As usual this is a time to reflect on the year that has been and the year to come. For me, it feels like I'm hitting the reset button on parts of my life. I have had a very busy year in my teaching career, too busy to think at times. This year that changes and it will give me space to be creative in my job. Personally, I was faced with the death of my mother in August and that month was pretty much a write-off. As far as my martial arts endeavours go, I still train, I still get on the mat but I have an ongoing injury that is becoming more and more of a nuisance and needs dealing with. Things are feeling a little stagnant on that front.
I started 2019 by getting up early (as I always do) and exercising. Then I changed the offerings at the kamidana and cleaned my sword and re-oiled my bokken, setting up for the year ahead. I am going to see an osteopath for my back in two days and hopefully I can make some progress.
I am happy with my life right now, with my family, my nutrition, my lifestyle but I know that will change when work kicks off again. So I am thinking about how I can incorporate some of the good lifestyle choices of today into the more hectic lifestyle of tomorrow.
Its time to reset my life.
I have been reading a book called "The Okinawa Way" written by Bradley Willcox, Craig Willcox and Makato Suzuki. It is based on a 25-year study of centenarians in Okinawa. It reveals the diet, exercise, and lifestyle practices of these long-lived people.
It is well-researched and has been an amazing read for me. It has helped me evaluate my own lifestyle and I have made some small changes. One of the key components that these researchers believe contribute to these people living a long time is their ability to manage stress. They strongly advocate for people to have good social networks, meditate and get outside. The lessons for me here are around being social. As a school teacher I am forced into intense social interactions daily so that when it gets to the end of the day or week, I can be very antisocial. I am naturally introverted so I am drained after a day of teaching. However, it is good to have close friends and those relationships must be fostered. So moving into 2019 I need to find ways of keeping my social network strong.
Of course, TSYR is an important part of maintaining friendships. My fellow deshi are very important to me. So I head into 2019 with a bit of a plan.