Saturday, January 11, 2014

New Year's Resolutions 2014 今年の抱負

"What's your new year's resolution?" I asked Mike. "I don't have one. I never do" said Mike. Let me boast just a tad. I always have new year's resolutions ever since I was little, and I usually remember what I promised to myself and manage to accomplish whatever I decided to do by the end of the year. Having said that, my new year's resolutions are never anything big; they are fairly doable things, like "be more kind to people or "write letters more often." Last year's were, "finish writing master's thesis&graduate", "cook&run more often", and I successfully accomplished these things (though it isn't really clear just how often is 'more often', and it was completely based on my own arbitrary ideas and judgment:) After all, they are "my" new year's resolutions!  

It's been 10 days since the year 2014 kicked off, and I thought it's about time to come up with my new year's resolutions for this year (some old, some new):

  • Improve my posture (new)
  • Go to the dentist regularly (new)
  • Respond to letters/emails quicker (new)
  • Run more often (continued from previous years)
  • Cook more often (continued from previous years)
  • Write more often (continued from previous years)
  • Be kind (always been on my list)

1. Improve my posture (new)(姿勢を正す)

I've been having a back pain for a while now. The left side of my lower back hurts and the pain goes down into my leg. It's not usually a severe pain, but some days are bad. These last few years I was in grad school located in the middle of nowhere, where the weather was gloomy 90% of the time, all I did was camping out inside the library and studying. I spent a massive amount of time sitting at the desk, reading and writing, and it was hard on my back. To make it worse, I wasn't just sitting; I was sitting with slouched shoulders for hours. Last year I came across some books about posture and all said that a slouch is the root cause for many health problems. Improving posture has its positive (both physical and mental) outcomes, and I decided to make it my top priority this year to try it out. I don't usually slouch when I'm standing up or walking (well, I used to, when I was younger and wasn't particularly proud of being too tall), but I still slouch when I am on the computer for instance. Of course I still need to find a good chiropractor to have my back checked soon though.

2. Go to the dentist regularly (new)(歯を大切に)

I lived in the U.S. the last 3 years, and my school health insurance didn't have a dental coverage. When I lived in Kentucky (circa 2003-2009), the insurance from my company had a dental, but student insurance normally doesn't come with dental, and just in case you didn't know, the dentist visits could cost you fortune in the States. So, I didn't go to the dentist for 3 years and my teeth need some work. Nothing major, but some fillings need to be replaced and some coffee stain must go. Recently, I found a good dentist just 2 blocks from my apartment and have gone there twice now. I just need to commit myself, keep going there until my teeth get fixed and also remind myself to go for teeth cleaning every now and then. 

3. Respond to letters/emails quicker (new)(返事は早めに)

I've been really bad at replying in a timely manner; whether they're emails, texts, facebook messages/posts or letters. I don't just respond to them late intentionally. It's not that I forget replying, either. It's just that when I write something, I want to it to be impeccable (though it's full of mistakes). Still, I want whatever I write to be meaningful and tasteful, and that takes time. While I may be sloppy in other things, I'm a perfectionist when it comes to writing. My close friends know that about me, and they understand if they don't hear back from me for a while. Actually, they keep writing to me until I finally write to them. No wonder I don't have many friends!! Ha! Anyway, I'm lucky to have those friends who don't give up on me, but those who aren't that close to me take this flaw of me utterly personally. If I don't write to them quick enough, they speculate and decide that I'm somehow mad at them. That's not good to confused them, and it's not their fault. So, I will try my best to respond in a swift manner, not to lose more friends! :)

4. Run more often(走る)

This is a continued item from the year 2012; that is when I started running regularly and experienced so-called "runner's high" for the first time. I had a running mate (Chris) at Purdue and I was even using the running app called "RunKeeper." Chris and I used to run around the campus in the evening 2-3 days a week in the summer and the fall, but we quit meeting when it got cold. So it made an appearance again on to the new year's resolutions for the year 2013, and I had a new running mate, Mike (aka my husband.) In the summer, we ran around the park, and it was in the evening but the temperature and the humidity were just too high this summer. We both sweat ridiculously a lot, so we were completely drained away after the run, and we quit running before we knew it. This year, I want to run again, even if it's once a week. I want to feel that runner's high kicking in my body again. It's a nice feeling.

5. Cook more often(料理にいそしむ)

This is also a continued item from...I don't remember when, but it's been on my new year's resolutions for several years now. It's appearing again this year, not because I didn't cook often, but I want to keep learning, trying out more new recipes to expand my "repertoire". Since I moved in with Mike last May, I started cooking daily. I actually quite enjoy cooking; especially cooking for someone other than myself. The other day I made cabbage rolls for the first time, and it was delicious! 

6. Write more often(物書きに励む)

This is another continued item from the year 2013. Last year, I posted more blog entries than any other years, and it felt good to write; whether poems or translation of poems or haiku or just writing about some random day-to-day events. Writing has always been one of my passion, and I want to become a better writer. 

7. Be kind (ひとに優しく)

My dad is a very quiet person. He hardly even opens his mouth unless he's eating something (he loves to eat!) He never told me to study or to practice piano or not to watch TV or to clean my room; it was mom's job. But there was one thing he always told me; "Be a kind woman. (優しい女性になってください)" Actually, he never said that to me in person; he always wrote that on the birthday cards for me every year, and thanks to him, quite naturally, before I want to become smart or successful or beautiful or whatnot, I would always want to be kind first. I think it's become my lifelong motto by now.    

What's your new year's resolution? Whether you have one or not, happy new year to you!!

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