Aug 27, 2010

Food for Thought

I knew that this August I would be starting all over again, just like last year. Fortunately, things went a little smoother, we stayed in our apartment and I actually got a real job. After spending the last year mostly sitting around and being bored, I get to feel productive again. I'll be working for the Boys & Girls Club, basically doing the same thing I've always done, but this time with more authority. That will be a nice change.

So I was thinking about some of those great things I learned this Summer. I was really thinking about how I must remember and not fall back into my old habits. Some of them are very small things, but some are very important. In no particular order:

1) Work harder and learn to like it, or just do it I can work hard when I want to, but I know I'm not the best when it comes to physical labor. Life has just been too easy. I would watch people there and know that I will never know work like they know it. I will never have to climb 6,000 stairs with a 200lb load on my shoulders. Working harder will make me stronger, bring patience, and greater endurance.
2) Try not to complain about hard things, recognize that it's hard and figure out how to make it work I sat and watched out my window one morning as the girl across the way was standing in her concrete kitchen scrubbing away at her laundry, then hanging it to dry, over and over again. No washing machine to just toss it in, no dryer to get it smooth and fluffy. Sometimes tasks, like laundry, feel hard because of the life I'm used to living. I have to remember that I'm very blessed and there's nothing to it but to do it.
3) Walk or bike more often Everyday when I would go out, there's one thing I always noticed, the Chinese have awesome legs! They are constantly moving. It might take me longer to run an errand or get somewhere fairly close if I don't drive, but I can do it. I can save gas money and be more fit. I just got so used to walking everywhere all Summer, even to haul all of my groceries home.

4) Eat Healthier When I first came back to America, something I noticed right away: There really are so many fat people. To our credit, I know we don't have the same genes that the Chinese have. But it doesn't matter, I want to stay healthy. I was able to get into a good habit of just eating until I was satisfied rather than stuffed, drinking lots of water, and eating less treats. Those are things I didn't think I could ever do because I love satisfying my taste buds, but I got into the habit and now it's just easy.

5) Consume and waste less When you live in a country with 1.3 billion people, they tend to be rather stingy. I learned that I can manage with just a couple napkins (most restaurants don't even have dispensers anywhere), one paper towel, or one package of ketchup instead of 20.

7) Treat foreigners with respect and patience It really made me frustrated when people would lie, trick, or just avoid clear communication to get more money just because we are foreigners. I swore to myself that I would never be that way, I don't think many people here are. I just want to make sure that if someone approaches me with a question I treat them with kindness and try my best to help them.

8) Think outwards more, inwards less I remember the day we were out walking and passed an area that was falling apart shanties, just a pile of rubble- but these were people's homes. Why was I was given such an easy life of rich abundance and comfort and not them? What I really learned was that I don't need to feel guilty, but recognize what I can do because of what I have. I don't have to worry about what I'm going to eat tomorrow, or where I'm going to sleep. I have the ability to not have to worry about myself, and focus on helping others in need. If I don't ever do this, I will feel guilty. This is the greatest thing I learned.Photo from LDS Newsroom


  1. I love this, thanks for sharing.

  2. Jodi, you just published what has been running through my mind for the last month. What great lessons we've learned! I especially like your last one. You have a great attitude and your new job is the perfect place to put your goals to good use.

  3. Hi Jodi for the great stories.You are a perfect story teler.I just love to look at all thos nice pictures.Keep up the good work.Love to Taylor.Hugs to you.Love ya.

  4. I adore this post! I adore the lessons. And I adore you for saving me a trip all the way to China to have to learn them myself.

  5. Jodi... Bryce and I have decided that you and Taylor have had the best adventures!
    By the way... I have a niece that is at MIT and a sister whos husband is going to Dartmouth. So I would love for you to meet them. I am sure my sister would love to meet you guys too! She will be coming down to Boston often to see my niece.

  6. I absolutley love this post!. it is so true, China opened my eyes to many things and how grateful I am for everything that I have been given!

  7. Can I just say that I love this post? Such great lessons! I especially need to work on the snacking and thinking outwards tips. Thanks for the reminder!