31 August, 2016

A little of bit off balance

When I climbed into bed last night I realised that I'd not blogged here during the day and I tried to figure out why. It wasn't that I didn't have time, but I think that I'm just a little bit off balance.

School started last Friday for half a day, then fully back into it from Monday. I was looking forward to this, but it still is an adjustment to having so many hours in my day without anyone around.

Of course with a new school year the boys are in different grades and their schedules are slightly different. The big change this year is our youngest son being in middle school and allowed to join the interschool sports teams. These teams practice outside of school time. All of the boys are doing cross-country these next eight weeks and that means training until 5 (or later for our high schooler) on three or four afternoons as week. And training is at school, so I don't see them now from 8ish to 5 or later most days. 

It's new! Not having someone potentially coming home between 3.30 and 4.30 changes things for me. So on Monday I decided to take positive action and use this time: I went to the gym from 3.30, getting home in time to have a shower before three sweaty boys dribbled in. Yesterday I didn't go to the gym, but stayed here and worked on our prayer letter instead. 

I've also gathered new responsibilities in the last couple of months that impact the last week of every month. I've got two newsletters to put together with information that is generated by other missionaries on the field. I'll get used to that too, but it does take time out of the other things I usually do.

I've also been engaging in some more rigorous article acquisition for the magazine. Our winter deadline is racing up quickly (13 Sept) and I realised that my usual fail-safe method hadn't worked (general email to all members asking for articles). So I've been networking, seeking writers on the issue's topic "Independent Missionaries".

There have been a few other things in the mix that have thrown me a little too, all adding up to not quite feeling as on top of things as I usually do.

And just when I am about to really get going here this afternoon, one boy will come home early for his orthodontist appointment and BANG, there goes the rest of my afternoon.

But all of that is just a bit boring. Here are some more interesting things from recent days:

I had a discouraging visit to the immigration office yesterday.
On the way home I cheered myself up with this interesting beverage.
 English? Iced coffee with a shot of soft cream? It was tasty!
The seat of one of the toilets at the immigration office.
You get the impression that immigration isn't a high priority for Japan.
I get this impression from the out-of-the-way office on a
gravel road, and now a broken toilet seat too.
I posted this photo on my FB page yesterday and someone commented
 that it is great that we live in a country with such high standards that
this is noteworthy. True.
I find the irony interesting, however, after seeing Japan's high tech contribution
to the closing ceremony of the Olympics. They're keen to have visitors,
but not so keen for those visitors to stay long enough to need to use an
immigration office? Still, I am grateful they allow us to live and
work here with relatively few restrictions.
But you won't find me sitting on that toilet seat anytime soon.

And finally, some fun courtesy of the local 100 yen store. Do you have something you need to catch? This disposable glove might be just the thing!

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