I’m not going to pretend that I am getting into blogging or anything. I’ve started and stopped enough times to know that blogging really isn’t my thing. But I am still an avid reader of blogs (although not a regular commenter, sorry) and while reading a favorite blog of mine, Cherry Blossom Adventures I learned of the 52 weeks to simplify your life challenge (which Laura learned of from another blogger who learned about it from another blogger, etc). Anyway, I learned about it and that’s all that matters.
I liked the title of this challenge because recently I’m trying to simplify my life so that I can be able to do all the things I want to do while still being busy at work and while still needing my rest. It doesn’t help that I get distracted easily but good things (talking with friends, good movies/tv shows, etc) and bad things (being lazy, watching bad tv, internet surfing for WAY too long). And anyone that knows me well knows that despite not having that much stuff (relatively speaking) I always feel like I have too much. Basically I don’t like stuff but I’m still human so I still accumulate it… But I like simplicity.
So I’ll do this challenge and see where it goes.
Week 1: Remembering 2011 with Gratitude
Love. Last year started off relatively normal but on March 11th it turned anything but normal. I live in Japan and on March 11th there was an earthquake of immense magnitude. It was huge and scary and considering what happened to thousands of people in Northern Japan I was thankful to be safe and still have my home, food and really anything else I needed. But it was not only that. From that moment on, I felt the love of family and friends that will probably never allow me to feel alone. Thank you all!
Money. Another thing I am thankful for in 2011 was the ability to manage my money. Not only was I able to pay off some debts and save for the future, I was able to manage my money so that I would be able to spend it wisely, you know on the stuff that really matters. This allowed me to buy a new computer, a new road bike, a trip with my mother, and budget money for a number of things so that I can live the life that I like to live (without having to buy it with credit cards!). For example, I’ve never been a huge clothes shopper but last year I decided I would put a bit more effort into it as I realized I didn’t really like how I felt in a lot of my clothes. Due to my money management, I am able to responsibly build a wardrobe that I am comfortable and happy in. And it doesn’t end with just clothes. It makes me so happy (I really should have been an accountant….).
Relationship-wise. I wouldn’t say anything huge stands out with my boyfriend last year. In fact, I was hoping that a number of things would have materialized in 2011 that didn’t (no, I am not talking about marriage :D) but despite that I was really happy with him. He has flaws and so do I (I forgot his birthday last year….) and yet we still work so well together. So I am grateful for him.
Family. I live in Japan and my whole family lives in America so to say we live far away from each other is an understatement (have you ever lived 15 hours ahead of someone?). However, last year we started a weekly skype chat which I really am thankful for. I love living in Japan but I think that it causes a ripple in your relationships. Unfortunately and unjustly, it takes effort from both sides to remain in contact, let alone close. So I appreciate that my family and occasionally my friends will put in the effort to keep in touch.
Work. This year I put a lot of effort into my work and felt so proud of myself. I still think I have a long way to go to become the teacher I would like to become but I am proud of the work I did last year. Another event – for lack of a better word – at my work in the fall gave me even more confidence in my ability to be a good teacher. I saw many of my students grow last year due to my efforts so I look forward to perfecting my work more and more and seeing my students grow subsequently.
Those are the main things.
2011 wasn’t a bad year for me but I’m looking forward to 2012 being even better!