Thursday, March 5, 2015

One Little Word 2015: Nurture (February)

This is my vision board collage for February's assignment in Ali Edwards One Little Word class.

I collected images from magazines that I had lying around the house, but I had bought one Brit Women's magazine and a foodie magazine for just such this occasion.

I found that images of nature inspire the word "Nurture" for me, and I wondered if perhaps I need to get outside more. I like nature, but more than that, I like to get my work done, so I stay inside a lot using the computer, reading books and other materials, keeping up with housework, etc. What is that all about? That is NOT nurturing anything really!

So, I tried to think about my five best and most vivid memories from my childhood:
1. Playing on my tree swing
2. Swimming at the lake
3. Walking/skiing in our woods
4. Riding my bike
5. Girl scout camp

And, then I tried to think about my five best and most vivid memories from my 20s.
1. Skiing in the moonlight
2. Long, long walks at night
3. Riding my bike
4. Road trips with friends
5. Long drives into the countryside

And, now. What? I have barely been outdoors this entire spring vacation, and I am now entering my third and last month of vacation. Granted, I have tons of work to do, and I had several kid-related and volunteer projects on my plate, but one thing is clear.

I was really good at nurturing myself when I was younger. I knew what I needed and I allowed myself to take breaks. I allowed myself to enjoy the outdoors alone and in the company of others.

So, yes, while I may be a scaredy-cat about traveling to other countries, and even if I wasn't, I have to save all our money to go to Wisconsin every year, I can still make an effort to enjoy nature locally.

Other nurture-related issues that come up on my vision board relate to nurturing my family and nurturing my own body.

First, my family. I think I should win "Super Mom of the Year" award for all that I did for Ailin during the month of February. First, I cancelled two sets of plans (one was to travel to Sendai for an AFWJ Convention and the other to travel for a Cambodia for a teachers' conference) so that I could stay here and support her through a big dance event. Second, I spent basically the whole month, getting her ready for it - taking her to extra dance practices, re-making two costumes for her, buying stuff for her accessories, listening to that god-awful music over and over. Oh, it wasn't so god-awful, but let's just say it was a mix of 10 different songs and it was long, loud and repetitive. But, we did it. She enjoyed the big day, and she looked good, and she wrote me a few thank you letters this week - the heartfelt kind that took a long time to write and color. Oh, and did I mention that I hosted a birthday party for her? For the first time in five years? I am a brave and nurturing soul!
Ailin was in the "Fine Day" Group.
The costume for the ending number.

The Fine Day Group. Ailin is back center on right.

The ending number. Ailin is on right in the back. Very hard to see her here though.

Birthday party for several of her classmates

Second, my own body. I took up yoga (hot yoga) in January to see if I would like it. Luckily, I did like it and have decided to continue with it. The teacher made two yoga CDs for me because I commented on how great her choice of music is, and listening to those CDs helps me relax a lot. Unfortunately, due to my class schedule and commute, I will have to find a different studio. There is a hot yoga studio about one block from my campus in Tokyo, so I may decide to go there from April.

Three major areas of my life appeared in my vision board. Nature, which needs some work. Family, which went well and now I need to keep the momentum going. And my own body, which is still a work in progress but at least I have found something that is not only good for my body but also for my mind.

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