Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 157: Friday again

It's Friday again. I am working on a proposal at 6 am, and on Skype with Tokyo until 10. I call my friend in NY and pitch my company for business, emailing away and dealing with errands for the family in between. Finally, I roll downhill for lunch with my friends who fill me in on their lives. My start-up friend imparts wisdom on how to use Twitter and LinkedIn for business. He also explains that a widget is an API - whereas, he realizes the blank look on our faces, and drops the level a few notches for the audiences' benefit. As my other friend says she envies our adventures, we remind her that she gets a paycheck, which we envy.

I run a few more errands, and sink into the library arm chair waiting for my trombonist to be delivered by the yellow school bus. Back home, Julien, who is caught in the downpour calls for a ride. I say "no" since I have Skype in 2 minutes, then feel bad. So, leaving Maxime in charge, I drive downhill to pick Julien up. As we head back uphill with his friend in tow, Daniel's mom who had also said "no", calls to see where they, as she is waiting for him one street uphill. She and I get an "A" for trying. Mamma lions who push their cubs off the cliff. So much for tough love. Duration 2 minutes. Back home, Maxime has been entertaining my partners on Skype. Another couple hours on Skype strategizing, and all I can do is roll in bed at 9 exhausted.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Day 155 & 156: Just Ask

I have been socially active these past couple of days. Lunch with a friend/ex-colleague to catch up on activities. She encourages me to stay the course, as there is light at the other end of the tunnel. Evening Skype with partners followed by dinner with friends from Singapore and DC.

This morning, I drive down to San Jose in my batmobile, present to a company, and ask for business. I have decided to "just ask". When I was a worker bee employee, chores fell into my lap without asking and the paycheck would come whether you added value to the world or not. It's a different world out there now. I have decided to just ask. This takes getting used to - I grew up in an environment where outright asking is considered rather uncouth and vulgar. I don't particularly like rejection either. In addition to this, I don't like to impose. But, I believe in the value add that we can provide, I don't have the luxury of dreading "no", and besides, others don't seem to mind that I ask. What a surprise!

So, I come out of the meeting feeling really upbeat. I head off to Palo Alto for lunch with friends, which is always great. Afterwards, I pay homage to my dorm house in Escondido Village (111F to be exact). This is where it all started for me, when I had nothing. In fact, that year in EV was quite trying - classes in a foreign country surrounded by uber smart and aggressive classmates, separation, legal battles. But, somehow I knew I had to do what I had to do, and I knew I would be stronger and happier once the dust settled. It's nice to come push the "reset button" at my personal ground zero once in a while.

To reward myself for getting out there and asking away, I stop by my favorite $25 dollar foot massage place, and feel the tension of the past couple of weeks melting away.

Zooming home at high speed while seeking camoflage among other culprits, I feel the new me. This must be how bamboo shoots feel as they grow one node at a time.

Skype in the evening, followed by leftover galore and a few more "to do's" to do tonight.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Day 154: Assertion

My partners in Japan are really using their relationships and talent to drum up business. This evening, I look at LinkedIn and see that many of my friends have hundreds of contacts, whereas I have a few dozen linked to me. I decide that it's time to open up to more people, and go through my contact list. So I invite those who are already on LinkedIn. If they are there, I imagine they don't mind being contacted for business unless they strongly dislike me.

Funny how this alone makes me feel like I have established something. When you are a start-up, you can't be shy about asking. They may say "no", but at least you have asked. It's not like the old days where you could sit at your desk and wait for someone to drop an assignment in your lap.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 153: Rainy Monday

The day starts with a midnight call for my partners in Japan. All through the morning and even in the early afternoon, I receive emails. As the night owls go off to sleep finally, another early bird starts chirping. With sleeping habits and the planet being round, we can virtually work 24/7 amongst us.

American schools have so many days off, today being one of them for our district. Since I need to clean the house, I incorporate child labor, and find that, in many ways, it's easier doing it myself. After a lunch of blue cheese alfredo with pasta and sausage, we roll downhill for pool, library, rugby and returning the Fawlty Towers DVD.

In the evening, I am back on Skype with my partners in Japan until they need to head out for a meeting midtown. In the kitchen, Aya has made excellent custard pudding with caramel and strawberries on top. We decide on an abbreviated supper with cheese and bread, artichokes, and the pudding. We all agree that the kids will be popular in college by virtue of their cuisinary talent.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Day 151 & 152: Errands

This morning, I book tickets for a summer in France. At lunch, Julien says he sure would like to have a real French brie. I sense that food has a lot to do with being French.

My friend in Japan has decided to restrict wine to once a week at home, since she is concerned about the soil contamination that nurtured the grapes. I have many other things to worry about and put soil contamination on the backburner for now.

It rains on and off, but more off than on, this weekend. Grateful. My daughters and I dart off to Costco to load up on food. The whole weekend is a series of errands, and shuttling kids here and there.

We manage to go through our many, many bookcases, and donate bags of books to the library. As I stack books to donate, people come by to make sure I am not giving away their "special books". Books are transfered from the donation pile, to the keep forever pile. The stacks that make it to the library are lucky, too. It's nice to think that somebody will like these books.

Friday, January 22, 2010


That is "thank god it's friday and the sun is out" - I find myself humming "here comes the sun, doo doo do doo" while fixing myself a late breakfast. I hear that my kids "had nothing to eat for breakfast" as "all the bread was gone". Well, forewarned is forearmed. I fix myself some rice!

The rain has left emotional and physical damage. As I drive to pick Maxime up from his camp, I count three sail boats washed up along Tiburon Blvd. Every year, this happens, but I never get to see when the owners come pick them up. It must be pretty heart wrenching to see their pet boat on its keel.

For the first time this week, I go to the pool in the evening. Thanks go to Aya and Maxime. As I hyperventilate about life, they ask me while wolfing down bread (!) if I did anything for myself today. Technically speaking, the fact that I am starting my own business is 100% for myself. However, at times, it doesn't quite feel that way. It's nice that my children show consideration this way. I look back to when I was a child, and realize I never felt that my parents needed time to do something for themselves. It may have been because my parents actually had a life, and spent energy on time for themselves. In any event, it's nice that the kids have grown to an age where they can actually think about me.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Day 149: Ughh

Still raining here...ughh.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 148: Technology

It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring... Thanks to my ear plugs, I snored till the sun came up in the morning. By the time I got downstairs, the two high schoolers were gone to their bus stops in the downpour. Aya came home in the afternoon with her sneakers squishing away. Julien came home from rugby practice looking incredibly dry. Meanwhile, I venture out once when the rain stops to swing by the post office and then to get some bread, and otherwise stay put.

Email is great though - NY, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Singapore, San Jose, Santiago... Amazing how connected I can be. Friends, friends, everywhere. So great, so instant.

Tired of the rain, I book some tickets to the south of France for the summer. Cote d'Azur is beckoning. This reminds me of Google Earth. Once in a while, my kids and I zoom into places we know, just for fun. Google Earth manages to zoom into THE ping pong table the kids play on in France. If Google Earth can do this, I am a little worried about what the CIA, Interpol, KGB, M6, China and Austin Power can do.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day 147: Take me for granted

Website creation is a lot like knitting. It makes your eyes cross, and your back ache. But I have persevered in updating my website. At sitekreator, John does not compare to Mark, so I figure it out myself, and am very proud about it.

Lunch comes, meaning I make it for myself. Then the insurance broker comes. He is annoyed that he has managed to get himself lost. Not a word of apology for making me spend 15 minutes guiding him out of the maze in Tiburon and safely to my house.

But, that is trivial. The heavens open their floodgates again, and I need to save my kids from certain death from drowning. One by one, I confirm they can get back home, and swerve downhill to scoop up the stray duckling at the library. Funny that she thinks it's quite natural that I should be there looking for her. "Let's go.", she says, without a word of thanks. I now understand what all the other moms say when they talk about being taken for granted.

In the evening, someone calls for my husband. I tell him that I am his wife and can speak to him about the subject. He doesn't seem to understand English. He presses for my husband to call back. Neanderthal. It reminds me of NY. The local fire department calls once in a while asking for "the man of the house". Forget about the "lady of the house" little lady. They want the "man". Apes.

Up north, my youngest duckling is camping with his classmates. The teacher kindly sends updates with upbeat messages about how much fun they are having in the pouring rain.

Day 146: Rain, Rain, Go Away!

When I moved here 4 years ago, I learned that there is a rainy season in the Bay Area. It starts around Halloween and ends around Easter. January and February are peak months. So we find ourselves drenched in rain for the fourth day. Charlie refuses to go outside unless he really needs to, and even so, he looks like he is being led to the guillotine.

It is 7:15 am, but the sun is nowhere to be seen. Downstairs, Maxime is preparing for his 4-day outdoor ed camp. Maybe they can learn how to swim on land there.

Days like this, it's sure nice not to have a job that requires walking outdoors a lot.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Day 145: Correlation

Last night around 2 am, a loud bang and scurrying feet awaken me. Of course, my husband dons his robe, but makes it to the landing and back to the bed. So, after a while, I (who can not combat with burglars very well) make it downstairs to find Camille filling up her water bottle and pointing to a whole log of pork loin on the kitchen floor. The Pyrex that used to house the pork is also on the floor, as are the carrots and celery that accompanied it. This is how I find myself on all fours scrubbing the floor in the middle of the night. Charlie is in hiding.

This morning, instead of making the 8:30 yoga, I decide to sloth it out. This doesn't quite work out, as I turn on my PC and find email communications throughout the night which result in working on and off through the day. But, at 4 o'clock, I walk down the hill to the pool and do my routine 25 minutes + 20 minutes of shower & sauna, and feel much better. Swimming in the rain is very calming IF you can make it to the pool.

As most people savor the long weekend, it's interesting how it makes little difference to me. The volatility of emotion no longer has correlation to the day of the week.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Day 144: 12 x 12 = chantilly

12 x 12 = 144. Twelve is full circle in Japan. Twelve squared must be something significant, although I don't know what.

Dinner last night with a total of 14 (includes Charlie) was great fun. Thanks to all the cooking I did yesterday, I don't cook at all today!!! Instead, I spend the entire morning cleaning the house, while my husband mysteriously dissappears. To reward myself, we go out to lunch. At the eye doctor, we find that my daughter who has worn glasses since she was 2-years-old, may no longer need glasses or contact lenses in a very short time. Hallelujah!

In the evening, I am on Skype again for a couple of hours with my partners in Tokyo to strategize. Highly productive.

Dinner is leftovers, but the leftovers are even better than yesterday. It sure feels nice not having to cook for once.

Speaking of which, one summer in France we had over 20 people rotating through our house. We had a chef who would go grocery shopping, and cook lunches and dinners. Those were the days.... The chef consulted with the lady of the house (i.e. me) about the menu, but since I was totally clueless, my mother-in-law would take charge with assistance from my kids. And so it happens that the dessert for one lunch was peach melba. I was pretending to be a dolphin in the pool, when the chef comes to ask if I would permit him to go to town to get some "Chantilly". Caught in the compromising act of imitating a dolphin and having no clue whatsoever of the identity of chantilly, I demand clarification. Pantomime ensues, and I figure there is much motion of the hand in the creation of chantilly. Chantilly appears to be rather copious. I figure it goes with the peach melba. I say, please proceed, as I go back to being a dolphin. At dessert, I finally realize that chantilly is whipped cream. Ever since, I have special affection for chantilly.

I ponder the trajectory of being lady of the house to my current jack of all trades status: scullery maid, janitor, website designer, secretary, analyst, strategist, translator, cook, salesperson. Nostalgia drives me to plan a summer in the south of France again. Here we come, chantilly!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 143: Peeling

You know how snakes peel away their skin when they grow out of their own selves...well, that's how I feel today.

Nothing has happened that you can see physically (unfortunately), but I am not the me that was yesterday. I have taken charge of my destiny turbo-charged today.

At the library, I borrow a book called "Perfect Balance Creat time & space for all parts of your life". I read the first 5 pages and like it. I am also reading (as I am one of those who parallel process reading several books at a time) "The Highly Intuitive Child". I have five of them, and am an outgrowth of one myself. My youngest tells me he feels the pain when someone gets hurt or is teased. It's like a little tug. How well I understand this! My husband, on the other hand, couldn't be more different. It's interesting how we are compatible.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 141 & 142: Unusually long terms musings

30 years from now, I wonder how we are going to look back at 2010. International strifes, natural disasters, monetary policies, etc.

When all my kids are middle-aged, like I am now, I hope we will have figured out a way to be at peace with everything. I doubt this will happen, though. Disparity in living standards, education, philosophies, seem too huge for this to be possible.

I wonder if all the cute innocent babies, have little seeds of vice, greed, and urge of power embedded in them when they are born. Is it nature or nurture?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 140: Cultural Differences

It is interesting how different cultures interpret something that was initially the same thing differently. Take curry, for instance. Indian curry and Thai curry are different, but it's nothing compared to Japanese curry. If you go to a supermarket in Japan, you will find as many curry mixes as you'll find cereal boxes here in the US. Look at cheese. Thanks to my husband, I have become a cheese connoisseur over the years. But look at the US - Swiss, cheddar, lite or normal...

I have hit the wall for websites. My friends here tell me the site looks great, and how did I do it? My friends in Japan shake their heads in dismay. "It's the font and the look.", they say. I take a look at some of the Japanese sites that are internet companies and crinkle my nose. Just as the notion of beauty for women are different, so is the notion of beauty for websites.

Which reminds me of an interesting comment my friends made when I was back in Japan. According to them, a lot of Japanese women who marry non-Japanese men (known as "Gaijin")are often not what the average Japanese would consider attractive. Well, it's good that what is trash for some, can be treasures for others. I feel fortunate that my husband found me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 139: Round and round

I have grown roots to my chair today. My friend in Tokyo sleeps very little, and therefore keeps me company until late morning my time. We trade emails on ideas. Then, I work on website revisions - this is like knitting. My eyes cross, my thoughts converge. I swallow down lunch and race with time. Today, my helper comes to clean the house, and I get kicked out of my bedroom/office mid-afternoon. I go to the post office, the grocery store and then to the pool for a few laps. I feel the need to explain myself. I like swimming and yoga. But, that's not the only reason I swim and go to yoga. Swimming and yoga are cheaper alternatives than Prozac.

I come home, and Skype calls. I chat for an hour. By the time I am done, my meat loaf is smelling good. We dine. The meatloaf that was supposed to last a couple of days, simply dissapears. I have underestimated the power of youth yet again.

As I sit here, emails start flowing again from all my good friends on the other side of the world. The world is round, and I really get it now.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Day 138: Disclaimer

My friends who read this blog have told me that my life sounds idyllic. What you must all keep in mind is that this is a PG13 blog, so blood and sweat are kept intentionally under covers. You should view this blog as any old corporate annual report. Do you know of any company that talks about its glass ceilings, company politics, or lack of adequate internal controls in its annual reports? While the contents of an annual report are true, it is not the whole truth. Just read your own company's report, and you'll see what I mean.

So, while my life may seem like elegant decadence itself - yoga, swimming, meditation, dinners, massages, and general love and happiness - this is the truth, but not the whole truth.

This evening, I chat with my two friends in Tokyo on Skype again. One is very athletic and runs a half marathon once a month. The other abhors any kind of cardiovascular activity. I once took her to yoga - she stomped out half way in utter disgust. Neither of them weighs 100 lbs, so I guess it doesn't matter whether you exercise or not. You are what you eat.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 137: Hope and Fear

Hope and fear, happiness and sadness are intertwined in life. I wake up to see the sun rise over the East Bay and Angel Island - such a beautiful view. Then, Julien comes to remind me of his driving lesson on the HIGHWAY!!! Hope and fear.

My husband and I resort to yoga for happiness where the teacher quotes the Dalai Lama - "Breathe in compassion for yourself, breathe out compassion for others." I double-breathe in compassion for myself.

This evening, I find five 14-year-old girls at home exerting high energy. With a total of 8 children full of energy and hope, how can I not feel exhilarated? Even so, I warn them to speak in whispers and even adopt pantomime after 10 o'clock. I also recommend using the pillow to muffle the sound if they must giggle, for giggle is what girls do well.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 136: Rebound

The day starts out foggy as I drive Maxime to school early with his bigger-than-life trombone, but the sun comes out mid-morning. I have recovered from the doldrums and plough through my "to do's". I speak with a friend in Maryland, who helps me regain perspective even more. In the afternoon, I run errands, and then on impulse, decide to squeeze in a few minutes of swimming. As I rush to swoop up my trombone player, he calls to say he'd like to stay at the library a little, so take it easy. I waddle back into the sauna, and do exactly that.

Back home, I continue with my to do list and feel a lot more energized. I am more assertive. I find new ways to make the business work, and get on the horn to ask for work. In Japan, my partners are working away through the weekend.

The days are getting longer, I realize. After winter comes spring.

This evening, we discover that Camille has grown taller than her older sister. 3 years younger and still growing. No wonder she is tired and has to take a nap. Camille turns to me and asks whether I get tired as I shrink. I hope not.

Day 135: Grow Up

Over time, I have found that many people have difficulty sleeping at night due to anxiety. Happy-go-lucky runs in my genes, and so I hardly ever have this problem. But, it does happen once in a while. As I toss and turn in bed, I remember a friend telling me that you have to love misery to be an entrepreneur. Another friend speaks to me in my sleep, "Well, DARLING HONEY... You know what you have to do."

What I have to do is to snap out of it, and get my rearend in gear again. So, I try. But I am rather lethargic due to lack of sleep. By, 4 in the afternoon, I am on Skype again with my partners in Japan. Our project is progressing and there are lots to be done. They are working full speed. I am embarassed to be wallowing in my puddle of self-pity (I blame part of it on the foggy weather).

At 7, my friends gather here for dinner in honor of an out-of-town classmate. I am not the only one looking tired. We are all trying to figure out the new rules of the game. Instead of complaining "who changed the rules?", I decide to snap out of it. It's great to have friends and family that travel through the journey of growing up alongside you.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Day 134: Peace

Every time I launch my internet, BBC News comes up, and it's Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen & Oman (the "Yeah man", "Oh man" combo), or some other country that is about to blow up. Does it feel like we plug one hole in the world peace balloon, and another one opens up? Is it a futile effort? Are we going to die anyway, so why live?

We shall live! Just because we are going to sleep in bed, doesn't mean we're not going to make our beds in the morning. Just because I am growing older and less beautiful, doesn't mean I'm going to stop brushing my hair and teeth in the morning.

I skipped meditation this morning, so I meditate while swimming. After my Costco run and cooking for dinner while eating my grapefruit, I talk to Charlie about the meaning of life and love. He is in full agreement, as he nods and lifts his paw in a "How!" kind of way.

Julien returns from his first rugby practice with all his bones intact. We feast on curry, and then go back to do what we all can (violin, homework, work, blog and nap) to live our lives to our fullest.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Day 133: Division

The kids are back in school again. Yes!! Or so I thought. Around lunchtime, it's kind of lonely. Around 2, I go grocery shopping, swing by the pool and then come home to jump on a conference call with my partners in Japan. Meanwhile, Aya comes in with a form for me to sign, Charlie is groaning on the carpet and I feel the need to explain that it is not me. Maxime comes with his homework on division with decimal points. 2 hours later, when I am done with my call, Maxime is in full rage mode. As we prepare dinner together, he has regained confidence and is shaking his hips while moving the decimal points on both the divisor and the dividend to the right with an encouraging "hmm hmm hmm" sound. His father comes home when all is well, and peers at the homework saying "Ahh, division." Apparently, it wasn't his favorite topic either, and his math teacher kept him after school for a couple of hours days on end, trying to reach comprehension. I, on the other hand, never had any problems with division. Look where it has gotten us now. My husband is a rocket scientist with a PhD in mechanical engineering, while I am a blogger. Life is funny.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Day 132: Yemen

At dinner tonight, I ask where Yemen is anyway. Aya says, it's right next to Oman. Which then turns to the topic of "Jammin', Jammin' in the name of the Lord." Whereas, Julien looks surprised and says "You know Bob Marley!?"

Thanks to my friend Noreen, not only do I know Bob Marley, I actually know how to sing a few songs of his.
When I was off-the-boat-immigrant, Noreen berated me for not knowing what jammin' was all about, and proceeded to teach me the song, at which point some other colleagues joined in. Many long, tedious days and nights on the desk, I would find myself singing a tune from Bob Marley, Mary Poppins, or something equally outlandish and find some similarly "beyond sanity" colleagues sing along.

I learn that one of these colleagues, after regaining youth, has managed to break a few bones skiiing in Vermont on a frozen lake. All I can say is "Ouch!!" and that pride comes before the fall. Just because you used to ski to school in St. Catherine, Ontario, doesn't mean you can ski on a frozen lake, Pat. But, it's good to have that fighting spirit going. I think I have a lot of fighting spirit in me, but my kids laugh and remind me about the hypothetical situation of meeting a mountain lion on the hill. In a moment of weakness, I allegedly told them that I would simply sit down and tell the mountain lion to "just eat me". I am sure that my bones would be easy to crack, and would not be too sharp, either. My physical therapist can attest to this, as she managed to crack a few bones tonight.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 131: Maman a dit....

I love it when the kids tell my husband, "Maman a dit que..." Mommy has said...therefore it is final, so it sounds. If only it were. This afternoon, my husband, Maxime, Charlie and I go for a walk up the hill. We meet a few other dog walkers, one who says to me that Maxime looks just like my husband! In fact, he does. The eternal baby faces... When Maxime was in pre-school, all the moms would hail him in the streets. When I asked him why they all liked him, he said, "Mommy, why wouldn't they like me? I'm cute, I'm smart, and I'm well dressed." I suppose this is why I celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary today. Not that the anniversary really means that much. We were living together and had Julien before we were married. Given that my requirement for a husband was that he was poor and self-made, he has kept his side of the bargain. We had a great wedding at the Buffalo city hall in snow boots. The elevator man took us to the 13th floor and told us "Dog license to the left, marriage license to the right." The clerk read us our vows from a magenta laminated piece of paper, and we had to call the typist away from her desk as witness. For lunch, we stopped by the Husky Inn on the Canadian side of the border to wolf down some Husky cheese burger, before picking Julien up from daycare.

Now, I wonder if I have kept my side of the bargain... He wanted four kids. He has five. Other than that, I choose not to think too much. As the kids say, "Maman a dit..." , so it must be final.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 130: Romper Room

When I was a kindergartner, there was a TV show called Romper Room. The teacher would hold up a magic mirror and call out random names of kids who were watching the show. Now, I know that Amy and Patty, Michael and Christopher, Marie, Simon, Arvin, Aya, Maxime, Noreen, Pat, Joan, Paula, Lucy, Jacques, Pascale, Eva and many more are out there, anxious to get a head start on the new year.

In Japan, the first dream of the year is supposed to have special meaning. Hatsuyume is typically the dream you had last night - the dream between January 1st and 2nd. I recall mine to the kids at breakfast. There are two types of friends in my dream- one type that looks like a friend but really isn't, and another that may not even seem friendly, but actually really cares about you. As I describe the first type, Camille says, "I know, that's the type that uses you." In my hatsuyume, this type was certainly using me. In fact, I was washing a lot of dirty dishes for the first type. Obtuse though I am, I remember thinking in my dream that it didn't seem right.

In any event, I have missed yoga, so I decide to go to the pool. Maxime says he'll join me, as he enjoyed it yesterday. "It's like a bath for the emotion", says he, as I explain that this is what meditation is supposed to be. So, after breakfast, Maxime, Charlie and I meditate for 13 (shorter) minutes (than yesterday) and go to the pool, where we share the pool, and then the hot tub, with an elderly couple who are flirting with each other. Awkward as it seems to us, it's nice to see that hope springs eternal.

Lunch is meat loaf with garlic, onion, egg plants, carrots and mushroom. We then drive up Mount Tamalpais to the East Peak (2,571 ft high) and hike up to a fire station outlook to view San Francisco, Marin and the East Bay. Charlie is happy to be home, and promptly sprawls on the floor. My inclination is to do this too, but instead, I make a mushroom soup to be followed by 5 cheeses (thanks to Costco that now even carries mimolette) for dinner.

At the back of my mind, I am thinking of what needs to be done to make my business work. Just like Amy and Patty, Michael and Christopher, Marie, Simon, Arvin, Aya, Maxime, Noreen, Pat, Joan, Paula, Lucy, Jacques, Pascale, Eva and many more out there.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 129: 01/01/10

Happy New Year! I have been waiting for 2010 to arrive. As we enter the new year, Maxime and I are frantically trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle. It is a race against time, the goal being to complete before the end of 2009. We finish it 10 minutes into 2010. As the kids toast with apple cider, Maxime tells me it's actually better to have missed the deadline, as we now already have one major accomplishment early on in the year. I high five to that! This is the kind of optimistic thinking that I aspire to in 2010.

At 9 in the morning, I salute the first day of the year again. After 13 very long minutes of meditation, we call family in France and Japan, swim a few laps at the pool and sit down for lunch. New Year's Day in Japan is all about visiting relatives. Here, as we have no relatives, it's a bit of a non-event. We do what we pretty much do any other day, until it's time to head to our neighbors' for the first glass of champagne. We exchange fun information about our adventures from 2009 and toast to our bright future this year. It's a nice mellow start.