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Days of summer bliss

Sitting on the roof patio in a flowery purple swimsuit tank top and my brother's fish pattern boxer shorts, I am a picture of heavenly bliss as I mend a tanned yellow cotton duvet cover I had bought in Houston years ago. The Dutch sun is warm on my skin as I lean against an old duvet on the plastic deck chair. The duvet is getting its dose of sun while I sit, grateful for this mending job.

Four months ago, I was a frantic, uptight person with an unrealistic sense of urgency that annoyed everyone including myself. I couldn't decide whether to use my expiring airmiles or to collect more airmiles (to renew it). Pushed for time, I decided to indulge in a free ticket to Shanghai, the birthplace of my 74 year old father. To me where he spent his childhood years was a dream of a lifetime.

That was the beginning of the ritardando --- the slowing down necessary of a lifestyle packed to the rim and stressed to the core. My dad always warned me in his e-mails, "The most important thing is your health. Don't overdo it." In fact, he would like to see the day when I do absolutely nothing.

From Shanghai, which means to go on or out to sea, to Wuxi, known as little Shanghai with the name Wuxi meaning no tin, I slowed down to my father's pace. It was not easy for a person used to a full schedule, active all day until my eyes demanded sleep. Every evening after dinner, my father would retire to his hotel room. My night life consisted of watching television with him until he yawned sleep. Then I'd return to my room and flip through all fifty-some channels until dawn beckoned me to switch off the remote control.

After Wuxi, we visited Nanjing, which means southern capital or southern city. Travels with father deserve separate entries on this Bon Journal. I am still recovering from those 18 days, followed by London and Ireland.

How is it that I can wake up naturally each day and decide at breakfast what I plan to do for the day? This morning I wanted to do my filing but ended up doing laundry, making sushi, and mending instead.

Is this what an ideal retirement is like? Wake up and do whatever I feel like doing? No rush. No stress. If the sun is out, I work in the garden. If it rains, I write or play the piano. No financial worries.

To get to that blissful state, I shall need good health and financial security. Until then, these days of summer bliss will remain in the summer months when the weather is too good to miss, certainly too good to be spent worrying about living a full life.

23 August 2005 Tuesday

Related links:
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Summer holidays
Pick your own berries
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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