I have seen three friends this week so far and planning to get together with another tomorrow. One a lifelong friend I have known since I was not even a year old who is more like a sister. The second, a junior high school friend who has come back into my life during the last couple of years…and I am so happy to be reconnected to her. The third…an amazingly positive young woman who I greatly admire and I am old enough to be her mom!…who I met through “the band” era (I will call it that…sounds good). The Fourth…my best pal all through school who knows me better than most people…we are reconciling our friendship after years of not talking and I am VERY happy about that.
Sometimes I get so down and feel like nobody cares and I feel so alone. But I know I do have amazing friends who care. Some are like family to me. My best friend lives on the other side of the world and she would do anything for me…I am TRULY BLESSED to have her as well as the rest of my friends. There are so many people who come in and out of our lives throughout our years on this planet. Some stay forever…some only for a short time…but they ALL leave a footprint on our hearts. I believe that everything happens for a reason and we meet the people we meet for a reason. Good and bad experiences we share with each other make us who we are.
Today I am under the weather…I have caught a cold since returning from my trip and just resting and listening to music. These 2 songs I am posting below are the inspirations for the name of my website. The first one is The Hurt and the Healer by Mercy Me. The second one is #41 by Dave Matthews Band and has been one of my favorite songs for many years. Both are particularly special to me at this point in my life. Please check them out 🙂
It is Sunday evening and I am finally recuperated from my jet lag (I think!). I arrived home from my trip to Japan at 2am Friday morning. What a LONG journey home! My flight left Japan at 430pm Tokyo time Thursday (which would have been 230am Thursday here at home. So basically I traveled for 24 hours. My cats were so glad to see me 🙂 They were a nice welcoming committee for sure and have not left my side all weekend. Friday I slept like a cat myself all day with them…I was exhausted. Saturday I managed to get out and about at a decent time and go visit my Dad at the nursing home. He was doing great and glad to see me. I gave him some snacks from Japan and a t-shirt that Noriko sent with me to give him. I showed him my pictures…he really enjoyed hearing about my experience 🙂 After that I stopped by to see my friend Stephanie…she was at her parents house visiting…on the street where I grew up. It is always a strange thing to go back “home” and see the house where I grew up. The people who live there now have made some changes and it looks really nice. Anyway it was good to see my friend for a bit and her parents.
Today I went to a new church and really enjoyed the music and the message. The message was that we all need to have a mission. I think I am finally starting to figure out what my mission is in this life…and I hope I can continue this ride of positivity. Life is so precious and sweet. It is too short to be moping around and dwelling on my little problems in life. I do not have cancer. I am not hungry. I have a job and a roof over my head. I have a car and although it is not new, it gets me where I need to go. I have friends and family who care about me. I am truly blessed in so many ways. My marriage is ending but my life is not ending. I will go on…I am strong and I get knocked down at times but I always get back up. This time I want to really change my way of thinking and let go of negativity which hopefully will change my life. I want to use my experiences to make a positive impact on others somehow.
This blog is very personal and I appreciate anyone who is reading it. It is a glimpse into my thoughts which I do not easily express to others outwardly. It is my “diary” in a sense. I enjoy writing to express my feelings and thoughts and this is the first step in my “mission”. I am excited to see where it goes…
I have no pictures yet to post today. But I have good memories to share. Today Noriko, Aki, Kazu and I took a Duck bus tour through Tokyo…it was a bus that turned into a boat and we traveled on land and water. They gave us duck whistles to blow and when prompted we had to blow the whistle…people on the streets were probably annoyed lol This was definitely my first experience with this kind of thing! I had noooo idea what the tour guide was explaining but it was a good little trip around an area of Tokyo I had never been to. After the bus/boat we went to a nearby shrine where we cleansed our hands and prayed, grabbed a fortune, and saw a pond full of turtles. Very peaceful place. Then we took a taxi to Sky Tree tower/mall and had a good lunch…a fried pork platter that we shared that was shaped like the tower building lol and then looked around the shops…it was really an amazing place. This building just opened last year and is a very popular destination for people all over Japan. The tower is the largest in Tokyo. We came home in the afternoon and I took a big nap and when I woke up Dad had made steak dinner for us. (I am going to miss these home cooked meals every night!!!) After dinner we went to a Karaoke place nearby and Kazu and Aki sang their hearts out 🙂 I may post a video later on…it was pretty cute.
Now I am ready for bed. Tomorrow afternoon I begin my long journey back to the USA. It has been a good vacation and a good escape from my normal life. I love Japan..it is definitely a different world than where I come from but really, the people here are the same. They work hard, take care of their families, and enjoy life. The Watanabe’s and Kawahara’s are the most hospitable people I have ever met. Hopefully I can repay them for their kindness someday.
Okinawa now holds a special place in my heart. My life starts over again when I return from this trip. Today I am thankful for new beginnings.
We have returned back to Noriko’s house in Chiba from our 3 night trip in Okinawa. I had such and AMAZING time there 🙂 The flight was about 2.5 hours from Tokyo and we stayed in Nago which was about a 2 hr drive from the airport once we landed. We stayed at a really nice hotel…Mahaina Wellness Resort. The weather was perfect, the food was great, the people were friendly…it was a beautiful/relaxing place. I wish I could transport myself back there again right now! I tried the local food (soku soba noodles), took a Japanese hot spring bath for the first time, finally. (Noriko says I made my “debut” lol)…which was AMAZINGLY relaxing, tried the local beer, local ice cream and local potato chips 🙂 Took a boat ride to the most beautiful island-Minna Island…where we had almost the entire beach to ourselves.Took a bicycle ride through a very primitive area near Emerald Beach famous for “fortune trees”. Ate way too well and way too much, relaxed by the pool, made friends with a cat (which I seem to do everywhere I go!). Spent quality time with my friend. This is just a brief summary…we did a lot in just a couple of days and I enjoyed every moment of it.
Tomorrow (Wednesday) is my last full day here in Japan. I am already feeling sad to leave but I know I will be back again someday. My friends here are truly like family to me and I am feeling very fortunate to have them.
Today I am thankful for waking up this morning and knowing that I am going to be ok no matter where I go or what life throws at me.
As I posted earlier…I woke up to the news that my uncle had passed away. My brother wrote and told me that he died in his sleep of heart failure. I am relieved to know he went peacefully. His wife and family are definitely in my thoughts right now. As well as my Dad…I am sure this was not easy for him.
Today we had a leisurely day around the house. We went out for a bit to the grocery store which had a a kids arcade so Kazu could play some games. We rented a movie and watched this afternoon and then went for a walk to the nearby park and caught a couple of gigantic cicadas. Dad cooked a great dinner once again.
Noriko and I leave for Okinawa in the morning so I do not think I will have internet access until we return Tuesday. Looking forward to being away from everything for a couple of days. Will post pics when we return.