My Japan Day – My Perspective on 4 Years in Japan

4 Years lost in Japan. But it’s not a bad place to lose oneself.

Last year on my Japan Day, I wrote about 11 things in 2011 that changed my life. The year before that I wrote about Looking back on 2 years in Japan. In that same tradition, here’s some more senseless rambling on life in Japan and what it has meant to me in the last year.

2012 was an interesting year. Nowhere near as topsy-turvy and emotional as 2011, but life-changing nonetheless. Overall I had a really positive year, the spread of blog topics in 2012 should have been indicative of that. Just perusing my archives helped me fondly reminisce about some of the things that were great experiences for me. Here are some of my favorites:

The rest of the archived posts seem to be pretty upbeat. Life was busy, very busy, but things were overall going well. I do recall having a lot of stress with baby, work schedule, JLPT, and house planning the last few months — but nothing impossible.

One negative thing I’ve been noticing about myself, though, is that the better I get at Japanese (2012 was another big leap in my comprehension skills) the less I want to use it for anything other than just casual talk. Talking at lunch or dinner, with friends or relatives in Japanese is nice — but in other situations (read “work”) I still prefer using English. Maybe that will pass this year as I put in some extra effort on my speaking skills. Hopefully it isn’t a sign of my rose-tinted glasses loosing their appeal, or of some other funk that I’ve heard tends to hit expats during long-term stays abroad. I’m pretty confident it’s not at this point, but it’s still worth documenting at the beginning of this new year.

A couple months ago I posted this mention about 2013:

I’ve been thinking lately, 2013 is coming fast, and I’m not even sure what I want to improve or change in the next year. I’m not complacent, not even close yet, but I’m feeling a little stretched that perhaps the 2013 todo will include doing less.

And that’s still true. I plan on doing less.. less drinking, less late night outings, less complaining, and less worrying.

I also plan on doing more… more work on business ideas, more basketball, more relaxing with Ayako, Mia, family & friends, and more living.

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