It’s Saturday morning here in Beijing. I’m enjoying myself a nice little date with my coffee before heading to work and I decided it’s a good time to also write about last week-end. What? What happened last weekend?! Well, for those of you that don’t know, I actually had a short trip home, in Canada. By short, I mean 3 days in Montreal (hometown). Yeah, I know, that’s really short.
Work actually sent me that way and it allowed me to surprise my parents and some friends. What work? Well, I have this marketing contract with Children’s Tales International Kindergarten. Basically, they needed a hand in recruiting teachers from Canada to bring to Beijing. English teachers. Competent and qualified teachers. If you have your TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language), I’ve got a job for you.
You see, Beijing has a huge lack of English teachers and schools pay teachers quite a lot of money to work for them. Heck! A lot of people coming to Beijing that speak fluently English can easily get a teaching job while they decide what to do as a next step. Kind of like what I did.
So I ended up helping this school as their marketing consultant / recruitment manager during a job expo in Toronto. It was a good turn out and I was actually surprised at how many people are interested in boarding a plane and trying the adventure. It also turned out that we all needed to go to Montreal after the job fair to visit family and friends. (Yey for me!). And me being me… I just ended up showing up on people’s doorstep. “Surprise!” And they were surprised indeed. Starting with my parents. Especially if you have a smartass like me knocking on your door at 11PM while you’re sleeping. Thank God they love me or else I would have slept in an Igloo, Canadian style.
This short trip was also a bit of a trip down memory lane and the acceptance of a very real situation. I’m not going back anytime soon and therefore, I packed everything I needed (clothes) and gave everything else away. I spent great time with my family, met my nephew and had an amazing evening with my best friends. Like we used to. Cooking together, scotch around the fire and heartfelt conversations. Always being busy doesn’t leave me that much time to think back. But that weekend, I had to stop and enjoy every second of it.
Let’s try something.
Imagine that you live halfway across the world from everything you love. And then, out of nowhere, you get 3 days back home. One weekend. No more. After, you have to go back halfway across the world with the clear thought “I don’t know when I will see them again”. What do you do out of those 3 days? Close your eyes and think very carefully about it.
Here’s what I did. I chose carefully the time I had to see friends, as short as it was. I couldn’t see everyone, regardless of how much I wanted. And I just did with them what I missed the most and will miss the most. Brunch, diner, cooking, beer.
Simple stuff. No point in going crazy and all flashy here. I just wanted and needed to reconnect with the things that mattered the most to me. And to be honest, when I cooked with my friends, had a glass of scotch and just sat around the fire talking about a million things, that’s when I felt at my best. It stirred up a lot of things in me. Mainly good things. And it allowed me to create another beautiful memory with them. God I had missed those nights together and I will miss this one too.
It does happen to me often that I wish to get back those nights we had before, but the reality is that I’m on this new adventure and I know at least one thing. At any point, I can go back home and sit down and have a glass of Scotch around the fire with the people that matter, regardless of how much time passes.
Today’s item on the list:
Stop living like a backpacker… (Friends in Beijing are quite happy about this one)
What am I reading?
- Hacking Growth by Morgan Brown and Sean Ellis
- Game of Thrones – A Dance with Dragons (Given no GoT this year, might as well read it in the meantime. Personal pleasure and such).
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