A fond hello to all my readers (and by that I mean Nikki)!
It has been less than a month since my last post, but it feels much much longer than that. I never made good on that promise for my follow-up post about my trip to Myanmar and Laos, but I really do intend to! I have just been wildly busy these last few weeks.
What have I been up to?
Last week Monday I had to give a presentation at my monthly work meeting for all Fukuoka JET teachers. Even though it probably wasn’t that big a deal, I killed myself a little bit over making a Keynote presentation and matching pamphlet with information to hand out to my workshop members. And I got really nervous about speaking in front of everyone at the last minute and actually didn’t feel that great about it in the end, but ah well.
Before that I was busting my ass to put together an application for this administrative position at the Fukuoka Board of Education through JET. I’ve handed it in already, though technically the final due date isn’t until this coming Friday. If I got the job I would stop being an English teacher. Instead, I would be organizing the comings, goings and happenings of all the Fukuoka JET English teachers. On the one hand I am ready for a change and challenge, but on the other hand the task seems just a little bit daunting and like a lot of responsibility. Overall I want it though, and really hope I get a chance at the interview. Hopefully I find out by the end of this month?
I’ve also been planning two different trips that are forthcoming. The first is to Mongolia. Evan and I just bought our flight tickets (for the first week in May for Japanese Golden Week vacation) and are looking into various tours offered through the Gobi Desert. The more I see and hear about it, the more excited I get. Apparently going to Mongolia gives you this feeling of being incredibly isolated, like you’re the only person on Earth. The vast desert, harsh weather and terrain, the remoteness… there’s all this natural beauty, hiking, horseback riding, and on top of that you get to meet and experience really unique nomadic peoples who still maintain a rather archaic way of life. Electricity and wifi go out the window and you just live in the moment. It sounds like exactly what I need. And yeah, I am down for eating loads of mutton, tasting fermented mare’s milk, and smelling like a sheep for a week.
The second trip is home to Washington for my best friend’s wedding in July. I just booked the tickets for this an hour ago, and I am so looking forward to it! We’ve already planned a weekend getaway to Lake Chelan for her bachelorette party, and have booked nights at a nice casino resort to stay at for the rehearsal dinner and getting her all dolled up for the ceremony down the street at the Kiana Lodge. The last major things I have to do are buy my bridesmaid’s dress and start planning fun stuff for her hen party! And I am really excited to hang out with my family too. The last two times I went home to the states I couldn’t enjoy myself, so I really want to make the most of it this time! And I want to eat all the cheese and Mexican food, drink all the good on-tap beer, and buy all the clothes that actually fit me properly haha. Not to mention see all my friends whom I miss so much! It is going to be fantastic.
On the flip side, I want to look good for the wedding… A constant source of struggle is trying to work out more regularly so that I’m not a chubby marshmallow come July. Mostly because it is still so fucking cold here in Fukuoka right now! It is practically impossible to motivate myself to do anything other than hang out in heated rooms. I have started doing obligatory push-ups and crunches right when I wake up, and every Tuesday I am also going to an hour-long Zumba session. I have also been trying to run a few times a week, but staying consistent with that has been tough. I was happy last week Friday though because I managed to run 5.8 K with my high school students (in a damn snowstorm no less) and I felt pretty good afterward. What I really need to do is kick my sweet tooth and snacking habits, tack on some weights and toning, and then I should be all right. I think I am going to go hard and do another of those Whole 30 cleanses next month or in April… or if not that, start counting calories like crazy, I can’t decide.
Something I just bought that I hope will help motivate me and keep me health-minded is a Bellabeat Leaf. It is a health tracker made just for women. It counts steps and monitors activity, it can give reminders to get up and move around if you’ve been standing or sitting still too long, it has a menstruation calendar and it even monitors the quality of your sleep. It is all input into an app on your phone so that you can set goals and stay up to date with your daily health. It even has a part just for mindfulness. The app can lead you through meditations while the tracker monitors your breathing. Lastly, it actually looks really beautiful and has been termed “smart jewelry.” I haven’t received it yet, though it should arrive in the mail sometime this week. I will let you know how I like it and maybe take some snaps of it.
All right, well that’s most of the stuff that’s been on my plate. Overall it’s a bunch of really great, amazing stuff that I am really stoked about, but all of it has a mild edge of stress and worry. But it’s truly outweighed by the good parts, and I have to remember that. Hopefully I don’t stay away for too long again. Until next time!