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From Backyard BBQ to Phuket Dreams: The Joy of Chasing Smaller Wins

In life, we invariably harbor grand and petite aspirations, some of which may elude us in our lifetime, yet remain ensconced in our memories, beckoning with boundless yearning. Presently, our trio of companions engages in discourse over our ultimate aspiration – envisioning a future where the three of us reside harmoniously in a commodious abode by the sea, amidst the blossoms of spring, under the ever-watchful gaze of day and night…

Such a grandiose aspiration—so vast in scope that its fulfillment within our mortal coil remains a tantalizing uncertainty. Nevertheless, we indulge in reverie, occasionally conjuring visions of communal living, perpetually enraptured by its allure. At this juncture, Meizi shares a photograph within our triad, depicting an intimate scene at the dining table: a circular grill adorns its surface, a modest teapot emits warmth from its modest perch, ensconced in hemp rope, while two women sit poised, reaching out to tend to the vessel. Meizi conveys her sentiment: “Let us aspire to such a day, wherein our future abode mirrors this scene, complete with this humble teapot, where we may partake in tea whilst indulging in the savory delights of roasted meat.” “Indeed, a splendid notion, exuding an aura reminiscent of ‘green ant new brewing wine, red clay small stove,’ perfectly aligning with our bourgeois inclinations,” I respond wryly. Meizi remains undeterred by my pragmatic skepticism, buoyantly declaring, “Fear not, we shall begin with this humble teapot.”

With determination ablaze, Meizi swiftly procures the aforementioned teapot. To commemorate its acquisition, we convene for a barbecue in the confines of Meizi’s garage on the ensuing weekend. The men undertake the arduous task of grilling, while we, the triumvirate of women, meticulously arrange the tableau, laying out a checkered tablecloth adorned with an array of delectable treats and fruits. A small alcohol stove is ignited, suffusing the air with the rich aroma of Pu’er tea. Amidst discussions of beer and barbecue, the children frolic nearby, engaging in a spirited game of football. As we convene around the table, the scene evokes echoes of our cherished aspirations, albeit lacking the grandeur of a communal courtyard. Recognizing the daunting nature of lofty ambitions, we opt for attainable goals as a precursor to grander dreams. Behold, this modest teapot effortlessly conjures the picturesque tableau of our desires.

Thus, we while away the afternoon in spirited conversation, accompanied by the humble teapot, lamenting missed opportunities such as our long-awaited sojourn to Thailand. Juan proposes a pragmatic solution—mastering the art of swimming, thereby enabling us to seize future opportunities for aquatic adventures. With Juan serving as our instructor, we diligently hone our swimming skills, edging closer to our dream of frolicking in the waters of Phuket. Within a month, we achieve proficiency in swimming.

To celebrate our newfound skill, Juan orchestrates a grand finale—an excursion to a suburban oasis nestled within an artificial lake scenic area. Enveloped by lush foliage and a babbling brook, the idyllic setting surpasses our wildest expectations. Initially a playground for the children, the allure of the water beckons to all, transcending age and inclination. Amidst laughter and camaraderie, Meizi, confronted by her daughter’s playful water gun, jests, “Behold, I am but a humble mother.” Ignoring familial ties, her daughter unleashes a torrent of water, prompting laughter and mirth amongst us all.

Indeed, such moments of unbridled joy rival even the allure of the Andaman beach. Here, within arm’s reach, lies a realm of endless possibilities—a testament to the adage that attainable goals hold within them boundless joy and fulfillment.

As the weekend unfolds, we seize the opportunity to refresh our abode, replacing the cumbersome curtains of yore with a lighter, more ethereal alternative. Purchased in the halcyon days of wedding preparations, these erstwhile adornments now evoke a sense of claustrophobia, shrouding our living space in darkness. Recalling a vision of cotton and linen curtains, I am filled with longing for their soft, billowing embrace. Realizing that the pursuit of happiness need not entail drastic change, I embark on a quest to transform our humble abode, infusing it with newfound vitality.

In this manner, we live amidst our dreams—cherishing grand ambitions while reveling in the simple joys of attainable goals.

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