Thursday, January 3, 2013

OK, let me be honest.  It's been two months since my return and I have barely touched a Japanese language book.  Why?  What happens to the drive, the heady desire to push forward to get better and better, to take everything one has learned while away in an immersion program and apply it to one's real life?  And what I learned in Okazaki was that above all things, one must study and practice every day.  Every day.  In whatever form that takes, even if it just means listening to some J-Pop while you're driving carpool.

I'm faced with this as the New Year begins.  Lucky 13.  My Japanese studies are much like my yoga practice.  It comes in waves; I am a zealot about it knowing in my heart, mind and soul that this is something that I MUST do.  For my physical health, but also for my mental health as well. And also, more subtly, because it brings great joy to me.  I yearn to do both every day when I awaken.  But somehow, both yoga and Japanese stand patiently on the sidelines - (picture that! - a lovely kimono clad figure representing Japanese, silently watching, hands folded in front, with that charming "Mona Lisa" smile that Japanese women have mastered, and a resting Yogini in full lotus, peacefully watching without judgement) while I fill my time with handling my grad program, managing all aspects of shelter, food and transportation for my family including all schedules and travel and other silly things like email and Facebook.

How to make it all work?  How to find the balance?  I think that is what I am supposed to learn this year.  Lucky 13.


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