Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Don't be greedy
5 weeks! It apparently has taken me this long to get into the 2014 writing swing of things. I apologize. I know you pay good money to read my thoughts and this won’t happen again until I decided that I will stop writing all together. Since my last post, I have triumphantly returned to Thailand because getting a full-time job in Hong Kong proved a bit more difficult than expected. I had a great time there and understood what my day-to-day life would be like. The high cost of living and having to make a whole new set of friends was also a factor. You should absolutely check it out but six weeks was a good amount of time and I saw a decent amount of Hong Kong. I thought about whether to stay or to come back more than almost any other decision I have ever made in my life. The minute I was on the flight back to Thailand and saw Thai people speaking Thai and wai-ing each other, I knew I made the right choice.  Within 10 days I had a new job at a new school in Nakhon, have a temporary place to live and couldn’t be happier about being back.

Returning to this Bangkok Shutdown protests has been fascinating. This is just a great place to live. I was taking my class to the computer room about 3 weeks ago when I heard cheering, kids screaming and whistles blowing. After we got downstairs, there were kids everywhere, random people with huge flags and whistles who were trying to shut down our school. It does not take much to shut a school down here. There were probably less than 20 people but as anyone who has ever shut down a government school before, all you need are some flags and whistles. We ended up missing the next two days of school which I was very distraught about. I don’t want to bore you with the politics of it all but basically there are red shirts in the north that support the government and yellow shirts in the south who think they government is corrupt (can you imagine?). I live in the south so I’m essentially on whatever side won’t get me murdered.
“You guys protesting something?”
 “Yeah the government, what about you?”
 “Ummm yeah, I hate the government too, let’s all be friends!”
All of the districts didn’t vote on Sunday so now they have to wait for those areas to vote and it looks like none of this will be solved for a long time. I just hope I don’t miss more school.. 

I haven’t given any life thoughts lately so I thought I would give you a quick one. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about not being greedy. I’m extremely happy to be back in Thailand but things are by no means perfect. My $15 phone I’ve had for over two years is being kept together by blue duct tape. I’ve been paid once since the middle of October. I am making less money now than I was when I first got here. I am currently computer and family-less (my own family that I have made, I understand I have a 'real' family). Are these things to complain about? Probably not. Even if I was making more money, I’d still want more. Even if I had a better phone, I’d still want to upgrade it. Even if I had a cute baby girl, I would just want a boy after that. There are only a handful of things I would change about my life right now if I could and those things might not even make me happy in the long run. I think that it is important that we are grateful for what we have and understand that at no point will buying one more thing or going one more place will leave us completely satisfied.
Let's play a game. Let's say I could give you anything in the world right now that would make you completely happy, what would it be? Think about it....I return in one month, are you still completely happy? What if I told you I could do it again? How long would it last this time? And this is with giving you things that you probably couldn't accomplish quickly on your own. And we are trying to buy happiness with things that are within our reach? Not likely.

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to improve our lives. Of course we should try to get a better job if it would fulfill us to a greater degree but not just because you can finish your new basement. Don’t break up with your boyfriend just because you found a better looking one. Be happy that you can use your eyes to read a book or use your ears to listen to music. Be happy that you have a friend would will listen and eat dinner with you. Be happy that you can walk up and down the stairs or that you can go outside and breathe fresh air. Be grateful that your parents put up with you and raised you to the best of their abilities (thanks mom!) Life is too short to always be searching for more and not being content. Life is good. It really is. Sometimes it is easy to forget that. Be grateful.


“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” 


Ted Talk about being grateful:

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