Yesterday I rested but now I think I have a cold… probably caught one from someone at the hospital.

I went back to school today and had three classes in a row. Most of the kids were okay but my last class is one that always gives us problems. But my teachers were so understanding about me not feeling well. I have begun to realize that my teachers are just like me, doing the best they can with what they have. I need to cut everyone some slack, including myself. I am looking forward to another year here, no matter who stays or goes. I need to learn how to deal with people even if I don’t like them. And I don’t need to stress myself out just because I don’t get along with someone.

So I got a Kindle Paperwhite and it’s amazing. I love reading in bed with it with the lights off. It is so soothing and it feels like there is nothing but me and the book. I almost feel transported back to the time when I was a kid who read under the covers or in a fort I made with pillows and blankets.

I set a goal for myself to read 50 books in 2014. Last year I tried to read 100 because I had a lot of free time, but I only read 9. Now that I have a little more stability and a pretty device to read on, I will definitely read a lot more. I am already on track to read about 4 books a month! I am on The Book Thief now and I plan on reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell after that. Then maybe Looking for Alaska. I have so many books I am pumped about reading, I know this challenge will fly by as long as I bring my Kindle with me everywhere.

My students always make me smile. They care about me a lot and I love talking with them. Lunch/cleaning time is my favorite because I always go up there and bother them.

My friend just let me know that she hit for tickets for the upcoming Tegomass concert in April! Since I have yet to re-register for the fanclub, I had to ask her to get my ticket. Another friend of mine who lives in Kyoto hit for both days in Fukuoka, so she will be coming to stay at my house and go to the concert with me. It’s a dream come true to be able to go to concerts with so many friends. I am really lucky that I don’t have to sit at home in America steaming over the fact that I am far far away. But I completely feel for those of you who are! Hang in there!

I am trying to find more ways to relax. Reading helps, and so does watching movies. I recently watched 21 Jump Street and Pitch Perfect (for the second time – still amazing.) I also finished a Taiwanese drama I started a long time ago and every so often I get excited and I get back into studying Mandarin. I am also looking up jobs in Taiwan that I can take in a few years. I know I would rather do something else besides teaching, and I have found a few things in the publishing realm that seem perfect.

But planning is my problem. I am stressed because I always want to think about what is next, what I will do to move forward. I need to be happy with now. I need to remind myself that there are great things about living here and doing this job. Planning is both a stress relief and a stressor for me. Graduate school, job searches, thinking about where I will live in the future.. all of it is fun, but I need to live for now. So I am going to take a break from thinking and just read. Just watch a movie when I’m down. Just go to concerts and scream until my lungs give out.

Procrastination is so strange. We procrastinate on the things we don’t want to do like cleaning and homework, but we also procrastinate doing the things we DO want to do, like getting around to reading that book or finishing our own.

Lately I have been feeling sort of anti-social. And when I do want to hang out with people, it is usually one-on-one because being in a large group makes me feel less likely to be heard or respected. But the good thing is that I have a lot of support and I have tons of fun with those people who do spend one-on-one time with me.

The Japanese teacher who sits next to me offered to take me to Nagasaki! It’s her hometown, and there is a Lantern Festival for the Chinese New Year that is still going on. I wanted to go but didn’t want to spend the money to go by train or stay the night alone, and even if I found a friend it seemed more of a hassle than a fun time. But now that someone, especially a fellow teacher I love but never see outside of the confines of school, is willing to take me, I am more than excited to go!

Let’s start thinking about now and just move forward gradually.

Because really, worrying is a waste of the imagination.

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