鶏始乳

Niwatori hajimete toya ni tsuku- Hens begin laying eggs.

I did not study Japanese well in January. Well being defined as with a book and for more than ten minutes at a time.

I did go to the dentist every week in January. Most likely I will do the same in February. And March. After over a decade of not going to the dentist, I get to make up for lost time. Because, turns out, if you do not go the dentist regularly, you lose more than time.

I also did stop listening to music with lyrics. This has had a profound impact on my thinking habits and, in turn, daily mindfulness. Lyrics, while interesting, are manipulative and limiting. I can feel Beethoven reaching far corners of my brain whereas with singer/songwriter music, it just touches a little pocket. The emotions I feel with Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92 are deep and wide, going far beyond the romantic sentimentalism of, say, Bjork. And those of you who know me know that I love Bjork. I just don’t want to listen to her anymore.

Let’s see, what else happened in January?
I had my big observation at work and now it is over. All that stress and preparation and now it is over. Something to remember, kids, that no matter what you are stressed over, eventually you will be on the other side of it.

As I am on the other side of January.

So February, what do we want to do with your twenty-eight days?
I realized in January that studying and writing in the evening was impossible. So a new schedule is needed. In this short month, my goal is to exercise then go to bed earlyish so I can wake up at 4:30 every day. Write for thirty minutes then study for an hour before making breakfast. If I can make this into a habit, then when I am on the other side of February, I will have a system that will make me feel less remorseful. For every day that I fail to study, I seem to obtain a pebble of guilt. And while a few pebbles are manageable, a month’s worth is quite heavy.

Setsubun is this weekend as well, so it is a good time to let go of the negativity (be it guilt and slothfulness in my case or whatever you might be suffering from) and open the door to positivity.

Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi.
Out with the demons, in with good fortune.

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