I so needed today to be today.
I'm glad it was. This morning, I woke up at 7, but hung out in bed until close to 8, just because I could. After a full week of working and biking and studying and repeating and playing hard and laughing hard, what I truly needed was some good old fashioned me-time.
This me-time concept is relatively foreign to my Thai family. If you're up, you're with the family. Even my Thai mom who lounges most weekends, sleeps in the same area as her grandkids who are busy playing video games all day, and my sisters who are cleaning and tending to the house all day.
I nearly felt guilty staying in my room for an hour longer than I would normally have, but today, I soaked it in. After a decidedly cool apnam (bucket shower) and gin caao chaao (eating breakfast), I washed another load of laundry and decided to study. I re-read every page in my language book in order to refresh my memory, which was feeling pretty overloaded after this week.
Lunch rolled around sooner than expected, my sisters got some amazing pad thai jay (vegetarian pad thai) to have me try, and I excused myself for a niip (nap). After an hour, I was awakened, drenched by my own sweat (awesome how these Thai days keep you on schedule), and headed out to the river for more practicing and some very slow photo uploading. My computer is still attempting to load the photos from yesterday's fun at Sports Day and Thai Theatre as I type, but I digress.
Sitting on the dock, watching the lom (breeze) blow in opposition to the current my mind warped the water into a sort of gravel pathway and I imagined myself following this path with balance and poise. I realized that this was, in fact, what my journey to date has been like. I hover above a surface I can hardly decipher and, with complete faith and perfect guidance, I step one foot in front of the other, without a worry for what is behind or before me. I cannot lose sight of the now for those details, for they would sink me for sure.
As the battery on my computer threatened to die, I plugged in and got out my trusty books and Thai CDs to study more. My host insisted that I lay back on the hammock while I studied and placed a fan on me as soon as I gathered my books and settled in. I worked, read, listened, and relaxed most of the day away.
As dusk settled in, food appeared and disappeared, a delicious young coconut was opened for me to drink from (easily one of my favorite treats), and family from Bangkok said their goodbyes from this busy Chinese New Year weekend. I then hunkered down for my daily language lesson with Pii Lee (or as I like to call her at this time of night, Ajaan [teacher]). I learned 6 more Thai vowels and read two more pages in my Thai book. We talked about family, Peace Corps, mosquitoes, dogs, pregnant cats, and cutting my hair. My family snuck a peek of some photos of me from earlier last year when I had long hair and decided I must miss it, which of course I do, but I didn't have enough vocabulary to properly explain why I donate my hair...next time, I suppose.
Now, I sit, in the corner of my room in order to get WiFi long enough to share this important day of self-care and sanity keeping. Sometimes it's the little things we need to do for ourselves. I'm not priding myself in needing a day for study. I'm not saying going out with friends would have been a problem. I'm not saying that I know what's best for everyone, but for me, today, this was absolutely perfect.
I'm so glad today happened today.