Saturday, February 14, 2004

It has occurred to me, and probably you, my intrepid and undoubtedly dedicated reader, that my current blog is not nearly as interesting as my previous one. I do not believe, however, that this is truly due to the fact that I no longer live in that land of endless fascination that is Japan. The main cause, I believe, is my current lack of objectivity about my own life.

I've always preferred to watch things from the sides. I like standing back, finding the patterns, fitting things together in my mind. This includes my own life. In Japan, I had a lot of downtime to allow my mind to assimilate and sort through all sorts of information and observations. Everything was new and fascinating, but I was able to pick through it all to find things of genuine interest.

It is not that my life in Michigan is not interesting. True, it's not as exotic, but that's mainly just a matter of perspective. The real problem, strangely enough, is that I have too many things taking up my time and not enough time to sort through them all. It all becomes a big blur when I find a few moments to think, a swath of days that are my unsorted life. There are so many topics to think about, and whatever happens to be on top at the time is what I end up writing about. The result is a less cohesive whole, which irritates me. I hold myself to standards, after all, even if no one else particularly does. Or perhaps others do, and they stopped reading long ago out of boredom.

As I said a few days ago, originally I had intended to write mostly about my studies, with sidenotes on living in Michigan, etc. But the truth is that I hardly have any time to think about my classes in between thinking about what I'm going to teach the next day, what I need to grade and how soon, what it was that I was supposed to meet with that student about, how I'm going to fit karate in this week, whether I've forgotten to do any of my own homework assignments, and when I'm going to take my taxes to the accountants down the street, because I still haven't gotten my refund from last year. Really, I'm just lucky that my classes aren't that demanding on my brain, because I'd never survive if they were.

I realized tonight when we were driving around looking for somewhere to eat that I really like being a passenger. I have no objection to driving, despite my father's early fears that I'd never get my license and have to be chauferred around for the rest of my life, but it doesn't really give me a chance to look at things. Nor does it really give my mind some passive time to just sit around and cogitate properly. Walking is also good for this. I rather miss walking to and from work every day as I did last year. Those 20 minutes walking were often valuable time for composing well thought out blog entries. Come to think of it, walking home from middle school was often when I came up with some of my best story ideas and had some of the best conversations with fictitious characters, although I suspect this probably made me appear insane to passing cars. I also had a tendency to read while walking down the sidewalk, to the consternation of one of my friend's parents.

So I'm working on trying to find more reflective time in my life. Perhaps the results of such effort will show up here. Or perhaps this will only be a passing moment of reflection. I'm hoping for the former.

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