Embracing January

Really, is there a better motto?

I seem to remember writing a post like this just a few months ago, and yes, I’m aware it’s already January 11th.  It seems I simply have trouble warming up to some months?!

Speaking of warming up, the cold weather has finally descended upon Southwest China, and I remember why there is a nothing enviable about cold rain (and no insulation!), even if the temps do stay relatively mild here during the winter.  That said, I’ve discovered there are plenty of things to be excited about this January.

Here are a few of mine below…what about you?

  • Playing with my Christmas presents:  It must be the case that as we get older and those Christmas lists get shorter, we feel even more spoiled, er I mean, satisfied with all the gifts under the tree.  Some of the things I’m geeking out over are a copy of Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth (from my mother), which I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never read, a beige, fuzzy, lined professor-sweater my husband got me, new running shoes (from my little sister), pajama pants (from the twin), and of course, the last of my peppermint bark (from my mother-in-law).
The genuine article.
  • Checking out the Countryside:  There’s a new foster care project about three hours from here that’s been set up, and it’s been a joy to get a glimpse of Guangxi’s craggy mountains and farmland, as well as smell the sour peppers drying in the sun in the village and see the families learning to love one another.
Photo by Evan Schneider.
  • Happy Chinese New Year:  Chinese New Year falls early this year, sometime around the last week of January, so we’ll be taking off for a couple weeks, first traveling to Egypt to see our friends Ben and Emily, and then to Abu Dhabi to visit our friends Beth and Vic (mixing a little business with pleasure as I’l also be giving a talk to the faculty at NYUAD about my research).  I sometimes find it overwhelming to balance these travels with research, but I’m exceedingly grateful for the opportunity to travel.  When my friend Beth mentioned the beaches in Abu Dhabi, my heart skipped a beat!
My friends, Beth and Vic, visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
My friend, Emily, in front of the pyramids. Photo by her husband, Ben Robinson.

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