My first international trip was about 10 years ago, before my dad went to Saipan for work. We set off to Bangkok, Thailand that summer before junior year in college, which was a lot of firsts that I unfortunately wasn’t able to document. I never got to blog about it in my old blogs because I didn’t know what to say, nor what to write about, partly because there was a time that I was a bit of a brat back then. :P
But I remember one time while we were there, I told my dad that I wanted to go back, and that I wanted to travel more and he said that it’s a good place to visit with friends. I remember planning a trip mentally with my college friends but that never materialized, and Bangkok didn’t become a priority destination for me…
…until some book club friends brought up the topic of an Indochina backpacking trip. And of course I said yes.
So last October, after lots of planning, booking hotels, and grabbing really cheap airfares for a trip, some book club friends and I set off to our first international trip together, to Bangkok, Thailand (and later, Siem Reap, Cambodia). I was excited, mostly because of the company and the idea of traveling again before the year ends. I was excited about the place, but it has been so long since I was last there that I could hardly remember anything, except that I knew I wanted to eat everywhere instead of restaurants, because I didn’t get a chance to do that on my first time.
Cliche, but let me say this: where did October go?
I realized today that the last time I blogged was when I released my book (ongoing blog tour this week, yay! Also, you can pre-order the print edition here if you’re not fond of ebooks :D), and a lot has happened from then until now that I should write about. I should, and I really want to, but work has been especially draining the past two weeks that I kinda just want to lie down and sleep when I get home.
My sister-in-law gave birth! I have a nephew! â™¥ Most of my spare time goes to him (when he’s awake, anyway), so there. Isn’t he a cutie?
Work. Oh wait, that’s not new.
October was a pretty fun month, though, and I’m not complaining. November, on the other hand, seems like it will be busy. Up until February. But…that’s not so new anyway. This kind of busy is good. :)
* * *
But look, it’s NOVEMBER. Last two months of the year! Last week, at our sisters’ household, the question was, What’s something you want to do (this year) that you haven’t done yet?
My short answer: cook a dish. I can bake fine, but I can’t cook. Or I just haven’t tried. Next goal: cook something for Christmas/New Year dinner.
Oh, but when I reviewed the goals I set for 2014, I realized that I have actually fulfilled most of them. Wow. And there’s still two months left! A lot can still happen. :)
My longer answer for that question, in one word: study. Let’s pray about this more.
* * *
To be perfectly honest, though, there’s a lot about the next two months that I feel a bit apprehensive about. Maybe it’s because I already saw a forecast of the first two months of 2015 for work, and the worrywart in me is glad there’s stuff to worry about again. Sigh, not good. But I don’t want to get lost in the busy-ness of the next two months. I don’t want to. I refuse to. Lord, give me the grace to take it slow and to breathe, and – in her words – count the thousand glittery things You’re giving me.
I felt God saying, â€œThis is life, my girl. This is life. You donâ€™t need to be somewhere. You donâ€™t need to hustle. You donâ€™t need to hurry. I just want you to suck this moment in good. Youâ€™ve come a long way. A long, long way. Be thankful and keep going. Youâ€™re so okay, my dear.â€
Thatâ€™s all God is asking of us at any given moment: To suck in what is what right before usâ€“ what He has placed there so intentionallyâ€“ and then say thank you. Because itâ€™s simple. And itâ€™s true. And itâ€™s a gift we forget to find the gratitude for. And it fills us so much more mightily than the fears and worries we stack inside ourselves when we think this day-to-day is about getting â€œstuffâ€ done.
* * *
Yes, I’m also one of the many, many people caught up in the Taylor / 1989 mania. Couldn’t help it, really. Shake it Off helps in keeping me sane – shake off all the stress, I say!