Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Business Trips and Barbecues and BLTs Galore!

The last two weeks have been pretty busy for me. I've been waiting very impatiently for my new passport with my married name on it to arrive so I can tackle the arduous task of changing over all my documents here in Japan (immigration and visa related documents, my driver's license, my credit card, etc). You wouldn't think that you could be 'busy waiting' but somehow I have been! I have been spending nearly all of my time outside of work trying to keep up with housework, and have been just barely keeping up with all my lessons. I really hate the feeling of not being at least a week ahead in my lesson prep and teaching classes that are half-assed, not well thought out or well prepared for, but lately I find myself planning lessons the night before at least once a week. I wish I had an extra 5 hours or so in the day! 

Kazu was sent on a sudden 1-night-2-day business trip to Okinawa last week with only 1 day prior notice, and he left again just today on another 1-night-2-day business trip to Gunma. I feel really bad for him having to rush around so much; he didn't get home until 1am the night he returned from Okinawa and this morning he had to get up at 5am and catch the train at 6:30 to make it to Gunma for noon. However, I'm secretly happy that I have been able to see him in a suit so much lately; he looks really handsome in a suit, and he normally doesn't wear them to work. 

On the weekends, I'm busy catching up on sleep and keeping my husband happy. He likes to go out on the weekends, even if it's just for a drive or shopping at the mall. He says that it doesn't feel like a relaxing weekend if he spends time at home doing nothing (or worse doing chores) and he feels neglected if I don't spend time with him. Obviously he's not an unreasonable brute (I wouldn't have married him if he was!), so he gives me time to get the main things (dishes, laundry and garbage) done and often helps me with them if he has time, but things like vacuuming, dusting and cleaning the toilet seem to just keep getting regulated to 'later' and not done unless he has overtime work during the week, or has to go to work on a weekend day. 

This weekend, we enjoyed the very summery weather with a whole bunch of our friends by having a huge barbecue. It was a lot of fun. Sometimes all the bad stuff that comes along with being a foreigner in Japan can get really suffocating, and although my husband is the most wonderful and supportive man I've ever met, he doesn't /understand/ how I feel, so it's really great to have my foreign friends to get together with and laugh at the BS we all experience and insulate ourselves in a bubble of familiar, comforting foreign culture for a few hours. The fact that many of these friends have been here much, much longer than I have is reassuring, and I feel like I need to build closer relationships with these 'old-timers.' My closest foreign friends here in Japan have either already left Japan, or will most likely leave at some point in the not-so-distant future. I will most likely be here forever, and it's really rough losing my best friends one after another, and knowing that whoever becomes my next 'best friend' (by which I just mean the person I hang out with and rely on the most, I don't really consider any of my friends 'better' than any other) is probably going to find their future elsewhere sooner or later.

Anyways, I apologize for the overall kind of gloomy air of this post. I think I'm just tired (physically) which lowers my tolerance for everything else. In reality, despite being busy and tired, I'm happier than I've ever been before. My relationship with my now-husband has been giving me a deep-seated peace and contentment that I've never had before.

Finally, to lighten the mood of this post, please allow me to share this picture of a BLT on an onion bagel that Kazu and I made for dinner last night. I've gotten him addicted to bagels and bacon (two things that virtually don't exist in Japan, and that you can pretty much ONLY get at Costco or very expensive online), and during his business trip last week Kazu saw a restaurant in the airport selling these, so he suggested we try making them when he got home. I've never eaten a BLT on anything other than bread, but it was delicious! 


  1. Hey there!
    I've been following you for some years now (Am I the only one who thinks this sounds kind of creepy?) & thought this might be my chance to make your day a tiny bit better just like you did mine often.
    I think you should lean back and relax and be proud of what you've achieved so far. In my opinion you've done great & I'm glad how you found someone to share your life with.
    While it might sound vague & maybe even half-hearted - you shouldn't feel too sad about people leaving your physical vicinity.Over time I've come to realize that while, yes, it is nice to have the people you love close by, it is not necessary to keep them there to have them in your life. Real friendship (or even love for that matter) overcomes any distance. Heck,I feel closer to people I've never met physically or only a few times than most others near me. But then I'm one of those "quality over quantity" types and could uphold a long-distance relationship for years. If you feel sad or miss the people who've recently moved away or are about to -why don't you do something fun about it instead of dwelling on the feelings of loneliness? You could do something like a scrapbook with photos and/or write down some awesome memories you've created with those friends & send it to them. While it can be sort of bittersweet, I think the warmth in your heart will outweigh the sad part about not having them close right now.
    A few years back when I was at an all-time low after my boyfriend at that time broke it off & with that basically also took away my friends (it's a b*tch when your friends were his friends first and your friends have to chose sides or be constantly in between chairs) I was totally emo for a while there & probably could have written some world-class soul songs...But one day I told myself that I wanted to be happy & that while things were bad, there's no use crying over spilled milk.In my attempt to distract myself I tried all sorts of handicrafts (and realized once again that I am just not made for anything involving a thread & a needle).One day I sat there & was sulking about my life again & while I was mulling to myself how crappy life was,I drew a sulking pink elephant.I don't really know why an elephant but somehow when I was done I had to laugh at the stupid elephant and at myself.Somehow it enabled me to take a step back and look onto my situation from the outside in & made me come to terms with it.It'd be easy to get sad,bitter or angry -it probably would even be acceptable given the situation- but that just weighs you down.Let go of all the things that make you miserable & think about what good stuff happened to you.Laugh at yourself and the memories & dwell on what good has come out of it.It might be hard to see anything positive at all on some occasions but there always is.

  2. It might sound haughty now but I don't mean it to be. I've just had a looong history of gloominess in my life and got so depressed I hated the entire world.But I've got over it.I might not be a happy-go-lucky person by anyone's standards even now but I guess I've come to understand how to stop going in circles & dwelling on things you cannot change.I also tried really hard to realize what >good< things were happening in my life.While I was doing this,I've realized we often (or not often enough) don't see & thus don't feel happy about the good in our lives.They're often really simple things but we don't take the time to think about them but ponder for days over the negative stuff. Let it go & try to find things positive for a change.At first it will be really hard (I couldn't find anything at all at first!) but you'll get there & you'll feel even more happy when you notice the happy things in your life.For me for instance it can be such a small thing like smelling the roses this morning when I got back after getting bread for breakfast.I take just a minute & inhale the flowery sent, simply enjoying it.Then in the evening, I'll think about it again and I'll smile about it automatically.
    Try it out some time!You'll notice how you'll feel better after a while & how it becomes easier to be happy in the first place.With this you'll also feel less stressed & can easier let go of negative emotions.
    I hope you're doing good and are enjoying your just-wed life!
    Wish you all the best!
    PS: Sowy for the 2 endless posts (I’ve found out blogspot has a 4.096 character limit for comments! ;) :P )