It is 11:06 AM on January 3rd, 2018; we’re three days into the new year.
Today was the first day I had to sit down and really get some work done. There still isn’t very much going on as many are still on vacation but I had some reports to complete and a few loose ends to get tied up. I’m done with that now and hopefully things will stay quiet for the rest of the day.
The weather is gray and chilly with some rain expected to fall anytime now. I don’t think we had rain at all for all of December so this is very welcome. The air quality has been ‘moderate’ which anything above green (good) is bad in my opinion. I learned that it wasn’t even the fault of the LA wildfires, but instead just stagnant air and normal pollution that doesn’t blow away. I’m hoping the rain will change that.
Since the rain is coming I thought it would be best to get the Christmas lights taken down yesterday. That project turned into putting the tree and all decorations inside away as well. Seeing Christmas decorations after the holiday is over makes me sad so I find it best to get it done as soon as possible after New Year’s Day.
Along with being bummed that the holidays are over I had also learned about 厄年 (Yakudoshi) which are considered ‘unlucky’ years in Japan for men and women based on their ages. We had friends over on New Year’s Day and based on our conversation I thought this would be an unlucky year for me. But reading up on it today it isn’t until next year for me so perhaps I can make some preparations this year to try and guard against it?
As I write this post I notice the back of my hands. I still consider myself young looking – especially since I don’t grow facial hair – but I was told one can tell your age more easily by the back of your hands. The back of my hands seem more wrinkled than I remember and so I think there is some truth to the thought. Time marches on and soon there is no denying that we’re not young anymore.
I am solidly in middle-age but I am not sad about it. The choices I’ve made have been good ones and I’m in a good place. Plus with two kids there isn’t much time to think about – or brood on – much else. Kids keep you constantly busy and they take over your entire life.
The start of the year is always a time for reflection but I don’t feel like reflecting much right now. I will write down some things off the top of my head however.
- My kids are turning into different people with each passing month. This reminds me to take as much time as possible to be with them as this version will soon be gone.
- Friendships need maintenance and social media is a very poor substitute for meeting at least once in person during the year or giving a phone call. Anything less is just life support while the friendship slowly fades away.
- I don’t recognize the world we’re in anymore. Too much is happening in global politics and nothing seems to make sense. It all seems like a terrible dream from which we cannot awake
- The kids keep getting younger. It is hard to believe that kids just now entering the workforce are 20 years younger than I am.
- I myself am changing: My mindset and actions are more of a father than they were before. This is forced by raising two great boys and so I have no choice. I bought Zelda – Breath of the Wild but find I’m not very interested in playing it.
- My neighborhood is changing: Neighbors sell their houses and move, some pass away and estate sales are held. Old trees are coming to the end of their life and must be cut down to avoid falling over completely. The ravens no longer have a nest over in the pines which they did for the first three years we lived here. The large bush like berry trees which nourished the migrating Robins have also been cut down and so I wonder if they’ll pay a visit to my bird bath this year.
Well, I think I’ll go in for some lunch. There have been a few rain drops this past hour but nothing substantial. The finches and sparrows gather in the garden to eat from my feeder and visit the birdbath. The neighbor’s dog, Kanji, is barking like he always does day in and day out.
For lunch I’ll have two leftover hot wings and beef stew. We always buy a HoneyBaked ham for Christmas and made stew with the leftovers. There is a lot of stew that needs to be eaten.