I promise, I’m doing more than just reading books and going to art museums.

Posted on 19.06.2015


I feel like a bad friend for not talking so much lately. I really think something in my job has caused me to keep my mouth shut so much that it’s dripping into my personal life now.

I AM actually doing things that are not:
~ dressing up and going to art galleries
~ trying vegan/cruelty-free products
~ reading books

There are other things, and I’m doing them, but I just haven’t been writing about them that much. Here’s a summary of other things I’ve been up to (that are not eating, sleeping and going to the grocery store):

1. Planning our November trip to Thailand:
Because spending money to get air miles is one of my major goals in life. Booked 3 different hotels, shuttles to/from airports, and ferry rides to/from the mainland to our tiny vacation spot. Oh, and 2 nights sleeping in a tree house in the jungle. BRING ALL TEH CAMERAS!

2. Remembering that people are assholes:
Seriously, why did they let you out of your country? Oh right, to get rid of you. Stop talking to me.

I’m pretty sure I wrote something similar about the dicks I met when I moved to Germany, too. It’s just annoying to meet more in another country and HAVE to spend time around them in general. I think the people I work with must think I’m really quiet and anti-social. I’m not, I just don’t want to waste my precious break time talking to narcissists.

IMG_39923. Trying desperately to fit fitness back into my life:
Maybe it’s more like ‘aggressively thinking about how to get more than 24 hours out of a day’, but still: at the state I’m in now, walking an extra flight of stairs actually counts as fitness, since it’s hard. But the good news is that I walked down stairs yesterday WITHOUT HOLDING THE RAIL for the first time in about 1.5 years. Progress!

I HAVE been getting my ass out of bed early to do yoga in the mornings. It’s only 15 minutes or so and then some VERY basic floor work, but it’s better than NOT doing it. 15 crunches and 15 squats is actually WORK for me at the moment. It’s going to take me a LONG time to get back to budo, I think.

4. Trying not to let my job bother me.
Please refer to my first paragraph. I have to keep my mouth shut about it, but honestly, this isn’t exactly what I signed up for and I’m working hard to be ok with that, and also to find something that is better for me mentally. I got a daruma on my birthday last year to help me work towards ‘being ok with this job and not letting it bother me’, and I think I’m CLOSE to achieving that feeling, but I’m still quietly raging on the inside.

The only thing that makes it better is that most of my regular students are wonderful, amazing, interesting people whom I genuinely enjoy talking to. If it weren’t for them, I’d probably already be in another job. If it weren’t for the job, though, I might feel VERY alone here.

5. Failing miserably at learning Japanese.
This falls into the category of ‘looking for more hours in the day’, but this one also concerns Mark: I don’t want to learn it without him, so it means I need to find some time when we’re both free to do it. I think that time’s in the mornings, after yoga and before he gets out of bed. I’m not sure he thinks that’s the best time, though. The best time might actually be on our days off, in between episodes of Penny Dreadful and Jonathon Strange & Mr Norrell. I’ll be working on implementing that this coming weekend, in between ‘going to see if we can find that pool we were told about’ and ‘going to see the fireflies in that hotel courtyard we heard about’.

The only real positive (or neutral) part of this is that since we spend just about all of our time at work, speaking and teaching English, we don’t really NEED to use Japanese in our daily lives, past ‘I don’t need a bag’ at the convenience store, which we definitely have down.

IMG_39916. Balcony gardening, and getting it right!
This is just the corner of my balcony, but you can see I have a VERY happy morning-glory box this year. Last year I made the mistake of putting them in a planter that the cats enjoyed laying in, so they died. This year I moved them and made them inaccessible to kittahs, and they’e going apeshit. We’ve also got some ginger growing, some basil and mint that are propagating all over the place, and a new blueberry bush!

And rosemary. Because rosemary is my plant.

I missed the chance to take over the front garden, which was a goal of mine for this year. It seems, though, that there are a lot of other things that want to live in that space, so I might have to think about getting some more long planters and utilizing the south window box for some veggies or herbs, and save the front garden for some rogue bulbs I’ll be planting from Kamay.

7. Paying down debt
Re: planning trips to Thailand and getting air miles: We’ve also got to plan trips to the UK in January and the US in June for family events. This means that my credit cards are getting a serious workout.

Not related to credit cards, I’m slowly paying down the other debts as well: With our tax refund, I paid off the NHS (UK health care) for that emergency surgery I had a week before I moved to Tokyo. The GBP – YEN conversion is total shit at the  moment, and this was eating up a big chunk of my paychecks, having to make the payment AND pay the Y4000 fee to transfer internationally every month. So that’s gone.

In the next 2 months, I’ll have the smaller of my 2 leftover college loans paid off, which will make my monthly payments to Navient/Sallie Mae go way up as I focus on the final loan. I also just paid off my Capital One card, which had the highest of all of my credit interest rates. I’ll be canceling that one soon enough.

We’re paying off city tax and health care for Tokyo at the moment, but as soon as all of that is done, I’ll be making VERY aggressive payments to the credit cards that are left over. I want them open for the next round of ticket-buying and hotel booking!

8. Forever making lists
‘Stuff I need to get from storage when I go back to Baltimore’
‘Stuff I should buy and stock up on while we’re in the US’
‘Stuff I still need to get for the house’
‘Books I want to read’
‘Places we want to go for vacation IN Japan/OUTSIDE Japan’

9. Finding out the proper process to get married in Japan
Because I got engaged, and there are a LOT of forms to fill out to get married overseas. Wedding some time in 2016.


I don’t really think any of these things warrants/warranted a full post, although I’m going to be doing more blogging over at FitFreedom in the coming weeks about getting back to fitness in general. There are things going on, but when I really only have 2 days off each week, I don’t have a lot of spare time to write about them or do them fully. This job is a lot different from a 9-5: after getting home at 11pm, I don’t want to do anything but lay down and get to relaxing as quickly as possible.

So I’m not NOT writing, it’s just that I don’t have a lot of time to do things, let alone really write about them.

Posted in: home, Japan, life