New Year’s Resolutions

Well, it’s the last day in January, and it’s usually around this time that people start breaking their New Year’s Resolutions. But I anticipated that occurring, so this year, I just didn’t make any resolutions. I haven’t yet decided if that was an extremely clever decision or merely an extremely apathetic one.

In Japan, they don’t make resolutions. Instead, they visit a shrine on New Year’s Day and make wishes for the same kinds of things that we resolve to accomplish. They give change and ring a bell as they make their wish, whereas we slave away at the gym, or buy whole new wardrobes. And if their wish doesn’t work out that current year, they just go back to the temple the next new year’s day and make the same wish.

Here’s my thought on New Year’s Resolutions. They’re a great idea in theory. I think it’s a rockstar idea to start your year off with a goal in mind. But all too often, our goals are either too difficult or too short-sighted. We don’t properly plan for a whole year’s worth of fulfilling our resolution, and if we don’t succeed by the end of January, we just give it up. And let’s face it, losing 10 lbs. or finding a significant other in less than one month is just not gonna happen.

And why do we always resolve to lose weight or find that someone special? It’s no wonder that our resolutions crash and burn. What if everyone tried to think of something personal and unique to them, or just something that would last long-term. Because let’s face it, that weight we lose in January will inevitably come back on because we don’t make healthy living a long-term part of our lives, and there’s always that chance that our boyfriend or girlfriend will dump us, or that we’ll dump them. I think we should instead make our resolutions things that we’re interested in achieving that could lead to those stereotypical resolutions. For example, why not resolve to cut down on the times that you eat fast food in a week or month, to walk an hour a day, to not take that second helping at dinner. Or how about resolving to start learning a new language, or to take an art class or dance class or do something that you’ve always wanted to try but never did?

Hmm…well, I didn’t quite realize that I had such a soapbox to stand on when it came to New Year’s Resolutions. But there you go. So, as for me, I’m going to make monthly resolutions and really stick with them because I have Jen as my accountability partner. Next month- healthy living.

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A Visit to the Salon

Well, I got my first Japanese haircut today, and let me tell you, it was amazing!!! I would live in Japan forever if I was always guaranteed to have my hair cut at such a high quality.

First, I have to admit that my hair stylist is a complete hottie. I know what they say about hot stylists in the states, but that is just not the case here. It’s a good job here, and I have to say that I’m extremely glad for that fact. Second, they wash your hair here for like ten minutes, including a hot towel on the back of your neck and this amazing scalp massage. And they cover your face with a light cloth so that you don’t have to feel like a moron just staring into space, or in my case, eyes closed with a slight smile because it was so enjoyable. Third, they take a lot of care when cutting hair. He definitely paid attention to detail and made sure that how he was cutting my hair was exactly what I wanted. Though, that might have been more because I couldn’t speak Japanese and he couldn’t speak English and he wanted to make sure he didn’t totally screw up my hair. He was just so so nice.

So, I went to the salon today with long lustrous locks, and I left with a tres cute long bob. Don’t worry because this is exactly the hair cut that I wanted. New year, new country, new hair. πŸ™‚ Photos to follow.

Put Away the Passport

Well, it’s official. I live in Japan. Today I got my foreigner’s card that tells any and all that I do in fact live in Japan, and I’m not here on an extended vacation. It looks very similar to a driver’s license, but it doesn’t have all of that pertinent physical identification like weight and eye color. And I must say that for as much as people always complain about how awful their driver’s license photo looks, mine always seem to look great!

Gifu and Ichinomiya

Good news! Two of my sub days have been replaced with a set schedule!!

Bad news! The schools are pretty far away. Imagine having to go to the next county for work two days a week via public transportation.

But I will admit that I do enjoy not having to sub 4 days a week anymore. But it’s kinda tough because the teacher that I replaced had a teaching style that is completely the opposite of mine, so it’s gonna take some time for my classes to acclimate to me, especially the kids. I’ve laid down some new laws in the kid’s class, and it’s actually been working out. The kids are warming up to me, so here’s hoping it continues to go well.

And one of my kids, Mizuki, she came early and we were hanging out for a while. And then she asked me if I was Italian. And I had to not laugh when I told her that I was American. You can’t exactly explain to a seven year old non-English speaker that you’re American, but also part Italian. It just doesn’t work out that way. But I guess, according to at least some Japanese, I look like an Italian person.

さむい!!!

It is absolutely freezing here!!!

Okay, maybe I have no right to complain because I know that right now in the Midwest it’s like practically in the negative degrees, and here it’s in the low forties. But today it was seriously blustery! The wind was blowing so hard that it was sometimes tough to walk! And imagine walking 20 minutes in that kind of weather in thin dress pants, and dress shoes with pantyhose. Yeah, it’s not fun at all!

**Japanese translation- さむい = samui = It’s cold!!**

What a Day

Five Things that Made Wednesday HorribleΒ 

1. It rained all day here.

2. Our water broke this morning right in the middle of me brushing my teeth. For a more detailed description, please see Jen’s blog.

3. I failed to transfer money today because the bank didn’t save any of my information from the last time I transferred money, and I didn’t bring any of the needed information with me.

4. Not only was it rainy, but it was cold as well.

5. I had to work in Ichinomiya today, and I had to get there much earlier than I normally would in order to prep a special lesson. And getting there early meant that I had to leave much much earlier than usual.
Five Things that Made Wednesday Great

1. Jen and I went to Starbucks and I got my favorite, a green tea latte.

2. Jen and I made all kinds of hysterical jokes about our lack of water, including creative ways to use the bathroom while we had no water.

3. Both of my major lessons at work went extremely well, especially the kids class. They actually had fun and laughed!

4. I actually caught every train on the way home, and made it home much earlier than normal from work today.

5. I’m watching a Japanese drama right now, and with the help of subtitles, I’m actually beginning to understand bits and pieces of what the characters are saying. Sometimes I get it even without the subtitles, but then it’s just simple phrases or sentences.