Living in the now?

People keep asking me how my trip was… and I keep having to pause to think about it, realizing that I’m not sure what to say, and then I end up just kind of shrugging saying generally that it was good… and not entirely convincingly.

Thinking about it now, I find it to be a lot like Mondays.

People ask me how my weekend was, and I have no idea… That was last week… I’ve already reset for the new week, and last week is all the way I’m the past now.

Being back in Houston again, living in my own house again…, I can help but feel I am right back to where I left off from here.

Second week of December, Christmas is coming, then New Year’s… more cold weather for a while…

Not the third week of January, Christmas over and Nee Year’s over and the weather likely to be ok the warmer side more and more already…

I felt the cool air this evening – love 20s and low 70s – blowing a perfect temperature over my leather jacket while riding, and I realized I expected it to grow colder over the next several days…, and also that it would do no such thing.

This is Houston – it gets warmer from here.

And so, as I look back on my past month, I feel almost that it never happened… not recently, anyway.

It feels miles away (which it actually is) and so long ago…

Just like my weekends feel on Monday mornings.

Looking at photos and telling my cousin this afternoon about part of our trip, I know that t was an absolutely spectacular trip.

But it just doesn’t feel so much like it, and I think that is mostly due to the fact that I have moved onward and am focused on what I have to do here and now, not on what happened last week or the two weeks before that, or even further back than that…

Yeah…

P.S. I keep writing 2019, though…, so maybe I’m not too much in the now, but in a fairyland dreamscape instead… haha πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2020

Maybe it’s just for me

I don’t know what it is, but there is something about riding my bike on the highway through the cold, winter evening weather that makes me want to arrive home to my husband, have a little romp fest with him, and then snuggle up to a movie and hot cocoa by the fire together.

And, I mean, it isn’t exactly a sexual thing – riding my bike through the cold isn’t an erotic experience or anything.

It is kind of like how a cold winter day just kind of makes you want to snuggle close to a warm mug of hot chocolate or apple cider… only, when riding my bike on these days, I just want to have the little romp fest first, and then snuggle up under blankets with the warm mug.

Just as the hot chocolate just sounds like the perfect next step to the day, so does this little grouping of events sound for me.

Granted, this is Houston, Texas, so we won’t often have fires going anyway, and, besides that, I don’t exactly have a husband at the moment (or anything like one), so my scenario isn’t exactly plausible…, however, the cold weather and wind just somehow make it seem like the perfect way to continue on in the day.

Perhaps, somewhere down the road, that will be the way I end each chilly day of winter.

For now, though, I just smile at the slight irony of the situation and utter oddness about its existence in the first place, and then I feel the chill start to sink into my skin under my ski suit, and suddenly feel slightly sick, my stomach ebbing toward forcing out whatever might be at that moment within its uncomfortable, tightening confines…

Anyway, so that was my afternoon, eh?

How was yours? πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2020

Jet-setting oven

Well, here we go…

It has been an interesting day so far, and continues to be so now…

I currently am very annoyed with Air Canada, but I am hoping that they will remedy the nasty problem when they open the counter (as soon as this ANA flight finishes at the same gate, and someone shows up for my flight).

Also, what to do?

Buy the filthy expensive whisky for my dad, a whisky that you kind of can’t get anywhere else anyway?

I think so.

But I have to wait for them to open the counter to remedy the situation with my flight first…, then walk all the way back to the duty free place that had it (because the one here doesn’t have it).

Huff……

God, help me heal through this next bit of traveling (because I also happen to have a fever right now, naturally).

πŸ˜›

P.S. They did not remedy the situation, and it was not a very comfortable flight arrangement… however, my seat companion and I commiserated and laughed about it a bit, and had some great conversation besides, so it ended up being tolerable (fortunately!).

Post-a-day 2020

Worlds apart

It really is a different world here, in Japan.

I already knew vaguely about bathing in the home, and I had experienced the onsen system of public bathing, but I had never been in someone’s home for it all.

This week, I had one friend talk me through how to shower (per my request) when I stayed with her at her apartment, I had an old coworker explain to me how bathing worked (also per my request) when I was staying at her house with her and her two girls, and then I again had an opportunity to bathe at the house of my old host family.

(Yes, “host family” suggests that I lived with them, but it was just a one-weekend homestay, and they took me to an onsen, so I never used their bathroom.)

I now know how it all works, however, I wasn’t too interested in the bath part, for various reasons, and so I simply did the showering portion of the bathing, and continued on my way to bed.

And, what’s cool to me about that is how I went ahead and told my host family that I usually just shower.

They were shocked, because, well, it’s winter and is therefore cold here.

However, I explained that it is quick, and I prefer showering, and they were okay with it.

My friend who had explained the showering to me the other day actually has a feature in her bathroom that blows warm air when you turn it on, so you can shower and not get cold (because you really don’t leave the water running for showers*, so it can get really cold soaping up after the hot water isn’t pouring all over your body anymore), which I found to be really cool, but simultaneously really silly.

So Japanese, really.

Also, I have noticed that everyone leaves food out, during the day or overnight…

My guess is that it is because it is wintertime, and so, here anyway, it is very dry and there aren’t really any bugs at all.

I think they would be surprised with Houston’s winters… and possibly would wonder when winter was going to start, and wonder what happened to the winter months when it is suddenly February and the weather still feels like early October… πŸ˜›

… anyway…

My old coworker said to me that she can tell I am very ε…ƒζ°— genki (healthy and well and filled with energy) now, and that she is glad for it, that it makes her very happy.

I told her that I believe Texas (Houston) agrees with me very well… thus my being very well.

And it is true: living in Houston agrees with me.

Living in Japan did not.

It broke me down.

Fortunately, I have distinction enough to acknowledge when there is breakdown on my life, and so worked through the total breakdown of myself and my life, resulting in the greatest breakthrough of my life… something for which I likely will be ever grateful.

I am who I am today in huge part due to my time – my horrible, miserable, pain-filled and stress-filled time – in Japan.

And who I am today is someone I love being.

Frankly, she is amazing.

For one thing, everyone lives touching her muscles. ;P

For another, she emits genkiness, the spirit of life, delight at being alive.

And those are both ways I have wanted to be for many, many years…

She is also grateful and graceful.

Double plus there.

I am proud to be the excited, learning being that I am today, and I am grateful for the opportunity to live this life, as well as the opportunity to become the ever-better version of myself that each moment of the future holds for me.

I am here to share my gifts with the world, those gifts that God has given me, and I am finally taking care of myself so that I can do that truly, wholly, and not just in part.

No, I am not sharing them perfectly every moment of every day and night – I don’t believe that I ever will do that.

However, I am sharing them perfectly for who I am and where I am right now, and that, in and of itself, is perfect.

So, tangent coming to a close, thank you, Japan, for being this absurdly different world that only agrees with me on short-term visits, and that pushes almost all my buttons… like every day. πŸ˜‰

I am grateful for all that you have so far shared with me, and I look forward to our future interactions and exchanges together.

I hope I have offered and will offer in kind. πŸ™‚

For now, Oyasumi, goodnight.

*Oftentimes, at onsen, I have seen (and therefore now do myself sometimes) women sitting on the shower stools, using one foot to keep the water button pushed in while washing, so the water stays on for more than ten seconds at a time – so it runs continuously – and they don’t ever have to feel cold while sitting there, showering.

P.S. I only just realized that I need to be putting 2020 on here now… oops…

Post-a-day 2020

When you understand but don’t (but do)

Mother hands her a piece of food, placing it in her outstretched, flat hand.

Food piece promptly rolls off her flat hand, the moment she moves the hand, and plummets to the floor, under the table.

γ‚οΌγ€‚γ€‚γ€‚ε€§δΈˆε€«γ€‚πŸ™†β€β™€οΈ ι£ŸγΉγ‚‹γ‚ˆγ€‚γΎγ»γ γ‹γ‚‰γ€‚

Ah!… daijoubu.. taberuYo.. Maho dakara.

Oh, no!… It’s okay.. I will Eat it. Because I am Maho.

Maho is her name.

Discussing herself in the third person – like almost always – is her game.

Probably around half the time (40%-ish), I don’t really understand what she is saying.

About 98% of the time, however, I get the gist enough to understand the general picture and, quite clearly, her sentiments regarding the situation.

I found it hilarious that this particular situation was one where I understood every word.

And it had me wonder what on Earth was up with her, eating food confidently off the ground, referring to herself in the third person yet again, and confidently declaring her action as odd but normal due to the fact that she is who she is.

Yet, before I really could even finish the thought, I realized that I actually do get it… I’m really the same way in a lot of situations, so I totally get it.

And so, in this odd situation, I understood even more than just the 100% of words used – I understood all of it.

And that was silly, but totally cool.

Much like all of today and last night, spent hanging out with an old coworker and her two girls…. silly, but totally wonderful.

Post-a-day 2019

Family time

(Okay, so it isn’t my family, but they are somebody’s family, and we all spent time together tonight.)

We started with kakizome, as is standard winter break homework for students,…

..and ended with whatever this all was.

I dare say, it was one of the most delightful nights I’ve had in quite some time, and we weren’t even doing anything all too special.

I think it was so great, because we were all just being ourselves, and freely so, and also being comfortably the night owls that we all seem to be (this all started after dinner, and didn’t end until after midnight [at which point we merely went upstairs and did other messings around until close to one]).

And it was made even better by the fact that it was a night spent at home, and then even more so better because we didn’t use television in any way – we interacted with one another.

Also, I really do love kids… I just kind of hate annoying kids (which, as I’ve said before, usually means I dislike the parents, too, since there is typically a huge amount of overlap between the parents’ personalities and ways and those of the kids).

There was even a crying fit that happened tonight, and, due to awesome parenting and sisterly love, it wasn’t really any big deal, and was only any deal for a mere few minutes, if even that.

It was great.

And now I have a real version for my kakizome for this year, instead of the calligraphy marker I had to use the other night.

Yeah…, this has been a great night.

Thank you.

P.S. I got to se Fuji-San from rather close today(!!!), so yay!

Post-a-day 2019

Yesss…

I have started something.

I told my brother about how I create my own translations of Japanese signs that have odd photos.

For example:

After sharing such an idea with my brother, I thought his interest in it would be at an end within minutes.

This afternoon, however, as he sat at the airport, waiting to go home, I received a group message from him with the following:

Apparently, my delightful pastime was not lost on him.

πŸ˜€

I actually was brimming tears as I laughed at this very unexpected set of messages earlier.

Whew!

Post-a-day 2019