Never forget the time when I knew the word “Big Mac” for the first time in my life. I was 9 or 10 years old at that time. The city where I lived was the whole world, and everyday was full of new things and findings. My grandparents were so fine that they even hang me out together. My grandma often scolded me with tiny things (wearing T shirts in a cold day made her mad), but the sizes she cooked was my favorite forever.
The day when I know Big Mac was the day when I went to see a movie with my friend. The name of the movie is gone, but exact that time, he introduced me a story about NBA players. He was so fond of Disney, NBA or such American cultures. So, he said to me, “Have you eaten Big Mac already? NBA players often goes to McDonald’s after their games and try to eat Big Mac with team members. Since I knew it, I’m a huge fan of Big Mac. So, have you tried already?” He asked. I was so naïve then, I had eaten just plain hamburger or double cheeseburger. Then I though, alright, let me try it.
From that day, my life has changed. Big Mac was so delicious that perhaps I have been eating about 400 Big Macs before. I even eat it in the US, UK, South Korea, and Singapore. The truth is that you can enjoy the same taste wherever you are. That is Big Mac aka global Big Mac. I’m still falling love with Big Mac. No matter how you experience stressed out feeling, just take a bite at it, and you can only concentrate on Big Mac. Then, problem solved. Just drink a coke and all you can think of is when you would eat French fries next.
Reading books. When you hear this phrase, what would be your reaction? Actually, my reaction was differ from when I was a teenager. I thought reading books or new paper and watching NHK (Japanese kind of BBC) are worst boring thing in my life at that time, and I simply couldn’t believe why adults are enough to be bare with such super boring look things. For instance, each letters in both books and newspapers are shockingly small for me at that time, and any TV program of NHK looked so serious that I unconsciously thought the personalities were AI robots (AI could do better, actually. Then I thought).
Time passes, and people can really change. One of the great meaning of education is sometimes described as this “changing”. Now I really owe my professors who have taught me because thanks to them, I changed so much, and now I can’t imagine the life without reading books (but watching NHK still…) . In my opinion, the first ten books you try to read will the hardest experience in your book life. The way to finish your book seems climbing Mt. Fuji or Everest. But somehow, you bare with reading, reading and reading. At last, when you finish reading 10th or 9th books, you would realize, “I had totally misunderstood about what reading books is!”.
A philosopher once said, “Ultimately, reading books means reading yourself”. And I totally agree with it. By improving your reading skill, your skill to live with clear thoughts or meaning would improve too. You can get words that can describe or explain your confused imagery of your mind. Everyone must be translator in terms of translating your own heart into your mother language. So, yeah, reading books is great. And this is thought to be one of the best my life changing event so far.
Since I was a university student (my major was English Literature), I read a lot from the time (actually not that much though…). However, after becoming a high school teacher, I couldn’t easily find the time to read, and had been frustrated about that. But now I became 29 and I could get the pace of work, the frequency of rearranging my room has much decreased for now. And I could finally find the best timing for reading books in my daily life.
First is after a supper. You feel full stomach and feel dull to wash the dishes, than I put them in the kitchen sink, and put some water in the dish. Then, you can start reading books with satisfaction. Sometimes it lasts for 30 minutes to read, or 2 hours to read.
Second is while talking bath. Soaking half of the body in warm water, and reading with drowsy feelings. My ideal time is for 20 to 30 minutes because you would feel really dizzy at that time.
Third is just before sleeping. With a warm light of your bedside lamp, you can read any books and that would definitely makes you fall asleep within 15 min.
However, sometimes you find yourself so tired in a weekdays and maybe you would have many schedules to do for weekdays. So, for such people like me, the true best timing for reading is Saturday and Sunday. Cancel any schedules and let’s read for all day. You could read 3 books if you really love to read in a day. For somebody, only Saturday and Sunday seems a bit sad and not enough. But, man, the desire for reading would rather decreased if you are free everyday, I think for myself.
Anyway, thank you for reading as usual, and have a great reading life.
So, the time flies. The 2022, which seems just started, has actually 11 months for now. One of the reasons why you feel something passes so fast these days is because you are less fascinated or excited about a tiny thing or event compared to children who react anything with energetic reactions. Then, one of the great reaction you make would be “Wow. Is it already February?”. So it goes.
Without saying, life is so short. Especially when you live in a pandemic situation, you are forced to realize how the previous normal days are precious and filled with a lot of possibilities compared to today’s unclear stressful staying home or lock down season. However, we should not spoil this precious moment even in this time. There must be many things that we can do to improve our lives.
Therefore, I would like to declare things I want to change from this February to update my life into 2.0 or something like that. Some of them would not be achieved though, I’d like to share here with you and make a bit of pressure on me.
1. Read many books. I’m a huge book lover, so I purchase several books once a week pass. However, the problem is the ratio of digestion. The priority of reading books sometimes came next to watching YouTube or Twitter things. Now, I almost quit watching these SNS thing, unless I think I would do that kind of activities with real intention or need to use them. So, naturally, I would read books instead of using smartphone from now. I’m really looking forward to seeing the result.
2. Keep journaling this blog everyday. I had tried many times but I couldn’t achieve this kind of goal because I was too lazy to do that. But, I somehow created an ideal environment for that. What I did was to get rid of any stressful step to write. Now I bought a small mobile keyboard, so I don’t have to open my laptop to connect WiFi, but just connect this device with my iPhone.
3. Turn off my iPhone before I sleep. I don’t know why but I feel I should do this to make balance.
Let’s see. These are my goals for this month. I would like to reflect myself in the end of this month. Thank you for reading and see you.
From which era or which time, there seems to be a kind of a stronger trend which evaluate “simpler” way of designs. The trend must be symbolized by iPhone culture, or even Apple product cultures. Simpler is better. Many buttons are excluded from your phone and we are now getting used to this buttonless screen on your smartphone. We could say that we have deleted so many useless things.
However, just making something simpler is that good thing? That’s what I’m thinking about right now. By deleting useless feature, haven’t we deleted or excluded something which must be prioritized or taken cared? A kind of answer was hit upon when I saw a Japanese documentary TV show in this afternoon. The TV show is called “72 hours”, which is not like action drama of “24”. The television crew shoot a documentary in a specific place or location for 72 hours, interviewing with people they met, and we can see many insightful comments or interesting attitudes from such real people in a real world.
I am a fan of this program. Every locations (like a convenience store in a big hospital, a bar in a very country side or air port in the end of March) looks like places where everyone’s life would be accepted. And you can realize every single one has their own deep story in their lives. Therefore, there are many fans of this TV show in Japan.
Anyway, the latest one was set in a wired museum where the owner collects old and wired things from closed museum or facilities. So, visitors can enjoy looking at very strange displays.
A female just staring a strange object and answering the crew’s interview. And the comment was very inspiring to me. She said like this. “Here, you can see many useless thing that once needed or thought to be cool or cute in 30 or 50 years ago, but now it is totally useless and thrown away. Everyone seems to like simple things but I personally don’t. I love such kind of gorgeous useless things.” or like that.
Then I thought about what we have lost with the trend of simple. We are throwing away more meaningless and useless things and we are feeling like we became more sophisticated, but actually, aren’t we also throwing away our creativity or interesting feature of us as a human being? Don’t you get more stressed out due to the meaningless or useless actions or events? I would rather think, we can love such meaninglessness or uselessness more, then, we can live better world where people are less stress out because they know how to deal with meaninglessness of our lives.
Maybe we can do more meaningless and useless things in this world. Everything should not be like apple products, but more chaos.
Living in the northern part of Japan, which is called Hokkaido prefecture, the most frequently asked question for you is “Do you live in Sapporo?”. Holy crap. Hokkaido is the biggest in Japan out of 47 prefectures. Therefore, Hokkaido has the land as large as three ordinary prefectures. Sapporo is recognized as the capital of Hokkaido, but it doesn’t mean everyone from Hokkaido lives near around Hokkaido. Like me, I live in a very country side of Hokkaido and it takes about 5 hours drive to access Sapporo (30 min. flying from the nearest airport).
So, everyone asks me about Sapporo but actually, I don’t know much about Sapporo. I was once very surprised that some of my Tokyoite friends had never been to some very Tokyo symbolic places. I said “Why you don’t go there? So many TV shows featured the spot!” Then he or she just says, “I don’t know but it seems very crowded and am too lazy to go there” or like that. Now I can understand them if I think about Sapporo.
The reason why I’m writing about Sapporo tonight is because I came to Sapporo with my family as a winter holiday trip (and to celebrate my mother’s happy retirement, which should have done in 2021). People are wearing masks as my living place, but there are simply more people, more diverse people there. Every shop staffs seems more polite and kind compared with my neighbor shops, tastes of restaurant or stands are felt sophisticated. So, every time I came to this kind of urban area, I could feel a bit updated. You can see a lot of things different from your ordinary days. Take a look at curry rice for example. Do you see which is urban curry rice?
You see? The latter one is Sapporo’s. Even my way of taking photographs seems so sophisticated. These are the very symbolic photos which shows the difference between urban and country so clearly. You know? The difference is such an apparent.
But I don’t care which you prefer or not. I love both of curry, and I feel we are living in the age of hybrid, meaning you don’t have to choose just one side, but you should enjoy both and respect each other’s good sides. Hybrid is not just about Prius but us.
My birthday is getting closer day by day. December 23rd is my birthday and I’ll be 29 years old this year. Facing the huge wall of the 30s, I’ve been feeling something a bit of matureness or sophistication about my life. My mentor once told me when I asked him “When will I finally be able to find my calling?”, he (a university professor) told me like “looking my students graduated from my university, they seem to have found such things by 30 years old”. Then, “the 30 years old” became a kind of “curse word” to me. Anyway, that’s another story.
Today, I’d like to list up my ideal daily routine which I have invented and revised and I think it’s the latest and updated routine, which makes my day almost perfect if I achieve those. I somehow end-up with this routine to make myself healthy, I would keep brushing up my lists.
1. Toilet Cleaning After getting ready to go out, I’m cleaning the toilet. Those who are really rich often tells advice like this, but you have no idea why you should do this for getting rich. However, your feeling must be refreshed and cleaned like your toilet. So, I have no reason, but I would really recommend you this habit.
2. Updating blog Keep doing every day makes you grow. Practice makes perfect. As an English teacher, I’d like to use English as a tool to express my feeling, and when I look back at how many articles have I posted, I can get confident.
3. Study English If I were a professional baseball player, I need to practice every day. If I were a craftsman, I would research everything about my job. So, what about me? What is the duty of being an English teacher? You need to prepare really seriously about your classes, and brush up on your English ability. But, it is also true that most teachers in Japan are very busy unfairly. It’s so easy that you blame the system or government, and I also think it’s important. However, that would never be an excuse not to study or prepare for classes with this negative feeling. Therefore, I’d like to do my best for brushing up on myself in my career.
4. Cooking Cooking can be a therapy for your soul. There is a famous book called “Chicken soup for the soul”, but to me, cooking or eating well directly means good for your soul and body. In Japan, the verb Eat is described as 食べる, and this Chinese character 食 consists of 人(human), 良(good). In short, Eating makes you good. What a wonderful word. If you eat well, your life must be well.
5. Swing Practice of Kendo My hobby is Kendo (Japanese traditional martial arts), and I want to be stronger. The beginning of my training was slightly late (from 26 years old) though, I will never excuse this. I should just keep practicing using YouTube live channel or some motivation arousal tips.
6. Eat a lot of vegetables People my age tend to eat too much meat, intake oil, and drink too much. All I need is to eat more vegetables and work out more frequently.
7. Taking Online English Lesson I’m taking an online English lesson on Rare Job. This is just fun for me. You don’t use English that much (hardly ever for the most Japanese, ironically), so this online service provides me a lot of chances to speak English. Moreover, you can sometimes talk about your private issues with tutors, so it’s also a kind of counseling too.
Hope you have a great routine and my list can inspire your daily habits. Thank you so much for reading this article.
Do you often feel down? Or, always worry about tiny or big problem? Yesterday, I encountered a video clip on youtube, and the personality mentioned how to deal with our daily problems or worries. His solution was very unexpected one.
“Where is your heart (mind)?” Anyone have been thought about the question once in a life. Somebody would think it’s in our brain, and others would say it’s literarily in our heart or stomach. Now, I would like to say it’s the same thing to our body. We feel like we are thinking in our brain and our emotion is controlled by mainly brain. However, the reason why you get irritated easily today is just because your lack of iron, or skipping breakfast in the morning.
What the personality wanted to suggest is, we should firstly eat something decently before wondering our issues or worrying something. This is simply because we can’t worry correctly in a hunger or cold situation. We can’t think properly in such poor conditions. Therefore, we need to eat and make ourself warm first. That was the lesson the video wanted to say to us.
What do you think the advice? I personally really agreed with the idea. We sometimes misunderstand our mental health. The outside is getting colder, and maybe you would easily prone to get into trouble more often than before. We should count not only our mental health but also our body condition from now. Then, we can take care of ourselves more from now.
Say, you were a very energetic person and try to do many things in a day, you must be really tired for being so because sometimes you can be too tired to do anything or your mental would be down due to a miserable feeling arouse from deep inside yourself or some asshole’s comment on yourself. Sadly, there seems many difficult situations to accept with positive feelings. This is all because “the directions” are from visible thing to invisible thing.
Visible things are money, somebody’s evaluation, positive messages or negative comments. On the other hand, invisible things is our hearts or mind. The most of people are reacting to a visible things so the direction is from visible thing to invisible thing. Your reaction to visible thing is everything. However, this means you can’t control yourself by yourself in a true meaning. If you find some unpleasant facts in daily lives, you can suddenly be down and easily become dull for everything. In short, you are controlled by others.
Then, why don’t you change the direction into from our hearts to the facts. Say if you were in the middle of a trouble. If you are just reacting from the fact, you would be really bothered by the fact and be really stressed out. However, if you try to make your mind like I’m somehow lucky to be involved with this trouble because I can somehow grow or like that, then the reality you are facing would change because you don’t react anymore. Your reality is finally controlled by you, and you are controlled by you in this way.
When you feel down, the direction would be wrong. Nobody can control you unless you react the facts or people’s negative comments. Let your mind decide everything first with a somehow positive view. Then, more really good facts would come.
Speaking of mental health, there seem so much unique ways that indicate your mental health condition that we don’t even know what kind of mental health is good for us today. To the Japanese school teachers, there comes “stress check test” in my email box and it is anyway offered to check and improve teachers mental condition. Huh. First of all, you need to find this ID and Password and please spare 10 min. For this test and you will need… taking the test is a huge stress to me now anyway.
Besides this, my mentor, who was an acclaimed professor in a Japanese university and is really famous, so I’d rather not mention his name though, here is what I heard from him directly when we happened to eat lunch in the UK.
There, he says, are three definitions or criteria to me to show my good mental health. The first one is you can enjoy having foods. If you are too stressed out, you would find the food’s taste boring. Secondly, you feel like to start new things, things like a hobby, studying or weekend plan. That means you have an afford to don something new. And thirdly, you feel like to write. It doesn’t only means to write to someone but also a diary or blogs. I personally think it means you are in a creative mood. Creating something really cultivate your heart Kurt Vonnegut once said.
Above all, I am totally non specialist for this kind of topics, but I instinctively can agree those things and I’d like to highly recommend you to indicate your mental health level by these. That is my personal stress check, and I’d like to propose it to the school education board near future to reduce stress of stress check!