Posts Tagged 'journaling'

February wrap-up

I’m partial to February, maybe because it’s my birthday month. It always feels like a special time, also maybe because of the subtle transitioning between winter and spring.

In this short but sweet month, I

  • turned 33. I don’t know why, this one felt like a big one.
  • had my annual teaching session : 3 very intense weeks of teaching about Japanese culture and society to international classes. As challenging, interesting, motivating as ever. I feel so grateful for this job. I always come back feeling I’ve learned so much.
  • enjoyed a copious amount of coffee. From cans (yep),  in white mugs, in white ceramic cups, in paper cups, in plastic cups. Some not so good, some nice, some very good. All of it quite needed !
  • met a lot of friends, talked, laughed a lot, got some good advice. How nice it is to have friends nearby. I now live in Kyoto, but a lot of my friends are scattered here and there, notably where I go once a year to teach. It is such a treat to get to see them while I’m there. Good times.


  • went and met with some people, regarding the possibility of another teaching position. It turns out such chances are painfully slim, but it was good to get to talk to wise people anyway. Sigh.
  • got to experience the whole range of climate variation : winter cold, snow, frosty mornings, rain, fog, clouds, spring warmth, bright and blue skies, windy afternoons. Not necessarily in that order. And all this made me feel strangely content.
  • went back to Kyoto, to once again settle back into my life here. Not so easy, but no so hard either…!

For March, I’m wishing and striving for a little more balance, in my plate, in my schedule, and…everywhere, really !

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January was here

January was all about icy cold air and white winter sun. It has also been about easing back into my Japanese life.

It took a bit of transitioning, but I can say that I’m ok now ! I don’t feel in foreign land in my apartment and neighborhood anymore, I’ve settled back into work smoothly and have even readjusted to life as a couple !

So, in January, I

  • started the year in France, enjoying family & friends and helping my mum prepare her move to another apartment
  • went back to Japan and settled back slowly but nicely into my life over here
  • painted my nails red or bright pink on a few occasions, and it kinda lifted my spirits a little bit. Funny how it works.
  • re-contacted people for a research project I’ve had at the back of my mind for more than a year
  • saw 4 movies (Inception and The American in the plane back to Japan, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and Before Sunset, a 2002 movie with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy)
  • enjoyed a nice cup of coffee upon arrival at work everyday, and it has made starting to tackle the tasks at hand that much more enjoyable (I do love that first coffee)
  • baked a bit (green tea cake and a yogurt cake, recipes to come)
  • cooked 2 new dishes, both really simple and very tasty : beef+broccoli sautéed with oyster sauce and soy sauce, pork+green asparagus sautéed with lemon juice
  • did crossword puzzles like they were going out of style (yeah, I’m a nerd like that. I find crossword puzzles oddly soothing)

Last year went by at such incredible speed, I felt a bit unsettled not to have noticed just where time kept disappearing. So I thought this year, I’ll try and document a bit more the ordinary, and do a short monthly wrap-up, like above. Just to keep track of these little bits of life that otherwise go unnoticed or forgotten…!

 

Home, away from home

I’m trying to get back in the groove of things as I have just been back home in Japan for a few days. The cold that was awaiting me does nothing to cure my poor jet-lagged brain, but I suspect that the beautiful sun shining today is going to help a bit !

I have been living in Japan for more than 10 years now, and I always get a bittersweet feeling when leaving my home country to return to my life over here. I’m trying to manage this strange mood as gracefully and peacefully as possible, but the jumble of emotions is a bit tricky to manage. It’s like I’m back, but a little part of me is still over there and doesn’t really want to go back…I guess a lot of people living abroad (or just far away from their family and friends) can relate…
So for now, I’m unpacking and moving things around as I settle again in my Japanese space. And breathing in the local air. To re-acclimate.

I hope you’re all having a fantastic beginning of 2011…!

June photo wrap-up

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Not much to say as I’m trying to wrap my mind around the fact that half of 2009 is already behind us. Funnily enough, it went very fast and verrrry slow at the same time, but I can’t believe we’re already there.

So, what happens from now ? I wonder.

Lots of photos, and a little bit of motivation would be welcome…!

In my own words

“What are you about right now?”

This is the question I found on Beth Hemmila’s blog, and I liked the idea of answering in the form of a word cloud so much that I was in the game almost immediately.

wordd

I’ve used Wordle before, mostly to make cards or…mm…as a major procrastination tool. It’s a very nice and simple application : input the words you want to use, chose the colors, layout, font, et voila ! You can even customize the color palette, which I found so useful when I made cards for friends, as it allows for so much more choices.

But let’s go back to the question : “What are you about right now?”. This is something I ask myself so often (too often ?) that i had a light chuckle when I read it. And instead of over thinking it, I just jolted down (on Wordle, in this case 🙂 ) the words that came to my mind as spontaneously as possible. I didn’t hold back and at the end was a bit surprised by a few of them. Which was nice. I have to admit that the first version of my answer was much longer than the version you see here…!

Doing this I thought it would actually be really nice to do this little exercise every once in a while. Not only in my head – that, I do rather too often, but leaving a trace, be it on Wordle and then printing it, or as a drawing/painting. I think it’d be nice to have these, as a reminder of who I am/was at a certain moment in time.

Just a few words about Beth, if you don’t know her yet. She is an amazing jewelry designer. Not only is her work (her hand sculpted silver charms are so lovely they make my heart ache) beautiful, but her words are so inspiring. If you have the chance, prepare a cup of your favorite beverage and go and spend a little while in her world, you wont regret it.

Good day everyone !

Favorite space and creativity – 31.05.2009

31.05.2009

Today is the last day of Everyday in May. A month (well, almost, because I started a bit late) of daily pictures, of a bit of journaling too. It’s the first time I committed to doing a certain creative thing daily for a month, and the commitment itself made the process very interesting. The assignment (a photo a day) was simple enough not to be too overwhelming, and flexible enough to fit my schedule and/or my mood on any given day. This self-imposed assignment motivated me to take the time to go outside and really look. It also was a good opportunity to look at my daily environment a bit differently. To look at it with a purpose. To really see what’s around.

As I’ve written before, I learned a lot about what kind of photos I like, what stops my eye, what taking pictures actually means to me. These were all good things that I feel are going to continue influencing the way I take pictures from now on. I really had to push myself sometimes to get outside of my little comfort zone and not focus exclusively on leaves, rusty pipes and water…all things I could take picture of endlessly.

I’d really like to do commit again to one specific creative activity daily for a month. I yet have to decide which one, but I know it would be an opportunity for growth and the source of many discoveries !

Cucumbers or the summer has come – 30.05.2009

30.05.2009

This time of the year has come again. The time when the only thing I really feel like having on the dinner table is cucumbers. Fresh, watery, green cucumbers. How I love thee ! Add yogurt to these and you have my perfect summer meal.  If I’m in a very generous mood, I might be willing to extend the privilege of the table to small tomatoes and a few olives.

While I like my oven very much most of the year, I think we’ve officially entered the season when this little guy is not relevant any more to my cooking patterns. Sorry oven, it’s not you, it’s me really. Me, and summer in Japan…and summer in Kyoto (which gives another dimension to the words hot and humid). But oven, we’ll share some good times again, I promise. Just wait until Fall for some major (oven) cooking spree.

If you have any summery recipes in your pockets, could you please (really please ?) enrich my repertory ?


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