New Year, new start, new pages to write! The past weeks and months have been busy with the move and getting all of us settled, hence both my blogs have been on hold. But things are easing up again and I hope to continue where I left off!
A first step into that direction – my 2016 New Years Motto!
Same like over the past years I do refrain from New Year’s resolutions but rather try to find a motto to guide me for the coming year. My 2015 motto might have been influenced slightly by watching too much Frozen, as it was “Let it go”. But while I reflected on the year I came to notice that it was a perfect motto – it was a year of “Let it go” in various aspects, some nice and some not so pleasant ones.
2015 started with a highlight – flying (on my own, without kids!) to a friend I haven’t seen for over 5 years and where I had one of my best 2015 experiences – a 6 km-long sleigh ride down the mountains close to Munich, filled with laughter and giggles! Something that cheered me up throughout the year – what a fantastic weekend! The year continued with some more family trips and vacations that took us to new places and made us realize once again what beautiful and interesting locations and people are out there! So we kind of ‘let go’ of the old, known trips and made space for the new, unknown.
Our desires of moving were high when we started into 2015 (I still recall the discussions with Richard and our neighbours during the 2014/15 New Year celebration) but at the same time we made the realistic decision of ‘letting go’ of that hope and staying put in Germany for a bit longer. So it came as an even bigger surprise that we indeed ended up moving to Japan. Who knows what lays behind all this. Perhaps the subconscious mind played a trick and by ‘letting go’ and being less focused we made space for something new, here too. Whatever the reason, I am glad we took the risk, threw some concerns overboard and went for the unexpected in the first place. It took us where we are today and we are grateful for that.
Whereas I try to focus on the positive 2015 was as well a year where I learned the hard way to ‘let go’ of some – let’s say – interpersonal mismatches. It was painful and hard at times (and now and then still is) but relationships can’t be forced and sometimes it might indeed be better to ‘let it go’ as well in that area to make space for somebody new.
So where does it leave us for 2016?
I had a tough time coming up with a motto. But a first trip outside of Tokyo and our so-called ”end-of-the-year-celebration’ daytrip to Mount Fuji on December 31st put it together. The day started really cloudy and despite being close, that famous spectacular view onto Mount Fuji was taken due to clouds. On top of that the cable car ride was suspended after the first station due to some minor volcanic activities in the area. Still, we made the best out of it, were impressed to see the heat coming out of the mountains and continued driving around the area, exploring a tiny bit of Japan’s beautiful country side. Now and then the clouds got less and we started to see glimpses of the mountain, but it was kind of teasing us ‘Look at me, I am here but you can’t really see me’. But just before we decided to head back home the sky cleared fully and gave us a clear view, we could see the snow blowing around at the top – a rather impressive view I have to admit!
And that got me thinking about life on the way back home. How it can be fully clouded, partly clouded or clear and sunny at times and how it changes, even throughout at day – kind of like our feelings and emotions. We will always face up and downs / bright and dark sides and it is important to accept and live through all the facets; yet it is vital to stay optimistic. So for this year I found myself with the following motto:
“Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you”
The sun gives us strength, energy and makes us smile, it takes tension and pressure away, it lifts the mood. The shadow, the dwelling on the ‘what if’ is what drags us down. It is easier to face challenges when you look towards the light!
So this year’s motto shall remind me to stay optimistic and to look onto the brighter side, to be more carefree, to worry less and stay at ease!
Here is to a bright, joyful, healthy and mostly stress-free 2016!
Lots of love,
(on a side note: after returning home from the trip with my motto in mind I realized that even the New Year’s Monkey Zodiac plate we bought that day shows a Monkey facing the sun…coincidence?!)