Alas

It seems my brother has finally made the official move back to the USA. I picked him up at the airport tonight, and dropped him off at his dad’s house (after a stop at Whataburger, that is), before heading back home myself. It was a lot of driving, to be sure, but who else would do it in the middle of the night (quite literally: midnight 03 was the scheduled flight arrival time)?

In a way, his expat days are over, yet, have re-begun.

I wonder how hard it will be for him. I spent a year in Japan, after having lived in various European countries for various amounts of time (though each less than my time in Japan), and it was tough for quite a while for me at first. He’s never lived in another country and come back home before this, and he was gone for eight years, almost exactly. (August would have been eight years precisely.)

Fingers crossed!

And I’m here for him.

Hopefully my sister-in-law will take advantage of my being here once she arrives. She has a whole ‘nother world coming to her, for sure.

Post-a-day 2021

Childhood parent

Today, I got to hear a recording of my mom when she was 15, turning 16. It was a tape recording of a phone call for fathers’ day, and her birthday was going to be the following day. The recording started with my Opa, her father, talking to his father. He then handed the phone off to my grandma, who sounded a lot like my mom sounds. Then my two uncles went on, in age order, and then my mom. I cried, and so did my mom, when she started speaking. I somehow felt myself wanting to give that little girl a hug…

I had never heard her voice other than how it had sounded in my lifetime. I had heard people mention that she had gone off to college (at Rice), and had come home sounding all snooty (versus the strong southeast Texas accent of where she’d grown up and where my grandparents remained, even after their children had grown up and moved out). To me, my mom has always sounded like the regular Houston accent. Whenever she is with her family, she always ends up talking just like they do. However, she otherwise speaks with the extremely neutral Houston accent. (Truly, even US Americans find it hard to believe that Houstonians are from the South, because we really just don’t sound like it. Only our use of “y’all” makes it clear that we are southern.)

However, on the recording today, I heard a bright-eyed, teenage, southeast Texas girl speak with delight. I almost couldn’t hear my mom in her at all. She most certainly was southern and from southeast Texas, but I was shocked at how little she sounded like my mom.

On the second listen, though – it was only a minute or so that she was on the call – I began to find her in the girl. The way she spoke, and the intonations, the cadence and emotion – those were all clearly my mom. But that accent and voice… I could tell she was a lifetime away, unaware of what life would bring her beyond age 16 and a driver license after her drive training over the next couple weeks…

It was bizarre, but I would love to hear more from her. The tape had a whole section of her and my aunt, who is younger, singing the songs from Godspell (my uncle was in the musical back then), and I really heard my mom there, in the singing. That was super cute.

Anyway, I am wiped, and on multiple levels, so I’ll go attempt sleep, now. (It’s set to 79° in here, because my grandma doesn’t have the body structure and function to keep the body heated anymore. Apparently, she even uses a heated blanket to keep warm enough overnight… with the 79° air…) We’ll see what happens…

Post-a-day 2021

Volun-cheering

Today was awesome, yet stressful, but both in very good ways.

First, I had an awesome time volunteering with my gym at sunrise for the Bayou City Tri Series 2021 Sylvan Beach Paralympic Triathlon. We had the honor of physically and verbally assisting paratriathletes in their transitions, as they worked toward earning points to be part of Team USA. I think we all look forward to the next such opportunity – it was a blessing and a blast for us all. ❤🤗🙏 💪👊🏻

And it brought me to tears multiple times, it was such an honor to be a part of it all.

It also brought back memories of my many sports volunteering days, and had me wondering yet again if I don’t want to find actual work in that world, somehow… There was a lot that, unfortunately, had not been sorted out properly for the event as a whole – there were other races happening this morning, too. Our little crew took it upon ourselves just to go ahead and handle many of those things, making a tremendous difference for all athletes that were out there racing today. And I enjoyed doing even that stuff.

From there, after the sun was well over the horizon but not all that far up, I headed to a karate tournament that was nearby. It was my first one in roughly 18 years, and my first one ever in the adult division. I was absolutely nervous, but I had all day to get even more so, since my division wasn’t until mid-afternoon. But I had volunteered to take photos, and so I got to enjoy working with that throughout all the kids’ sparring all morning and midday.

I did take a good couple minutes at one point in a private room with myself to talk and make noise and jump and move, fully on my own. And I did give myself close to a minute to go ahead and experience all the pent-up emotion that had been building all day, just a short while before my category was going to be up. (Aka I cried brief tears of stress and anxiety, and let a lot go with them as they lightly tripped out of my eyes.)

I had someone record my match for me, and he did so well enough. It turns out that I actually did better than I had thought I’d done at the actual time of the match. After watching the matches of the adults at the end, the highest ranked individuals, I have been able to see styles of everyone, and how much comfort makes a difference in a match. When someone is comfortable, he or she almost always does very well. When someone is uncomfortable, he or she usually does not very well. That isn’t to say win versus lose – I mean doing well, sparring well, technique-ing well (both attack and defense). Yes, that usually also results in winning, if those are all done well. But it isn’t about winning to me these days, so much as it is about doing well. Winning when doing well, however, just adds to the fun and joy of it all.

I have some specifics on which I want to work – reacting with a point-earning move to being blocked, practicing different point-earning trio combinations, and backward spinning kicks (one would have created a beautiful point today, but I had neither confidence nor comfort in it, so didn’t even consider it – only the video afterward showed me the opportunity [I’d spun and everything, but didn’t even try to hit her with the foot]). Now, just to find the partner to work with me, and the place to do it.

Oh, and this was one of the very few times that I 1)didn’t lose a match at a tournament, and 2)didn’t cry after the match. Good start in my eyes, even just for those two facts! ;P

So, yeah… today was a really great-for-me day, all of its stresses included.

Post-a-day 2021

Today

Today, I attended two baptisms virtually, one in the UK and one in OK.

They were kind of really cool, yet still quite bizarre in the whole situation of each of them. I am glad, nonetheless, that they each happened and that I attended each.

And that I was invited. 🙂

So, I’m officially a godmother now… doesn’t really feel any different than yesterday felt. Although, I do feel as though I ought to have my financial stability settled, if I am to be in such a supportive role (even though it has almost nothing to do with money). I suppose that it merely due to my expectations that adults have finances sorted out – a viewpoint that I, no doubt, developed in childhood via assumption.

I’m not sure I want to know how many adults don’t have their finances sorted out, especially right now.

:/

On a separate note, I keep thinking about teaching I want to do in prisons… hmm… is that part of what’s next, God and Cosmos??

Help me to see, please, or, at least, to step forward confidently where I am best to go next.

In gratitude, amen

I had an early dinner and a game evening with a new-ish friend – the one from brunch from high school! – and her boyfriend and pets and, just at the start, two others, including a year-and-a-half-old child today, too. And it was awesome. Just where I felt was perfect for me to be. Especially when certain conversation developed with the friend’s boyfriend – These are good people, I found myself feeling and thinking, meaning ‘good people for me to have around and be around’. I had simply reached out yesterday about a potential future plan for something else entirely together, and she invited me for some food today. I almost hadn’t sent that message, for nerves, but it had felt right finally yesterday. So, I sent it, and we ended up with an awesome evening tonight, lives merging ever so much more. I am grateful for it.

Post-a-day 2021

Are the satellites even out there?

Okay. Power just went out at 7:58pm. Not sure what the deal is or for how long the power will be out. I had stopped to play guitar for a bit just now, and was thoroughly enjoying it. The plan was to do at least one more category of tidying – letter-writing materials and tools – if not two – also Japanese art supplies. However, I will do neither tonight. I pulled out the rest of everything (I think, but will do a final check in the morning) for the letter-related stuff just now, after lighting two candles.

I’m hoping the water pressure will return in the very, very near future – I prefer flushing the toilet to pouring water into it. I was contemplating this all earlier, how we are what is call a first-world country. That involves civility, – lacking a lot this year with all the violence and hatred from both ends of the spectrum – electricity, – just over 57% of Houston has no power – and clean drinking water – a huge chunk of Houston has no water at all. So, it seems we have gone this year from a first-world country to …. what? Pathetically incapable of being self-sufficient? Utterly miserable due to our reliance on being a first-world country? Yes, I suppose. Yes, indeed.

Well, the satellites surrounding or planet are still allowing a signal through this phone, so I shall finish this business while that connection still exists.

May we all have calming, healing, empowering, and magic-like nights tonight, that we may awaken rejuvenated and filled with light and love. And dear Lord, please allow us to have that include electricity and running, clean water.

Gratitude. 🙏

Post-a-day 2021

^Easy peasy this time, for some reason 😛

Are the satellites even out there?

Okay. Power just went out at 7:58pm. Not sure what the deal is or for how long the power will be out. I had stopped to play guitar for a bit just now, and was thoroughly enjoying it. The plan was to do at least one more category of tidying – letter-writing materials and tools – if not two – also Japanese art supplies. However, I will do neither tonight. I pulled out the rest of everything (I think, but will do a final check in the morning) for the letter-related stuff just now, after lighting two candles.

I’m hoping the water pressure will return in the very, very near future – I prefer flushing the toilet to pouring water into it. I was contemplating this all earlier, how we are what is call a first-world country. That involves civility, – lacking a lot this year with all the violence and hatred from both ends of the spectrum – electricity, – just over 57% of Houston has no power – and clean drinking water – a huge chunk of Houston has no water at all. So, it seems we have gone this year from a first-world country to …. what? Pathetically incapable of being self-sufficient? Utterly miserable due to our reliance on being a first-world country? Yes, I suppose. Yes, indeed.

Well, the satellites surrounding or planet are still allowing a signal through this phone, so I shall finish this business while that connection still exists.

May we all have calming, healing, empowering, and magic-like nights tonight, that we may awaken rejuvenated and filled with light and love. And dear Lord, please allow us to have that include electricity and running, clean water.

Gratitude. 🙏

Post-a-day 2021

^Easy peasy this time, for some reason 😛

And so, it begins

So, today started it all for real! I did my first day of work on tidying up my physical space life, and thereby my entire life, today. I read the life-changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo a few years ago, and it did me so well, I cannot properly describe it all. However, I did not do her program – the one presented in the book – fully at the time. I was not ready for that. But I was ready to begin working with her method.

I grew up, as my dad mentioned yesterday, in a very different world at home than a tidy and concise and non-excess and non-cluttered home. On both sides of my family, my parents had grown up in a world where one may waste nothing. By default, that turned into the idea that getting rid of something, if it is even able to be repaired and possibly be used again, is wasteful. And so, even when things were no longer being used or of use to us in any way, those things would get stuck somewhere in the sidelines of our homes, taking up space without benefit. We rarely even donated things. I was the youngest girl cousin, so I got all the hand-me-downs from everyone. And, whether I liked them or not, and whether they ever fit me or not, I was them stuck with them. I had no sister or cousin to whom I could hand down anything, so I had to keep everything.

Waste not. Right?

But through reading and working with Marie Kondo’s book, I discovered an entirely new and empowered outlook on items. It aligned beautifully with how I had often felt, especially in recent years, and it expanded even further than I ever had delved or dared to consider. And it gave empirical data on many of those ideas and practices. And so, my life began to alter as I did the work with her book.

But I did not complete the work, and I knew that I was not completing it at the time. And I was okay with that. I just wasn’t ready yet. If you haven’t experienced it yourself, I tell you: there is a lot of emotion and psychological dénouement that happens through following her method. And it is in an amazing and transformational way.

Now, as I have been working so much on my participation in life (mind), as well as my physical presence in life (body) and my self-expression, I realized that it would be not only unfair but untrue of me to leave out my living space from this work. Especially considering my efforts to be somewhere specific with my physical fitness by my birthday this year, it only made sense that I put a completion date on cleaning up fully my living space, such that it, too, will reflect who I truly am and want to be in this life right now.

So, I reached out for an accountability partner. No one replied. I took that as a sign that I was meant to be my own accountability partner. I created a Google Doc that I shared with myself. I have homework each night for the following day’s tasks. I share at the end of each day how it went, what I did and didn’t do, and what my plans and intentions are for the following day. I, as the partner, give feedback and congratulations as I see fit and/or necessary. So far, through all 24 hours of it, it has been awesome. I now have four weeks to go, max.

I am quite excited about tomorrow, and I am still entirely nervous and terrified. 🙂

Post-a-day 2021

^Phew! Almost missed it again…

Happy New Year: A Completion of 2020

I am proud of myself for trusting myself this year. I am proud of myself for keeping true to and using my heart in so much of what I have done, both big and small, and also all in between.

I am grateful that I did both of those this year, and I am especially grateful that, often without my realizing it, they were my kakizome at play in my daily life, slowly transforming me further into an expression of my true self.

Arigatougozaimasu ありがとうごさいます😊

I am a bit nervous regarding what is next, and I think it is because I am reaching a sort of crossroads. Something very true to myself is at a nearby turn, but it is scary to go a new path for me. It is usually thrilling and wonderful and amazing, and I am usually grateful to have done it after the fact, but it is scary nonetheless. So, I am scared. And I am stepping forward nonetheless – terrified and confident, full of self-trust/self-confidence and heart (jishin to kokoro 自信と心 [my kakizome]) – creating what is next for me and my life. 🙂 🙏🐪

I wish you all a happy, lovely, love-filled and love-expressed new year. Akemashite omedetou! 明けましておめでとう!!

Post-a-day 2020

What are you doin’ New Year’s Eve?

First off, I love the little video (from almost ten years ago!) and version of this from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. It is adorable and beautiful, and they are both adorable and beautiful in it. Anyway, to answer the question, I will be staying with my mother in a little beach-front-ish hotel on the main little island about an hour southeast of Houston: Galveston. Many people complain about it being dirty or something of the sort, but it is merely the clay soil we have that makes the water not-clear and brown most of the time. The sand is also brown, but it is much softer than any white sand I have ever crossed. All-in-all, I really like Galveston. It is a wonderful connection to the ocean for us here in Houston, and my mother and I tend to remember it and visit it and appreciate it greatly often. New Year’s Eve will be yet another of those many occasions.

The reason we are going is that 1) I like to watch the first sunrise of the year, as is customary in Japanese culture, and 2) my mom wanted to go do something adventure-y somewhere not-at-home recently, and wasn’t able to go do that. So, I offered for us to combine the two things, and handle both our goals, and together. I booked the hotel room this morning, and I even got a little extra discount, because I had signed up for a rewards program thing back when I lived in Japan, and I was getting a hotel in Korea for the weekend I attended a dance even there. (Fun fact: I had to change the currency from Korean ₩ won to US $ dollars when I logged into it. [Double fun fact: The $ is technically the Mexican peso symbol. The US dollar symbol has two vertical lines through the S.])

So, that’s what I’ll be doing. I also may or may not be going to bed around 8pm… like I am right now… 😛

Post-a-day 2020

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