My days as a tai tai are quickly coming to an end. Next week I start full time permanent work for the first time in four years!
I was surprised when I counted up the years since I started my “one-year” sabbatical in mid-2017. Where has the time gone? What have I done with my life?
I became a blogger and rediscovered my love for writing. I’ve learnt Chinese and discovered that I best focus my interest on English (languages are not for me). I started my Masters degree, read hundreds of books for pleasure and to pursue more academic interests. I have worked two temporary jobs which helped me identify where I want to focus my future work life. I have been a corona virus refugee, moved countries during a pandemic, and bought and renovated a house.
Life does not stand still.
Inspired by the words on my journal “dream beautiful fly high”, the goal of my sabbatical was to find out what matters to me and how it dictates the direction of my time, energy and passion.
What have I discovered?
- I can set big goals and achieve them. The Great Wall Marathon was one of my biggest achievements; the hours of training leading up to the event, the event itself. I am so proud of what I achieved. I would love to do it again but I suspect limited time and my aging body might not let me.
- Fate exists, things often happen for a reason. The reason may not be clear at the time. It might even be the opposite of what I thought I wanted. I have learnt to just go with the flow. What is meant to be, is meant to be.
- It is import to make time to connect with nature – externally and internally. Externally connecting with the outdoors in forests, fields, and beaches, touching, breathing, listening, sensing what is around me is essential for my well being. Internally connecting with who I am; writing, reading, observing. I need to ensure I have enough of both in my every day life to feel balanced.
And for those of you who are wondering what a tai tai is. It is a colloquial Chinese term for an elected leader’s wife; or a wealthy married woman who does not work. In English it is similar to “lady” and can sometimes be a subtle insult. It also roughly means “ladies who lunch”. And I certainly did a bit of that the last four years. Gānbēi! Cheers!