Monday, November 23, 2009

Tired but actually Quite Happy

Every week I only work a few hours. I teach for 10, lesson plan for 4, have Chinese lessons for 6, and sit in the Tree House for 12. According to American work standards, I don't do much during the work week but hey I am a volunteer. One could assume that the weekend would be super relaxing. Today is Sunday, my day off, and yet counter to assumption, I am exhausted, mentally and physically.

My clothes are wet and stinky from steam coming off my exercising body in the chill of winter, steam caught in my heavy non-breathing water/wind proof shell making me soaked from the inside out. I went on a 6 hour outing, biking against the wind, biking on dirt roads, fighting melted snowy mud, hiking down a mountain that almost killed me as I slid down the mountain in the layer of slick dirt. My body is tense and needs a massage. My face is tired and needs to smile instead of this worn tense frown. My tongue needs water and I want a warm place to sit and relax.

But no! The world hates me today. After my long day out, I can't unlock my front door. It is probably due to the kid who is always putting keys into my lock, banging on the front door, and running away. Yesterday I heard him and his friend fiddling with the lock, shouting laowai, then banging on the door with his fist and running. I didn't even get up from my nap to answer the door coz I could hear every single word that was going on through the thin walls.

Exhausted I am from naughty boys and physically tired from a full day outside. Exhausted from spending 6 hours trying to speak and understand Chinese. Exhausted at not being able to get my lock fixed because the guy who helps take care of the flat is in Langzhou. Exhausted at missing a phone call tonight because I'll be sleeping in a strange bed instead of my own comfortable house. Instead I'll be trying to relax in another person's home, not my own, a place where the toilet doesn't even work. Exhaustion will not go away today, but I bet I will sleep well tonight. Exhaustion gives a sense of accomplishment, a full day, a job well done. Today my soul can smile.

(Sunday night writing club's writing activity. 1. Make a list of emotions. 2. Pick one emotion. 3. Brainstorm ideas for that emotion. 4. Write about the emotion. My emotion was exhaustion.)

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