1. A great morning cup of coffee restores the soul. Even better when friends are in the mix.
My favorite beans come from Latin America, and Thailand being bereft of such, my amazing friends and family have risen to the occasion and sent me coffee grounds in glorious packages. I can't wait to start traveling in April just so I can put my grubby hands on some beans from Thailand and Laos. Also, a note to self, when I return home I will never use a coffee machine again. I'm swearing my oath of loyalty to a coffee press from now on.
2. My jogs on highway 22. On my best days I have a wonderful view of the sunset running up a hill. Yes it's 80-some degrees and it can be incredibly humid, but the stares I get that convey "is she off her rocker doing that?!" or seeing baby water buffalos playing in the water are rewards enough. My best run thus far has to be the one where I encountered a 60 yr old Thai man in short shorts, and as we passed each other we shared a Wai and a laugh.
3. Making dinner every night. My roommate is vegetarian, so we have had some really awesome dinner exploits. Black beans and rice, fried bananas, Indian curry and dhal, falafels, refried beans, pasta, homemade tortillas, ... oh my! The list goes on, but I also should say that we have come a loooong way in making things for dinner. We make everything from scratch, Soon I will dedicate a post cataloguing, with visual aids, our daily ahan yin. I always look forward to it, nearing the day's end, another ritual, another chore in which I can decompress. That is, on nights when our gas stove is not plotting to kill me and Trish...
4. Cleaning. My broom is my zen brush, and with each stroke, I swipe away all of life's debris.
5. Laughing. Both to yourself, and with friends. When you live in a village in Thailand, there are an exponential number of things to laugh about.
Of course, it goes without mentioning that on days that I really connect with my students, which is most of the time, I just get shivers knowing that I have, somehow, amidst all of life's variables and insanities, ended up doing a thing that makes me happy.