I wish I had something deep, profound and poetic to say about the last year, but this is the driest post ever. Despite the challenges, it was a happy year. In January, I was on maternity leave in Kenya but by the end of the year, I was well settled into the humdrum life of a mother of two working full-time in Tokyo.
I’m grateful that I was able to bring Jeremy back to Japan and that I found a good (enough) school for him. I’m also thankful that Kai is a happy and healthy toddler and it’s such a joy to watch him learn to speak a mixture of both English and Japanese. I’m thankful for my stable job and that I was working from home and continue to, which saves me precious time and energy. I’m thankful for my lovely apartment located conveniently near the daycare, bus stop, Gyomu Supermarket, 7-11, Lawson 100 Yen, a drug store and JP Bank. I’m grateful for the friendships I have made this year. I cherish the time we spend together. I’m thankful for the home helper service provided by city hall: I have a volunteer coming 2-3 times a week, 2 hours each time, to help me with the cooking, laundry, dishes or just to just spend time with my kids. Their help has been invaluable, I am not sure I could hack this city life without them. If you would like to volunteer for this service, check out their website.
This is the year it dawned on me that I am doing enough, I am enough and I don’t need to prove myself to anyone. I can just focus on getting things done and spending time with the people who matter the most to me. Finding joy in the little things, in the mundane, in several moments throughout the day.
Finding enough time to rest or for hobbies is challenging, but that’s the norm when you have young children. I’ll do better to reduce TV (Netflix) time so I can read, and jog, and write more. I would have loved to go to the beach in summer.
My best friend in Japan graduated and went back to Jamaica, and I’m not sure we will ever see each other again.
Logistics and finances mean I couldn’t travel home for Christmas in 2022, but I will start planning for 2023 December right away.
To all the friends who have left before us, who never saw the dawn of 2023, may we meet again.
I hope that 2023 will be a better year despite the fact that we are into the 4th year of a pandemic everyone is basically ignoring.