06 April 2010


I hate days off in the UK. Let me explain.

In Japan, the days off, usually falling on Monday, were gifts. A long weekend making the preceding week bearable through anticipation and the following Tuesday through Friday shorter. As my work was so uninteresting, a day off was a day free from everything. I would ride my scooter on days off in the Spring and the summer, trying not to spend money and wandering around the river in the middle of Niigata. After I met Yoko, we would go out to eat on days off, shop, generally enjoy life together. Sleep in late before the girls were born.  In the UK, however, days off are like stones tied around my neck: purposeless and frustrated, I spend the day wandering around the house, messing around in the garden, and generally bothering my wife and kids. Yesterday, a day off from Easter, I was completely lost. We went to the store in the afternoon. That was all.

I'm sure there are things to do here, but I feel so disconnected from whatever it is. We went to the grocery store and bought pizzas. The girls slept in the afternoon. I should have gone running, but I spent the day thinking about my work, what I should be writing.

This is perhaps a good sign — I love my work more than I love my free time, but still, it feels very empty. I feel like I need to give Yoko some time off. I feel like I should be doing something productive, cleaning or whatever, but I just end up getting in everyone's way.

I'm back at work now, feeling much better: dressed and, at least theoretically, productive.

I'm not sure what all this means for my life in the future. If Yoko and the girls become more connected to the UK, perhaps this will be better: I can ride off on my bicycle with all my existential worries and have no concern about how I am causing my family to suffer. But perhaps this will only be possible in Japan. Maybe that's where I belong. It will be funny if we end up back there because I can't stand being away, rather than Yoko...