nighttime maple_1624

One thing that’s concerned me of late is my general stress levels. It’s an interesting kind of stress though – a kind that doesn’t really stress me out, that is, I don’t have a general feeling of ‘being stressed’.

Thinking on why this might be, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because it tends to be short-term stress induced by having a lot to do within short periods of time. It’s contained, marked off by (for example) the start and end of my day at the office, or a weekend in which I put myself under pressure to achieve X Y and Z.

So, it’s not an overwhelming “I’ll never catch up” stress.

And of course, It’s all my own doing. I don’t say ‘no’ enough.

Restructuring in my day job has resulted in my having more responsibilities, that is, more to do in a limited amount of time. But as I may have mentioned before, I’ve decided to not allow this to extend beyond 7pm – and I must say, this has been met with considerable success, in that I don’t tend to spend any time thinking about work outside of the office. (It’s not that I don’t enjoy my job. In fact recently, having been given the opportunity to catch a glimpse inside a few other companies that in the past I might have been interested in working for, I’ve come to feel pretty fortunate that I do work here).

But no matter whether the stress is long term or short time, I appreciate that it is not good for me, and with our family’s history of heart problems is something I need to watch. I guess at the moment I’m putting up with it because I see an end in sight – it’s a bit of a vague end, but it’s around next Spring, when I hope to significantly change how I use my weekdays.

I’m glad the heat of summer is over (well, at least the humidity of post-rainy season summer) and that glorious Autumn is on its way. Thinking of autumnal weather in Japan, and the accompaniment of the stunning display of leaves really moves me – to the extent that a tear comes to my eye. I’m grateful for this. It’s a sign that despite living in a concrete jungle, my natural link with nature is still as strong as ever. With few opportunities to express itself, when it does, it’s pretty powerful.

Long term, the city is not for me.

I try not to think of winter, which I distinctly remember last year wishing would come to an end. One day our house will have insulation. Might have to get it shipped in from the UK though as it seems to be illegal here.

Last week, whilst doing the washing up, I looked down at my stomach, and was pretty shocked to see that it was touching the sink, despite my standing a little way away. I was FAT! Twinkle was there, and was pretty impressed by how pregnant I was able to look. Admittedly I had just eaten a fair bit, but nonetheless, this was pretty shocking for me.

I know the reasons for this. For a start, there’s a lack of exercise, which needs to come to an end anyway as the November Ekiden (relay race) is approaching. More than that though, there’s all the convenience store crap I’ve been  eating. We’re talking chocolate and cakes mainly. The thing is, I have a sweet tooth, and am not prepared to not cater for it. So, I’ve decided instead to buy fresh fruit whenever I feel the need for sugar. So far it’s working! I love fruit more than almost any other food, but the expense of it here in Japan means I don’t eat as much as I’d like to. However, given my condition, I’ve decided it’s worth spending a bit more and being healthier in return.

In other news, it’s an absolutely beautiful day in Tokyo today, and I’m pretty happy.

5 Responses

  1. I don’t mean to cause offense but I have to say…you are the complete opposite of “fat”! My friend…if anything you need to eat more. In fact, you look underweight. No need to publish this, as I don’t want to embarrass you, but it’s a bit worrying to hear you calling yourself “fat” when by all appearances you’re nearly anorexic! EAT, DUDE!

    I still enjoy looking at your blog now and again! Hope Twinkle is well.

    1. Thanks JC!

      I keep the camera off my belly so you never see it!

      Twinkle is well, thank you, busy busy.

      Your comments are automatically published by the way 🙂

      1. Glad you didn’t take it the wrong way…if you could see a picture of me when I returned home from Japan in 1989 (!) you’d understand my concern- I lost 20+ pounds and I was not an overweight individual when I went there! Either my homestay family were starving me or the diet just couldn’t keep up with my Anglo-Saxon metabolism, LOL.

  2. You can “build” cheap insulation if you want to give up a little space or air movement. Stacking PET bottles full of water in a window is supposed to serve this purpose, though I believe it works better for keeping heat out than in, it should work both ways. You might also want to go to the 100 yen shop and buy the foam insulation tape and cover up any drafty spots. The stuff I’ve bought is easy to apply and remove (though you can’t apply it to paper-covered areas, only wood, plastic, metal and concrete).

    I’m looking forward to hearing about the next move you’re going to make (next spring). I hope it’s in a direction you want to go in!

    1. Thanks for that Orchid64.

      Our main problem isn’t drafts – it;s the thinness of the roof and walls – they just soak up the outside temperature and amplify it! Need to cover the house in mirrors!