Wednesday, January 06, 2016


Saturday night, the 2nd of January, Aya and I landed in Beijing. The AQI was at 540. Off the charts more or less. A welcome home to Beijing sort of a day. Of course I was disappointed. I could see the smog in the airport terminal and had my mask on before the airplane doors even opened. Our driver, Peter, told us that even in ancient times there was air pollution and that Beijing wouldn't be signaling any more "red alert"s as they were too inconvenient for working people and parents. Ah... home.

So now that its been a few days and the skies are blue, let me begin to write the new year post, but without any silly resolutions.

It was a good year. Aya and I were both employed and both of us enjoy our jobs and hope to continue with them indefinitely. Of course, for an international school teacher indefinitely just means at least one more year, but for Aya she wishes her job to last a long time. I also started a part time class with Global Online Academy which I have really enjoyed and seems like it will lead to a leadership position at my international school because of it. Work has been happy and home has too. We like living in Beijing, usually. Sure, the skies can be very unhealthy at times. However, we try to make the best of what we have. Poor air days just mean staying in the filtered indoors for a movie or games. Pretty much ok with us homebodies. Our health has been good. No major issues, few minor ones. The friends and family front has been good too. No major illnesses or deaths and we got to see both our families and grandparents within the last year as well as numerous old friends. It seems the older I get the more I understand that some friendships are forever and that family is important. I can't believe sometimes how old I am already. It seems like yesterday I was young, but this aging thing is going pretty good so far.

Quite often Aya says, "we are lucky" or something of that nature. I think I say it a bit too, but mostly I am just backing her up and of course we are. This past November I was scheduled to take a group of kids to Paris for an MUN conference. It ended up being cancelled because of the attacks there and a lot of the kids were disappointed, naturally. The thing is, many of those kids still pushed to go and didn't seem to understand why they couldn't. They focused more on how it was unfair to them rather than on the gravity of the situation. This is why we constantly remind each other of our good luck and do not take it for granted. Life can change at any instance, so planning for the future is good but you must also live today as much as you can. At the same time, we cannot take for granted our good fortunes and positions in life. Getting wrapped up in what we don't have only serves to make you unhappy (unless what you don't have is crippling poverty or something). Not often enough, perhaps, do people feel satisfied. Sure, we say it time to time, the important things in life are free, etc., but how many people actually live that? This year, maybe that should be people's silly resolution.