The time I went to Hong Kong

It’s 6:52 a.m. Sunday morning and I’ve been awake since 2:30 a.m. I got back from my first international business trip just before midnight on Friday, which happened to take me to Hong Kong. It is 13 hours ahead in Hong Kong and I can’t begin to describe how tired and awake I am right now. They say time travel doesn’t exist – but I wholeheartedly disagree. When I left Hong on Friday, it was 4:30 p.m. When I landed in Boston, it was 11 p.m. The flights were 17 hours total. See? Time travel. It exists.

But, oh, what a trip. It was so worth the weird semi conscious state I’m in. The work was good, but the time I had to explore the city was phenomenal. Hong Kong truly is where East meets West. The blend of culture, cuisine, architecture and history is like no where else. I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity. I worked hard to get where I am, but there is no denying the existence in our lives of happenstance, fate, luck, or whatever you call it.

I took a walking tour of Central Hong Kong, ate life changing dim sum, visited a temple, explored Cat Alley, went to the Night Market, took the tram to the top of Victoria Peak and walked down what must have been the least direct way possible, and took the Star Ferry to Kowloon to meander and explore. I’d love to be able to go back some day and spend more time exploring. Maybe with more hard work a little bit of luck, that’ll happen.

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Another New Year

2017 was a year. It was hard, frightening, sad, and anxiety inducing, with an undercurrent of love, hope, success and kindness. And here we are, the first day of 2018. Will it be more of the same? Probably. But I’m going to try so very, very hard to bring more attention to the love, hope, success, kindness and even joy in my life. I’ll be trying to do some of that here.

I spent a quiet morning drinking coffee in bed with the whole family – three cats, the dog and my partner. It was just what I needed. I’m heading into a few months of travel for work, and I’m savoring the time I have at home.

I hope you have the time and space to reset for the new year. Here’s to a very Happy New Year, from my strange little family to you and yours.

Watson and bear

Ties

Saw a missing girl post on Facebook 
With ties to Ann Arbor 
Where are your ties? 

What binds you to this earth 
Keeping you from floating 
Away and beyond and farther than we can see 

Is it love 
Is it pain

Or even joy?
But maybe just the school you went to 
In a community you were never a part of

I am tied to this place 
By my hopeless faith in humanity

I think I’ll outlast you all 
And then what 
Tied here to this earth alone 
Because I gave too much credit  
To humans 

The pain of others

How do you carry your pain
All of the slights, jabs, cuts, bruises, broken tissue and bones?
Is it the weight on your shoulders that pulls you forward
Or the drop of your head?
A hesitance to make eye contact.
A resistance to any kindness, a suspicion of all?
Or do you wear it proudly
Bearing it all to show the world you cannot be stopped, cannot be shamed.
I slide my pain into an extra pocket on my heart
Keeping it close so I can pull it out and examine it like the frogs we dissected in school.
Are you there
Do you still hurt?
Is it less or more now that time has passed?
It’s probably the same.
Your edges have begun to fray, an old wound I cannot bury or let fly.
So back you go, nestled close and safe until the next time.

Scone bread, to fend off the chill

This past weekend was bitterly cold. Like below zero before the windchill could be factored in, and while we had power and a full tank of oil, the house got cold. By Sunday I decided the only thing to do was turn on the oven and bake.

marbleboard

I found a recipe from Food52 for Cinnamon Scone Bread, pulled out my pastry cutter and the marble rolling board that had been sitting in the cabinet for over a year. And it felt so good to read the recipe, find the ingredients, and break out some pastry skills. I hadn’t cut butter into flour in ages and finding the delicate line where flour and egg and milk just turn to dough, and then working it gently on the board was exactly what I needed.

scone bread top

It felt a little like coming home. And in a sense, it was a homecoming. The marble board was a gift from my Mom, and the Thanksgiving pies were rolled out on it for as long as I can remember, until it came to live with me. She and my sister were almost there with me, laughing and joking and reading the recipe wrong. When I was done, the house was warmer, the scent was heavenly, and it also happened to be Valentine’s Day. It turned out to be “one of the best things you’ve ever baked,” according to my Valentine.

scone bread sliced

Warm bread, warm home, warm heart.

Back at it – sort of

yoga3

In early September I had hip surgery to fix some torn cartilage and clean up some bone spurs. It was rough. The recovery was long and the physical therapy is still happening. But in early January I got permission to start working out again, and to start practicing yoga so long as I was EXTREMELY careful with all of it. My internal mantra was “don’t be an asshole, don’t be an asshole, don’t push so hard you undo everything you just did.”

So I waited until February before joining an Instagram yoga challenge of a pose a day. I chose one with minimal deep bending and twisting, and was really really excited. At the end of the month, the goal was a back bend, but to drop back into it from standing. I did a pose a day, for a whole three days, before I got a ridiculous head cold flu deathlike thing, and was unable to work out, do PT, practice yoga and generally be human for a solid week. So now it’s back to basic PT, and then a little cardio, and then back to yoga. Everything in a progression so I don’t fuck myself up. Because I am not doing that whole hip surgery thing again.

I’ll try again in March.

Setting intentions

warriortwoIn my yoga practice today (and every practice that I can remember), we were asked to set our intentions while in Warrior Two, a pose of strength and power. I’ve listened and set half-hearted intentions before, but right now, at this point in my life, I’m going to set bigger intentions. So, here they are.

I intend to be kind and patient with myself and others.

I intend to recognize and let go of envy.

I intend to feel sorrow and let it go.

I intend to move forward.