We’re just entering the difficult stage now, where our impending separation, now less than two weeks away, and set to last for almost a year, becomes only too visible on the horizon, like a large cloud moving towards our beautifully warm sun.

There’s been the odd moment when one of us has suddenly been swamped by fear, fear of life without the other. It can be a terrifying thought if one chooses to indulge in journeying to an imaginary world based upon suppositions of what the future will be like.

The way I personally am dealing with this, is by choosing to not focus upon the loss I am likely to feel, but instead to direct my attention towards the love I feel for her, and to celebrate our fortune to be together today. I am aware that denial can be dangerous, causing one to go into shock when reality finally does strike, thus, every now and then I look towards the near future, and think about the positive aspects of our year apart. I can only do it for a couple of minutes at a time, as inevitably the feeling of desolation is forever lurking in the wings, waiting to take the stage by storm at the slightest opportunity.

This could either be the most difficult year of our lives, or it could be one of the most beneficial for our long-term stability. It’s all a matter of what we choose to make of it, and to not listen to the typical response of, “Oh, that’s going to be very difficult for you both”. When your friend goes to the doctor, do you tell them, “oh, the diagnosis is probably going to be very bad…”?

I can’t say I’m not guilty of this. Before I had given this much thought, I would use the line in an attempt, I suppose, to attract sympathy. What a ridiculous, self harming thing to do! By constantly telling my brain that it was going to be difficult, I was securing for myself a future that was …difficult!

Drinking beer in Japan is a painful experience, if the adverts are to be believed!

I think the owner of this salon is yet to figure out that in the world of beauty, PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING!

I’m finding everything I’ve learnt through my reading in the last 6 months to be of immense benefit. Finally discovering real-life situations in which to practice the theories of which I’ve heard so many people speak is an absolute joy – the theories work! I’m particularly impressed by how effective we can be if we choose to not attach unnecessary negative emotions (such as fear / guilt), or stress to situations that arise in our lives.

Yesterday saw a great example of one such case.

Recently, *Twinkle* has been wanting to cut down from working 5 days a week to 4 or 3. She doesn’t need a 5 day working week income thanks to low overheads and other income streams. Doing so would enable her to put more of her energy into our business, which is where her passion lies.

Anyhow, she’s been finding that she hasn’t been getting enough work to keep her busy at the office where she temps as a translator etc. She used this as an excuse when asking her agency if they could negotiate a shorter work week for her. Naturally, this backfired. The agency assumed that her reference to not having enough work to do was actually a request for more work, her not having been completely open about why she wanted less hours. Thus, last night she was offered a different (5 day) position in the same company paying a bit more, where her language skills would be put to better use.

Thrown by this unexpected offer, she tentatively said yes. When we met several hours later she was looking troubled, and explained the situation to me. She was pretty stressed about it, and felt trapped by obligation towards the people who had negotiated the change for her.

Together, we took a step back from it all, and made the conscious decision to throw out the emotional baggage attached to it. This enabled us to carry out a clear review of the situation, free of judgment-clouding crap, go back to step one of deciding upon the outcome that she desired, appreciate that she had got exactly the opposite of what she had set out to achieve (although it was actually what she had asked for!), and therefore the decision had to be to reject the new offer (a rejection which of course had to be carried out in a grateful and considerate manner). She would then explain what it was that she did want. Who knows, she might just get it.

We did all of this in the 4 minutes that we stood waiting for the train back to Ikebukuro after inadvertently getting on the wrong bus home (I knew there must have been a reason for taking that bus…!). Several hours of worry were brought to an abrupt halt by a few minutes of clear thought and decisiveness – and we had a great evening free of stress!

This may be a very simplistic example of the power of conscious life management, but boy, this kind of thing certainly makes a difference to one’s quality of life. I have long had issues with decision making, and falling prey to the wants and desires of others. I guess its a case of finding that delicate balance of emotions/rational thought, taking into account the feelings of others whilst not losing sight of the fact that it’s your life, and you have to be your primary concern. After all, if you don’t look after yourself, you’re of no use to anyone (indeed, you;re far more likely to become a burden upon others). Just a little determination, courage and consideration can bring about wondrous results in a matter of seconds, results that ultimately are beneficial to all who are affected by the sunshine you radiate.

I feel like a bit of a late starter in all of this. Still, bloody exciting!
What, you mean it’s MY life?!!