01 September 2011

Wake me when September ends

I woke this morning at 4:26AM with the distinct feeling that it was September. I have been waiting for you, September. I'm glad, very, very glad to see you. 
The summer was hard. It was a hard summer. I can say that now that it's over. The bits of it that were hard are not over--they continue on. But the change in weather and new number, closer to the end, makes me optimistic that things are moving forward.

The PhD feels like be in suspended animation some times. There it is, my thesis open in another window, but it's not moving at all. I'm not moving at all. I feel like I've done nothing today, but for me, as I think about it, doing nothing has included:

  • Waking, stretching, doing 3 sets of 20 push ups.
  • Working on a bit of the thesis, deleting and rewriting a key paragraph and cleaning up some of the other writing I've done
  • Doing some things around the house: emptying the dishwasher, hanging the laundry, cleaning the carpet.
  • Taking Yoko to her eye appointment and watching the kids while she was being seen.
  • Lifting in the outdoor gym for 15-12-10 reps in 4 sets in 4 positions.
  • Drafting a bid for a small grant for my airfare to the States in October.

That's certainly not nothing, is it? 

Tonight we will eat kebabs. You can't have kebabs in Japan, but you can so many other things. I am thinking, as I do, about returning to Japan. The possibilities always lead back there: I have like a three month cycle where I look through all my options and end up thinking, well, I need to go back to Japan. No, more importantly, we need to go back to Japan. And I think I may have a way to have my cake and eat it too--that is, do the research I want to and also return to teaching full time next autumn. We'll see. Lots of things would have to fall into place.  

I was thinking about returning to the States for a while, usually, when this happens, it lasts for about a week of that. I was thinking about how nice it would be, but it was a 'how nice it would be' in a very limited way. I can't place my family there, in a house, in a neighbourhood, in a car. I can't see it. I see myself making it work. Perhaps that's just because I haven't done it. If we do it, maybe I could see it.

I see us in Japan, though. Very easily. I was telling someone yesterday what it would be like, how I already know the speech I would have to make at the dinner that they would have to welcome the new teachers. I know what getting a driver's license would be like, what I would have to do to register with the city. How frustrating hooking up the Internet would be. I know all of that. I know the kids would be called hafu all the time, that it would infuriate me. I know that. 

I also know that I would be much healthier in Japan than I am here or I would be in the States. Working out, gym membership (or at the school I taught at) would be cheap. Tofu would be cheap and readily available. Going out to eat would be a menu of 80% healthy things. I could have hamburgers now and then. Perhaps I could get over this madness I am in with my body, trying to figure it out.  

I'm rambling.

I was paid today: we have 12 payments left on the grant. Then I will have to do something else. That's the problem, that's the pressure. What's the next step: what should the next step be. P asked me last night, does the thought of going back to Japan make you happy? 'Happy?' I said, 'No, happy is the wrong word.' The right word is peace. It's a peaceful thought. It's a weight off of my shoulders. It's improving my ability to communicate with my wife. It's a mini-cub and eating out once a week. It's stability. Yes, of course, happiness, but something so much more than happiness. Contentment? Would I be content there? Or will something else open up? Another door too attractive to not open... There are so many doors like that. 

Please, someone. Decide for me.