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The "Wu Word" Blog

March 2019

The Perfect Day

One of my greatest loves and pastimes that some may identify as a hobby, but I actually identify as more than that is penpalling.  It is my miniscule way of traveling around the world from the comfort of my couch.  I always say that I was born the wrong time period.  I actually feel much more ‘disconnected’ and lost in this fast-paced digital tech age that is supposedly more ‘connected’ than ever . I feel and am the most ‘connected’ with those closest to me in the supposedly ‘old-fashioned’ ways of meeting in person, speaking over the phone, hand writing long letters and cards, choosing individualized cards and stationary sheets and sticking them in the mail decked out in stickers and sparkly pens, and finding new stamps to stick on to my envelopes. 

The Perfect Day

One of my closest penfriends who I actually consider and call one of my closest friends is from Spain.  From the moment our hand-written letter exchange began over ten years ago, I knew that I had found a friend.  Connection is something you cannot explain, but experience and feel deep within. We met in person in 2015.  Ever since then, we had an unspoken and unofficial agreement to meet every two years and typically in September.  We have met and traveled together in New York, Portugal, Spain, Japan, and Taiwan.   We give ourselves at least a year in advance to PERFECTLY plan our trips. 
We all must know by now that nothing ever really goes according to plan and life keeps on happening in the most unplanned and unpredictable of ways when you keep on making plans.  You can plan EVERYTHING for perfection and NOTHING will go according to plan, creating a new kind of imperfect perfect.

Our last trip in 2017 to Taiwan and Japan, all the PERFECT days we had planned disintegrated; NOTHING had really gone according to plan and NOTHING was perfect. Firstly, we did not meet in September as we normally did.  We met in October instead.  Political upheaval strikes in Barcelona were at their height when my friend was set out to meet me in Taiwan having both of us on complete edge that we would not meet when we were set out to meet. It was kismet that we actually met that night that we had planned to meet. 

The Perfect Day

For nearly two weeks, there was pouring rain and wicked winds ALMOST every single day.  I had gone through at least two umbrellas.   On good days, it was depressingly cloudy or there was spiked and sudden sweltering heat that made the mosquitoes alive and well with a vengeance, hungry for our blood.  The mosquito bites were so bad on me that hot lumps and bumps formed on me and then resulted in ugly and angry red rashes all over my ankles and legs.  I had slammed my shin against a metal entrance way where a deep gash formed.  Our toilet had busted and we had to take a stroll outside to the bathroom.  There had been bed bugs in our mattresses and also a possible mouse from droppings we had found. The icing on the cake was that a typhoon hit the last day I was to leave that canceled my flight from Kyoto to Beijing.  I ended up with two layovers and hit three countries within 24 hours.  I was so sick when I returned home that I nearly passed out and thought I would have to admit myself to the hospital to for some IV fluids. 

The Perfect Day

But you know what?  I had the time of my life.  I would not take any of it back.  We had more fun than none that I could possibly go into and explain: Eating piping hot pumpkin croquettes, going shopping crazy for stationary, dressing up as Maiko, making and munching on makeshift homemade curry dishes, hanging with deer, relaxing in an Onsen, discovering Taiwanese street foods and stuffing our faces with them, and, most of all, getting to know each other that only made our friendship stronger.  The bright moon that guided me to get to the bathroom made me all the more grateful for indoor plumbing.  I saw myself as stronger than ever to have managed to survive such a trip, proud of my health that would not have been able to handle a trip like this years ago and proud of my physical abilities to walk in torrential downpours with my friend right by my side.  We had so many adventures and disasters—all depending on your perception and mindset.  And, yes, doesn’t it always come down to our perception/mindset?  To see what could be the worst disaster as the best adventure?  To throw the most ‘perfect’ days aside to the surprise and shock of ‘imperfect’? 

The Perfect Day

I am a perfectionist AND worrier.  It is the pesky Virgo in me.  I have always put and placed more pressure on myself.  So much in my life has not gone according to plan.  So much worries me. So much more treasure and value is found in the imperfect and our imperfections.  I hope you find the perfect in the imperfect. I hope you see adventure rather than disaster.  I hope you embrace the unknown, unplanned, and unforeseen.  So, it goes like this that I am learning and coming to embrace in life: “It does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.”

We make plans for the most perfect of days.  Have you ever planned everything most perfectly only for nothing to go according to plan? When nothing went according to plan, how did your mindset change to an adventure or disaster?  Do you believe in “Murphy’s Law” that anything that is meant to go wrong will go wrong?  Or, is it about “Yhphrum’s Law” that everything that can work will work?  Are you a perfectionist and planner to have the most perfect of days?  What is your idea of the perfect day? 
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,
Mary ;-)
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