Christmas Day? No way

It seems that today has been Christmas Day. It felt very much like an average Thursday for the books, and my mother agrees.

Turns out that it has actually been a Friday, and it didn’t even feel like that. Suffice it to say that this has been probably my oddest Christmas ever. And I lived in Japan for a while, where KFC and drinking parties where most people wear (slutty?) Santa costumes are the norm for Christmas Day night.

We saw road signs from Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) yesterday and today, and they were kind of hilarious. They read, “He sees you when you’re speeding. He knows when you drive baked.”* One of the best holiday lights setups I’ve seen this year, for sure!

Well, it’s 7:30pm, and I’m exhausted, so I’m going to do my stretches and reading now, and get to sleep. Merry Christmas, folks!

*If you do not get the reference here, it is a play with the words from “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, the song.

Post-a-day 2020

Merry Christmas, Folks!

How many cultures can one casually include in a single holiday greeting? I just sent the message, “Und Happy Christmas to y’all, too!!”

Looks like I got four there: German/Austrian, British, US American, and Texan. And I wasn’t even trying to do that – it just came out that way. 😂

Hashtag FeelingBlessed!! 💗🤗🙏🐪

Post-a-day 2020

Advent

Today marked the beginning of my Advent and Advent calendar for this year, complete with presents and my mom falling face forward up the stairs to my room. Trust me, despite the fright in the moment of that final piece happening, it was all extremely delightful and quite festively fun (even the fall, while my mom was lying there, laughing on top of the pile of presents she had been carrying).

You see, firstly, I didn’t know my mom was coming over, and my phone signal was still off. So, when I heard a knock behind me, I genuinely thought it was a raccoon or possum doing some construction work in the attic (or the likes). But then, my bedroom door was opening – by the way, the door to my room is down a flight of halfback stairs, because my room is a converted attic – and I started to freak. out…..

“Hello?” I asked in both annoyance and trepidation. It was my mom. And yes, I had locked the door, as I always do – my fear was that I hadn’t locked it, and I was now about to be attacked. I heard her voice, relaxed, reminded her that I was tutoring, and I went back up the stairs. Just as I was finishing telling the student to log off and back on again to see about resetting her computer’s connection and sound, I looked back down the stairs to see my mother falling forward as she turned the corner to head up the second half of the stairs. She has similar stairs in her house, but there is no step on the turn at the midpoint. Hers are just half and half. Mine are four, then one on the half turn, then another ten in the last part. The light in my stairwell is minimal in the first place, and the baskets of presents she was carrying certainly didn’t give her much help in seeing that single turn step. But they did help her land more safely, fortunately. I rushed down carefully and, basically, lifted her up off the ground on my own, as she had almost no leverage to get herself back up, her arms still wrapped around the presents now beneath her chest.

Even as I lifted her up, we were both laughing. She had determined already that all was well and whole within her body still, and so we could not hold back. It was ridiculous and hilarious to the both of us.

Anyway, the whole unexpected arrival of my mother was due to a request I made of her weeks ago. Would she print out my Advent calendar for me to use this year? I had made one for my cousin years ago, and loved it. I wanted to use it again this year, but I didn’t want to risk seeing the days ahead of time by printing it all out for myself. I had wanted them to be a surprise as much as possible, but I wanted to be able to write down my responses, instead of just look at it on my phone, as I did last year. (Each day has a question/prompt of sorts to which I am requested to respond, you see.) So, here we are on the first day of December, which lines up with how I had created the calendar initially, as a 25-day Advent calendar. My mom has gone above and beyond, as is regularly her style when it comes to fun, creativity-related things – the exact reason I had asked her to do this for me in the first place – and come up with presents for each day, wrapped in Charlie Brown Christmas wrapping paper – the Advent calendar I made is based on A Charlie Brown Christmas – to go with each day’s paper prompt.

Today, I got a box of tea, from which I can have a cup every morning when I open the day’s card and present – again, the original calendars we made are referenced, as they were tea Advent calendars, with a different tea for each day – as well as a Christmas lights necklace and green and red jingle bell bracelets to give me extra festivity this month. Then, my mom proceeded to open up the box of tea and make us each some tea. She actually hung out with me in my room while we snuggled up to our cups in the cold morning air, and just hung out together. Oddly enough, those were two of the things on my list for the first day’s prompt, checked off unexpectedly just about as quickly as I had gotten them written down.

Then she went off to work, and I snuggled in my bed another few hours before going to work myself.

All-in-all, it was a beautiful start to my Advent and my Advent calendar for this year. I am extremely grateful, and feel a strong sense of love and care for me today (for which I also feel extremely grateful). Yesterday was an odd sort of reminder for Advent’s ideas for me, just perfectly timed. And I have a feeling that there is much value to be found for me in and through Advent this year. I look forward to it all with cautious and grateful optimism.

Grazie, World and God. Here we are. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Money, money

$500 later, I expect next week will feel like childhood Christmas for me – lots of things ordered online last night and today, and all of them with a expectation of intense delight. I do not regret any of my purchases – not in the least. It is certainly more money than I typically spend… on anything. But I see great value in having all the items I purchased, they all bring me joy, and they handle my need to keep checking for things all the time (either online or in a store) anymore – I have them and it is all handled. I am both delighted at their future arrival, and relieved at having them all ordered and on the way. I am quite practical when it comes to things I buy and do not buy, so it is nice to be able to be so practical with all of this and have it handled already.

One odd part is that, likely due to the fact that they are all doing from different places, they are each being sent separately… so, not great in terms of packaging, but great in terms of t feeling even more like childhood Christmas! I won’t know what is in what. I have to wait almost a week for it all to arrive at my mom’s house, then go over there and have a present party. And I get to play with my new toys right when I open them, and forever afterward! Super excited. Happy Early Celebration to me. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Online shopping and Christmas Trees

It is absurdly late – 3:20 AM – and I am exhausted, but I have been online shopping discounts after having discovered my sizes in the store today. The discounts are amazing and so worth it. And that’s exactly why I wanted to do them tonight, instead of waiting until tomorrow, at which time they genuinely might be sold out of stock. It was also exciting to get myself some fun “presents”. But the pricing was amazing. Just amazing. I am extremely grateful.

Now, I shall rush to sleep for the brief period of time that remains to me before my alarms will sound in the morning (slash later this morning).

Super fun fact, though: I set up my “Christmas Tree” tonight!

Shown here:

I always have the white lights up, as they are like my lamps for my room. But I’m thinking of moving the white entirely, so it doesn’t clash with the tree. I wove it in a bit, instead of just having it cut straight through the tree, like it did in its original “lamp” position, but I’m thinking that isn’t enough.

I’ll contemplate it tonight and tomorrow, and see how I feel tomorrow night.

At that, I bid you a lovely and restful night! 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Too early to rise

It’s 8:22pm, I feel like throwing up, I’m 3000+ steps short on my daily requirement, I haven’t finished my bedtime activities, I am utterly exhausted, and we have to be at the pick-up, ready to go at 3:15am.

And there is live music going on outside, various Christmas songs blasting across the property of this resort – my first resort, and probably one of the worst versions of resorts for me in particular (I don’t like dirty or muggy indoors) – like everyone is in a party mood.

Supposedly, Christmas is an all-over party mood for the islands here…, but it seems weird to have such a celebration happening at a resort that is filled mostly with Japanese people…

Anyway… 3:15am is too close for comfort right now, especially without our car/pickup booking details…

Ouch.

Goodnight, I hope.

Post-a-day 2019

Tick-Tock

Well, the omiyage are almost all gathered – just missing two magazines (and maybe another box of graham crackers… I need to count those) – and the rough list of packing and pre-departure to-do’s is made.

Accountability partner for tomorrow has been obtained.

Now, just to get to sleep, so I can get up early tomorrow and get to bosse-ing*!

I am beginning to grow nervous, and not exactly from excitement.

I think I am at that point of ‘when the pressure is on you, start, and the pressure will be off,’… so it is just pressure of being unprepared so late in the game for something so big.

So, I suspect I will feel much better by tomorrow noontime, when I have handled already a good hunk of the tasks on my list.

To be fair, I had a whole lot more packing and organizing that needed to happen the last time I was preparing for a trip to Japan, so it is only normal that this feels like Way too late to be only just packing clothes tomorrow.

Also, if all the organizing and cleaning up I want to do before I leave doesn’t happen, everything still will be okay… it just would be great to get it all done, and to come home to a lovely, organized, and clean home in just over a month from now…, so I want to make it all happen. 🙂

Fingers crossed!

*From the French word bosser, meaning “to work”.

Post-a-day 2019

Nerves

I am leaving for Japan in only a matter of weeks… and I am slightly terrified.

I trust that it will be a perfect trip, however, that doesn’t mean that everything is automatically sorted for me for the trip.

I still am figuring out where to stay and when.

My Japanese needs a serious boost in preparation.

I need to figure out price options for when my brother is there with me, and then find and book that place, whatever it will be.

I need to reach out to everyone else I want to be sure to see.

I need to figure out if I can manage dance shoes in my packing.

I need to figure out what to bring.

I need to pack.

I need to relax just a bit, and still get my stuff handled.

Today, I started a bit of Japanese review, by watching the next episode of this silly Japanese Netflix Original I used to watch when I lived in Japan, “Good Morning Call”.

And it felt good.

It actually excited me about my upcoming voyage, as opposed to leaving me stressed about it all.

I looked up this week Airbnb options, and now have a bit of an idea as to what I might end up doing for all three parts of my Japan time.

I have reached out in the past week and a half to all but one of my super important visit people (the one had already agreed about my visiting a month or two ago).

My knees are continuing to heal, and I am gaining confidence that they will be okay by the time I am in Japan.

Hopefully, they will be healed and at full, comfortable function well before then.

Also, I am exhausted…. and my teeth hurt… my lower teeth, especially…

I had to change my aligners today, so my teeth are all sore and in pain… however, this is the first day of my final month with these aligners all the time(!!!).

Yay!!

Anyway, gotta sleep… 4-ish start in the morning… :/

Love the World.

Peace

Hannah

Post-a-day 2019

Christmas presents

I kind of gave up on Christmas presents over the past handful or so of years.

You see, Christmas is about the story of Jesus the Christ, not about giving a present to everyone we’re ‘supposed’ to like and be related to… and I feel wrong pulling a holiday so far away from its foundation.

Plus, this whole consumerism thing has really gone a bit out of whack in recent years, and it might just make me sick, if I were to think about how much waste is caused, first) in terms of physical items, and then, second) in terms of mental effort.

We work so hard to give gifts to people, and we usually fail at bringing them the joy we were hoping to share with them – we want them to feel our love, but why must our love be so shallow and know them so poorly that we gift them ‘crap’ they never really liked and now feel obligated to use?

So, my goal has been to find ways to share my love with the world instead… I’m not so sure I’ve done a great job of achieving that goal, but I’ve been working on it.

Plus, for gift-giving, I do that normally in life – when there is a gift I want to give to someone, I do my best to make that happen, whenever it arises… I don’t wait ten more months for the excuse of Christmas.

Someone once told me that I must be an awesome friend, because I gave him a book and out of nowhere, shortly after we’d really met – just because our conversation had led me to believe he would really love reading the book.

I kind of shrugged it off at the time, I think, but I’ve come to see how valuable that is nowadays, where people do often give because they feel obligated to give, and not because there is something they truly want to share with the individual.

Anyway, the whole reason I brought all of this up, is because I was given a check this evening, as a Christmas present.

I had already said that I didn’t need it – separately to both parties involved – and that I didn’t expect anything to be given to me – and I’ve said the latter for years, more or less – … and yet the check was given me in double the amount from years past.

It made me want to cry with frustration as I examined the check (and I did actually tear up from that a bit)… I didn’t know what to do about it.

After a quick but genuine text chat with my brother, I mentally accepted the money, finally able to see that this was their way of showing that they cared about me.

Plus, it gives me an opportunity to do something great with the money that they likely never would have done with it – it doesn’t have to become just plain groceries for me alone… it is, instead, an opportunity for good.

I was hesitant to reject the money, because I didn’t want to leave them feeling rejected by me, nor did it make any sense whatsoever to pass up money being given rather freely to me at the present point in my life (remember the grad school and total uncertainty situation).

And yet, I felt utterly pathetic for having been given money in the first place – like sad charity, is how it felt for me.

But it worked out, thanks to my brother’s wonderful alternative approach:

Hannah, you should accept the gifts people give you. They want you to have them

Be grateful you have people in your life that have those resources

Use the money for something good, be empowered by it. Don’t pity yourself, instead, make its value exponential

Also, consider how much more good you can do with that money vs what they’d do with it. A transfer of wealth is much more than a gift

And I can see that now the way he saw it.

The funny part about it is that I had said that I felt similarly about a gift he, my brother, had just given me, too.

I had known that my view was not so good nor healthy, and I was glad to have a new way to see it all, as well as something beautiful to go do with these gifts given to me.

Post-a-day 2018

Fashionably late

Tonight, after all of our own family activities and general gay atmosphere hanging out, my mom and I headed to my high school boyfriend’s family’s Christmas dessert gathering/social.

I sent him a message when we actually were getting close to leaving, but received to reply, and so I called him when we actually were leaving my brothers’ dad’s house.

The party was slowing down, but we could for sure come hang with him, if everyone else was gone, he said… and so I had him verify with his mom that it was still okay for us to come over (because we live over half an hour away), and she said to come on!

And so we went… and his dad’s dad was practically walking out the door as we arrived, the final guest at the gathering.

And yet, the whole family was there to greet us happily with hugs and cheer, and then hung out with us for what turned out to be about two and a half hours of good and real chat time.

We finally walked out the door, and we were shocked to find it was just shy of one in the morning(!).

But it had truly felt like we’d received a sort of VIP treatment for the party – when other guests are present, conversations are cut short/off regularly, and often only last a minute or three at most, and often less time with the host of a party… and yet we spent two and a half hours with direct conversation with the hosts of the party.

How often does that happen during a party?

Quite rarely for me, really… it’s always only if I arrive really early or stay to the end that I get the one-on-one time with the party host.

And yet we had full attention the entire time we were there – it was certainly like special treatment for this party!

I definitely feel like this puts a whole new level/dimension to being “fashionably late” to events. 😛

Post-a-day 2018