Thursday, December 31, 2009

Day 128: Oomisoka ("oh-me-so-ka")

The last day of the year is upon us. Most of the world have flipped into 2010. I find oomisoka, as we call it in Japan to be non-eventful in America. There is very little that is different than any ordinary day. In Japan, there is a huge amount of hustle and bustle with people doing their last minute shopping and the big house cleaning of the year. At Costco this morning, the line is non-existent, as we check out our food. At lunchtime, the pool has all of 5 people lapping.
As Japan rises for the first morning of the year, I call my parents and pass the phone around to their grandchildren. The ritual will be repeated later for my in-laws and sister who live in France. Re-setting the clock once a year is a good idea. My goal for 2010 is to make enough money to keep my family happy and healthy, while ensuring that the "money-making process" keeps me happy and healthy as well. I need to make sure not to offer little pieces of my soul in exchange for money anymore. My soul is all I have for the next half century or so (for we live long in my family). For starters, I will sit and meditate (or pretend to) everyday for the next 72 days.

Meanwhile, I must tend to dinner plans, starting with toshikoshi soba - Japanese buckwheat noodle which guarantees longevity from year to year. There is also the kuromame my friend's mother gave me. Beans are also good, as it represents diligence and persistence, which translates into success. If you don't know why it translates into success, I suggest you read "Outliers" by Malcom Gladwell at the library. According to him, 10,000 hours is the magic number to success, assuming you are innately talented to begin with. This translates into 10 years according to Malcolm, which reminds me of the philosophy professor who gave me my one and only "C" in college. 10 hours x 1000 days is only 3 years, I think, as I twist on the floor for my PT (physical therapy) homework. I suppose some people take it easy... 10 years indeed. hmpph! But then again, there is the saying that "too much is just as bad as too little". The middle road presents itself again. For 2010, I suspect I need to be less demanding of myself and my family if I want to stay on the middle road. Sounds easy enough, unless you are me.... Happy Oomisoka!

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