environment of our Earth is also effected by the moon. How are tides formed again? By the gravitational pull of the moon. The moon’s gravity also slows Earth’s rotation, resulting in longer days = more sunshine 😀

Without the moon, nights will not be the romantic, dreamy moments we sometimes know them to be. There’s something magical about that soft, pure light.


What Brings Me Joy?

In a world that focuses so much on consumerism and materialism, it’s tricky for us to appreciate the little things. Sometimes it is the little things that matter.

Here is a list of simple things in my life that make me happy :

1. An early morning with the chirping birds
2. A hug
3. Family
4. Friends
3. Laughter
4. Petting a dog or cat
5. Swimming
6. An apple
7. A returned smile
8. Writing
9. An interesting book
10. A catchy song
11. The smell of something baking
12. Music
13. A cat purring
14. The blue sky
15. Learning new things
16. Dreaming of the future
17. A sweaty workout
18. A good pen
19. A warm cup of hot chocolate
20. The shade of a tree in the summer
21. Water when I am thirsty
22. A flower
23. A walk outside
24. A poem
25. Meeting a new person
26. Love
27. The sunrise
28. The sunset
29. A cool breeze
30. A rainbow
31. Rain

The Essence of a Meal

Daily prompt: Feast

Mmmm… Who doesn’t like the idea of sitting down to a big, delicious feast? We all welcome the idea of gouging on that crispy roast chicken or chocolate cake. Scrumptious food- perhaps even those delicate plates and prettily folded napkins- is what we think a fancy meal is about.

We hardly think about what it means to sit down and enjoy our food. We stuff ourselves silly and then leave. Or maybe we weren’t even eating in the dining room in the first place.

What is the essence of a meal? Is it the excitement leading up to it? The gorging of food? Or is it the blissful feeling of fullness and picking your teeth afterwards for meaty bits?

It’s the people. The very people you sit down to eat with. Together, you eat and talk and bond and laugh.

Many people often don’t eat together with their family. Maybe it’s takeout in front of the TV, eating out late because of a job, pizza at a friend’s  house, or just eating by yourself in your room. Just 10 or 15 minutes of quality conversation during a meal is important. If you think about it, the whole family usually doesn’t spend much time together. Mom’s doing dishes, dad’s watching TV, the kids are playing or doing homework upstairs. Family time is important and that makes mealtimes together important.

Meals are a chance to catch up with each other, relax, maybe teach better eating habits, and ultimately lead to healthier relationships. Dinner doesn’t have to be the fanciest meal; it can be super simple. It’s not too much about what you’re eating.

If you eat dinner together everyday, for say, 20 minutes, multiply that by 365 and you’ll be adding 121 hours and 40 minutes more to the total time spent with your family in a year. It’ll be even greater if you eat lunch together on the weekends. So today, be sure to ask your loved ones about their day while you’re dissecting that chicken leg.

Coward No More

Daily prompt: Cowardice

I have to be honest. I was scared to death at the thought of creating my own blog when I first considered the idea. The idea of displaying my thoughts to the world terrified me. Would people laugh at my ideas? Scorn my writing? Regard me as immature?

It has been almost a month since I’ve started blogging and I have nothing but good things to say. Blogging has brought me into a different kind of community where everyone is open to share their ideas. I have read some really great posts, met some really amazing people, and got a lot of encouragement to keep writing. 😀 Thank you to all you lovely people out there!

Hopefully I can relate this to other areas of my life where I’m a wimp. I’m terrified of failure but I’m driven by the possibility of success. It’s worth the uncertainty.

As cheesy as it sounds, it’s true: believe in yourself and you’ll be okay. Do what you think is right.

Yes, it will be scary but you won’t regret it.