Yesterday, Mr. Understanding and I went to the gym. We stayed up late the night before celebrating Wee Lass’ husband’s 50th birthday and while I was not hungover, I was very, very tired. It has been a long week. A horrific combination of hormones, adolescent and peri-menopausal (?), and “moving stress “ ignited. My children were on fire. I was on fire. Mr. Understanding was smoldering.
Readers of the blog may or may not remember that during my move to China, I promised myself I would not give up exercising. While that was not a lie, it was overly ambitious of me and I tapered off, not so gradually. Now, however, I am resolute, having learned my lesson the fat way, and force myself to go four times a week. Since I had played earlier in the week, I needed to catch up.
For the first thirty minutes, Mr. Understanding and I had a “business meeting” on the elipticals. In our meeting, I told him about:
a) all the money I am spending – how and why – and on what I am going to spend more [ i.e. summer camp, soccer tournament, etc.]
b) calendar events he should be aware of – Thing 3’s “going away” party – he only has to cook hotdogs and help with games
c) travel plans and
d) moving issues, from visas to pets to plane flights.
Captive, Mr. U mainly listened in until I needed his input on something; although he was sweating profusely yesterday, he killed two painful duties with one stone.
Finished with the elliptical, I moved to the bicycle and plugged in my iPod. I only have a Shuffle for exercising but it gets me through. For some reason, the song “When Love Comes to Town” by B. B. King and U2 is on my playlist, something of a mystery. I did not put it there. Off U2’s 1988 album, “Rattle and Hum” album, the song is described as “the best song on U2’s worst album”. Frankly, I don’t remember listening to it in 1988. But now it is one of my favorite songs and after I listened to it about twenty times, I realized it is about Easter.
Earlier in the week, my mother, Radish, told me she had read that by 2020, China will have the most Christians living in it. I scoffed at her. By sheer numbers, this might theoretically be possible but I did not see it happening.
So you can imagine my surprise when, after our workout, we saw children painting eggs in the lobby of the gym – the gym! There was a party going on with drinks and potato chips. Pretty bags of chocolate bunnies and eggs were perched on the reception counter for kids to take home.
Me: Wow, Lily [manager of gym]!
Lily: It’s for Easter!
Me: I can see that! Do you know what Easter means?
[And here I must digress. Remember, V3 had never heard of Jesus before so I was skeptical that anyone under the age of thirty would have either.]
Lily: It’s when the Son of God rose from the dead after three days?
Me: Yes! How do you know that?
Lily: Look! I have a story!
Lily ran to get laminated cartoon storyboard pages. They were written in Chinese characters.
Me: Can I get a copy of that?
Perhaps the Radish is right. Who would have thought that Chinese children would be learning about Jesus in the lobby of a sports complex? Maybe love is coming to Shanghai.
My Lenten ambitions were, well, ambitious. In the minus column, I fell off the blog wagon this last week and the Apocrypha remains half read. But in the plus column, my angry neighbor’s heart has softened and today there is bread. Technically, Lent ended Thursday night during the celebration of the Last Supper but I am holding out for Easter morning. Sacrificing one of my favorite foods made me realize how much I really eat the fluffy stuff; I gained more than I lost (four pounds), however. Jesus said he was the bread of life [John 6:48] so I cannot imagine he wants me to forego it entirely.
To that end, I got the last loaf of sourdough bread at the bakery. Like a lone sentinel, it was waiting there for me, calling my name, alone and round in its basket bin. The toaster is out on the counter, fired up and ready to go, just as soon as my naughty children wake up. I am hungry for it. Happy Easter.