So I’ll be honest, sometimes it gets really hard to be away from the people and places I love so much. This week especially, I’ve been thinking about how excited I am to come home in June. I’ve counted the days until my return more than once this week, and that is dangerous mental territory. (By the way, June 29 is 109 days from today.) Instead of lying in bed pining, here are a few things I have tried to do instead.

Be grateful—While walking, I make myself mentally list ten things I am grateful for before I get to the next block.
Find someone else to help—This is harder here than in the US, but I helped a friend with his dissertation, and I tried to send some emails supporting my professional organization.
Spend time with friends—This week, we enjoyed dinner with some of the JCCC students who are here learning Chinese (and also Jabran).

Read uplifting texts—We are reading the gospel of John in Spanish for Lent. In addition, I am re-reading Acolytes by Nikki Giovanni and Desmond Tutu’s Lent book from 2015.
Go experience nature—We went for a visit to a nature park near the Weihe river. I finally got to enjoy the boat ride I’d been wanting since we went to Shenzhen.
Eat comfort food—This week we went out for pizza twice. We also made pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches at home.
Pet a cat—After a very emotional Saturday, we stopped by a local pet store and pet the cat. We also enjoyed watching the Chinchillas.

Tell the people you love how much they mean to you—I am very lucky to be here with my husband, Jeremy, and my son, Asher. I love them so much. And I get to see them every day. And the rest of you in cyberspace reading my blog—I love you too. I’m grateful that I know you.



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