Review of 2013

Good morning everyone,

Today is looking like the warmest day this week. We can expect highs to get up to around 12C and to enjoy mostly sunny skies. Tomorrow and Thursday will be almost as warm and a bit cloudier, but still pretty nice. The rest of the week is looking a bit up in the air...temperatures will remain above 10C, but we could see some clouds or rain the end of the week...

Most of you would find it hard to believe that I'm not the kind of person to write a blog everyday. But in school we were often asked to keep journals or write diaries and I never did. I must have about a dozen 'journals' that only have two or three entries before I gave up. The only reason that I've been able to keep this blog up for so long is that people tell me they enjoy reading them. That's motivation enough. So, thank you to those people who read them.

...because every now and then I can take my blog and use it for myself. Like when I write about my running or my challenges with trying to give up chocolate or my binge spending. By making these things public (even to the few of you that read this) makes me want to keep my efforts up to constantly improve myself-and believe me-there are endless ways I can do that...ha ha!

So, today's blog is my reflection of 2013.

6. I kept my promise to practice guitar regularly-there have been only a couple of weeks at the end of the year where I've fallen off a bit, but I was busy! Ha ha!
PracticeorSuck.jpg

So, I rewarded myself with the new guitar-and I've practiced everyday since I got it. I'm sure I'll be able to play a song by the bbq party (usually held in October...ha ha!) Considering I have zero musical talent, it's amazing that I've kept it up for this long without giving up!

5. I took a holiday.
guam.jpg

Other than closing for a few days during obon or Golden Week, I've never taken a holiday besides going home. And I love going home, but it doesn't really feel like a 'holiday'-there's nothing 'new'. So, even though it was only Guam, getting a chance to go and experience a new place was a highlight of the year for me.

4.We had a successful Christmas Party.
 christmas-party.jpg

I learnt a valuable lesson this year with this party. My students (and maybe Japanese people in general) see parties differently than we do. For me, it's just a chance to sit around and eat, drink and chat with friends. But for most of my Japanese friends, there needs to be something else other than drinking and eating-some activities or entertainment. Ok. Lesson learned. We'll see more of those kinds of things at future parties!

3.I got rid of my car.
1996-jeep-cherokee-sport.jpg  

It's been a source of stress for me for a while. In Morioka, I needed it, but here in Hiroshima, it was just an expensive toy. A REALLY expensive toy that I hardly ever used...so getting rid of that car is one of the highlights of the year. (it's way, way harder to sell a car in Japan than you would think-there's so much paperwork!) Back home, we pay the cash, shake hands and go to the licence office to sign the paper-it takes about 15 minutes. In Japan...well, don't get me started...but I now believe that Japan is held together by red tape...ha ha!

2. I ran a marathon. It was slow. It was painful.
 osaka marathon finisher

It was awesome!

1. My mom got better. 
road to recovery

Without going into too much detail because she hates being worried about (hmmm....I guess I know where I got that from, eh? Ha ha!) my mom was pretty sick earlier this year, but seems to have made a complete recovery. Now I have a little idea about what they mean when they say to not take your health for granted.

Writing this was very cathartic-it helps remind me of all the things that happened during the year, especially when I'm feeling like another year whizzed past and I feel like 'nothing happened'. I highly recommend doing it yourselves, take some time over this holiday to reflect on this past year, you'll feel better, I promise...

Have a great day!
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