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Wednesday, September 6

Taking Time In A New And Improved Way

We have now been in Japan for 46 days. It seems like so much longer.

Since we arrived, there were many occasions where Kimono Hubby and I would discuss our decision to move here. And by discussion, it was something like…

“Why did we do this again?” I would ask.

“For the experience,” he would respond.

“Yes, I remember discussing moving for an experience but I somehow remember that we were thinking about Italy or Greece or Europe in general during those discussions. Did I really say Japan sounded like a good idea?”

“Come to think of it, you never did say anything about Japan. But I took that as consent.”

And here we are. In 46 days, we have started work, started classes, started volunteering, got our Japanese licenses, bought and registered two cars, rented a house, moved in, put everything away, taken small excursions and generally started to find our place in this vastly different world. Most of these things, we even managed to do in the first thirty days.

I realize how aggressive I am when it comes to taking care of business. I hate procrastination. Why put off until tomorrow what you can do this very instant, no matter how tired or confused or overwhelmed you are? I have no patience for people that can’t keep up and zero tolerance for laziness. We all know what to call it… but let’s be nice and not say the slightly mean, albeit honest, word for it.

So we did all of these things… and if we were back home… I would desperately be trying to figure out what comes next. But here… I’m just... well, not.

This past weekend was Labor Day and even though the Japanese do not celebrate it, the base does and so KH was off. Back home, many of you were on fabulous weekend trips… to Newport, RI and San Antonio, TX… but I was completely content for the first time that I can remember to just sit. And be. In the simplicity of my own home. I don’t know what has caused this change in me. I haven’t had enough time or even experience with just ‘being’ to think that it is some sort of zen that I have found. Perhaps it is just knowing that I am in a land where time to one’s self for simple reflection is encouraged. Or perhaps it is just knowing that my husband is giving me the time to do the things I have longed to do for so very long without pressuring me to add something more substantial to the household. He is completely satisfied with simple clean sheets and a meal on the table at night. What an amazing gift he has given me – IS giving me every day.

Where I would have once fought this existence to the core of my being, I am now feeling completely liberated by it. Liberated in that it is a wonderful thing to pursue your daily activities strictly for your heart’s desire. I am not missing the liberation that we have as women who get to go to work and help pay those household bills. I do miss my previous job, but not for the work anymore, like when I first arrived here. I miss the people, the friends.

Even though it hasn’t been that very long, I can’t see going back right now to that kind of life. Not for awhile. I even looked into jobs the minute I got here. I have applications ready to send! How strangely now, I just don’t think it is the time. I joked just this morning that I was loving lazy unemployment. It isn’t about being lazy at all, though. It is just giving myself time. Time to learn what I want to learn (inset: today's latest Ikebana design), read what I want to read, see what I want to see, and experience whatever the day may bring me. I never knew I could feel this completely satisfied without doing anything important or contributory. I have always measured my success on how much I had done and how fast I did it. And I started all over again when I got here. But the minute it was done… this time… something changed. Something improbable happened. I discovered I don’t need another concrete step forward. I don’t need another project to conquer. I just need to live and to breathe in each new day here. To open my senses to whatever comes my way.

Here I am having a glass of my favorite red wine and writing just for the sake of writing. There are dishes to be done… but they will be there when I am ready. There are registration forms to fill out… but they aren’t due for months. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night when things like this were left undone before. I would have made lists and lists and more lists and scratched the tasks off so hard that I would rip the paper. A big “HA! I conquered you!”

There are still lists, or ‘A’ list. But I have all the time in the world to do the things written on it. Instead, I think that I could just go take a cat nap for now. What a difference a few short months have made. It was just a short time ago that I was completely freaking out that things weren’t happening as I thought they should be. I only hope I didn’t drive my friends too crazy in my self-induced insanity.

To think this lovely new way overwhelms me to tears of happiness. I just cannot believe my luck at being handed this time for myself. Who do I thank for helping me to finally figure out that I don’t have to know how to spend each and every moment of my day? I think the thanks should go to all of you, my friends. My family. My husband.

You have all made me the happiest person on earth. I am so blessed. I thank God for all that I have been given. But I thank you so very, very much for helping me find my way there.

1 comment:

JoLynn said...

What a powerful entry! I am so very happy that you have time to yourself and to discover what makes you happy. Enjoy!