Believing you have all the time in the world--such as an entire year in Shanghai--lulls you into thinking that you have a boundless largesse of opportunity. So you put off what you really want to do. What you want to see. What you want to accomplish. As I have learned recently, reality can shift with a single phone call. Or an email, marked with a red flag.
I've been asking my kiddos what last adventures they want to take with me in Shanghai before we leave for home: visiting the Science & Technology Museum? Touring the historic Jewish neighborhood? Shopping in the Underground markets? Geocaching?
As for me, my biggest regret isn't what I didn't see or do in Shanghai. It's not having the time to turn acquaintances into True Friends. Like with Margaret, my dear buddy Shelli's friend.
From Malaysia, Margaret's half-Pakistani, half Malay with the most extraordinary childhood story. She is a walking novel. Just look at her! She's one of the most beautiful and sexy women I've ever met.
Today I'm thankful to have met marvelous people throughout my travels in Shanghai. However abbreviated this time in China was, I have been blessed with interesting mentors and fierce protectors along the way.