Coming back after long holiday is always tough, even more so if this marks the start of yet another year and carries the weight of the widely common “new year, new me” expectations, goals and resolutions. I stopped doing that long time ago. The only thing of this kind that remains is the list with my twelve New Year wishes, however, once written and read while quickly eating the twelve grapes and counting the twelve clock strikes on the New Year’s, I do not look at it again until the next December 31st. This saves all the stress and guilt that you may not be acting according to your own plan, leaves more room for the unplanned, and is a lot of fun at the year end when those wishes have already been long forgotten.
I once wrote about procrastination and at that time I really thought summer is the worst season in Japan when it is hard to motivate yourself to even go out of the building. Yet, with each year I pass in Japan, it seems not as bad as the very first one. On the other hand, winters are increasingly painful, not because it gets very cold (snow or negative temperatures are very rare in Tokyo area), but because it gets really cold at home. Insulation is extremely poor and central heating non-existent, which means you have to be creative about how to keep your home warm and you will be struggling to pull yourself out of bed into the cold every single morning. That’s why, while I plan to go to see the famous snow monster during the (rest of the) year, as soon as the winter comes, that inspiration evaporates as the last year’s snow…
Instead, I almost envy those red-nosed Japanese snow monkeys that spend their days in the hot springs, wondering why do all these crazy people come around in crowds to disturb them.
I have recently read that according to some studies, people tend to spend on average only six hours per week outside during the winter months. I bet it should be the peak season for Netflix, cinemas, museums, book sellers and other in-door activity providers. Can there be a better time to catch up with movies and books that were waiting on your list? I don’t know about you, but I am pretty much following the in-doors trend.
While it may be a slow start on business side elsewhere around the world, for a typical Japanese company it is the start of the last quarter of the financial year, thus, it gets busy from day one you are back. It may be New Year, yet life and work continues more or less the same way with an anticipation of smaller or bigger changes coming around April. They always do.
In the meantime, for all those who need another reference point to reset any goals or resolutions, Chinese New Year is less than a week away 😉