01 October, 2016

People-filled days

This friend, Jenn, ran the prayer meeting yesterday morning and was also
one of the friends I enjoyed dinner with last night.
I spent all day Thursday behind my desk. I got a lot of good stuff done, but was sick of my own company by the end of the day. In contrast yesterday and today have been people-filled days.

Yesterday morning I went to the school's weekly community prayer meeting, it just goes for an hour and is usually a good time to worship and pray for what's going on at school. We had a good dozen or more parents there. 

After that I went home and had a Skype chat with my life-long friend Mel. It was great to catch-up about some challenges each of us have been facing. 

Then I spent some time dealing with email that had come in overnight and did my usual Friday grocery run for perishables. 

One of the now-defunct community rubbish bins.
I won't be sad to see these rusty old things go.
I also tried to do my civic duty of bin-cleaning. It's a fortnight once a year when we are supposed to "clean" the community bin around the corner. I've never seen anyone else actually do it, so I guess at what I'm supposed to do with the disinfectant, bucket, and scrubbing broom that we get given by our neighbour each year in mid-September. I usually fill the bucket with water on the days that we have "burnable" rubbish collection (it is the smelly rubbish: food scraps, etc), spray some disinfectant into the bin, "scrub" a little and then throw water in there. 

Yesterday the bin was taped shut. From next week the system changes. From next week we have to provide our own bin (or use a bin provided by the local government, but we missed applying for that). That's a big change! Not unwelcome, not just because we will no longer have to take turns cleaning it but because it means the bulky metal bins will get taken off the streets. We currently have to "dodge" these bins while driving (or walking) on our street, there's no footpath to put them on and they sit out on the road. 

At 2pm I enjoyed introducing two couple friends to each other. Both are UK-connected and have kids at CAJ, a relative rarity at the school. It was great to be able to facilitate them meeting up. 

Then I shot off to take our middle son for his last braces-maintenance appointment. That's right, next time they come off! Yippee. 

Then last night I went out with some other local mum-friends for some fun without our kids. 

It was a pretty busy day, but enjoyable too. I wasn't sure about going out in the evening (I've been quite tired in the evening this week) but David told me it would be good for me! And it was, we had a lot of laugh-out-loud fun.

Then our family had an early start this morning for cross country again, with lots of people-time. I travelled down and back with friends. Actually we spent more time travelling than watching racing. It was a small meet today with most high schoolers not coming for various reasons (they had their races on Thursday). Today I met another "foreign" mum from eighth grade. She works in an international university amongst mainly Japanese men. She was thrilled to meet another foreigner! A reminder to me of how important it is to be open to new friends. Us expats do need to support one another. Japan can be a challenging place to live. 

After we got back David and I went out to get some bits and pieces (including a new bin to put our rubbish in on Tuesday) and for a date. Then we went to collect our youngest son from a birthday party and ended up ferrying almost all the kids back to the train station afterwards (two trips in our eight-seater van).

I think some of my malaise earlier in the month was me not only being a tiny bit bored but also resisting the idea of putting effort into relationships that, in all probability, will be shorter-term rather than longer-term. But I've realised that I simply can't succumb to that temptation. The pain of not investing in friendships is worse than the pain of having friends and having to let them go. 

Well I've certainly had my fill of people-time these last 36 hours! Now for some rest. I only got about six hours last night, I generally need at least an hour longer than that!

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