So it’s officially 2013 around the world now. I celebrated the passing of the year in Japan with friends. It’s a quiet affair without a lot of noisy celebration. Similar to what I may have done in the states, however, we sat watching television shows until midnight passed. Once it did however, instead of images of people celebrating in Times Square they showed people in temples around the country as each rang out a solemn 108 chimes on their huge bells. I have to admit I enjoy it.
2012 was a tough year and I can’t see 2013 becoming a cake walk. Susan and Olivia moved back to the states in April so I’ve been living the life of a bachelor in Tokyo. Amusingly when I visited Hong Kong I wasn’t really certain how big Olivia had gotten as I selected a shirt for her. It’s tough being away from my little one. That said I know she’s in a great place, staying with her grandparents. She’s in preschool, which has been a great outlet and learning experience for her – that’s something the past 6 months wouldn’t have offered as easily.
Given my single-life existence in Tokyo I’ve picked up some bad habits. I work pretty long hours, often going home around 7 or 8 at night. I’ve basically entirely stopped eating at home, instead getting take out or going to restaurants. That food combined with an extra drink or two has lead to weight gain. Sure, plenty of people would say its needed but I’m not particularly pleased with my new spare time around the midsection.
I’ve also been significantly challenged by the general isolation of being 13-15 hours off from my support system. I really Tokyo, but I’d like it more if I could transplant “my” part of the US here with me. 🙂 At the same time I have built a pretty nice group of people here in Tokyo that will be tough to leave.
So as 2013 arrives I see plenty of change and challenge coming – some things I hope to introduce and others that will be placed upon me.
First and foremost I hope to become all the more mindful and in touch with my feelings. I’ve done a great job of disconnecting from most of my self so having been briefly reintroduced in 2012 I’d like to learn more in the coming year. It’s a bit frightening I have to admit… but it’s all part of a better experience.
Next, I have to close out my chapter in Japan. Within the next 3-4 months my role will change and I will no longer reside in Japan. I will have lived here for almost 2 years when this assignment ends. My daily routines, my life as a whole will change pretty significantly. I’m pretty scared of what that will mean… but with any luck I will know how it feels. (See #1)
Third I will need to move into a new role. I plan to stay with the company – they’ve done well for me – but I will need a new set of responsibilities after I leave Japan. I’ve been shopping around an idea that seems to have support, which is very exciting but of course comes with its own set of challenges. My plan is to travel, one month at a time, to our European and Asian offices with a month at home on the US. I hope I can help with our global expansion while also holding on to a piece of the international life I’ve grown accustomed to. I just have to learn how to live out if a suitcase and get dosed with plenty of radiation at 30000 feet. 😉
There are other things, but they’ll have to be left to be discussed in the future.
So that’s my brief reflection and look forward. Thank you to everyone for your love and support – I struggle to understand it (see #1), but it is appreciated.
I hope you had a nice celebration and have a wonderful new year. あけまひておめでとうございます!