Work has been a complete nightmare and I'm trying hard not to let it do my head in but. . .it hasn't been easy. How is it that so many incompetent people rise to the top and hold jobs for which they are not even remotely qualified?
Maybe I need to refocus my attention and think about the things that I should be thankful for, such as:
1. My daughter, who makes me a better person.
2. My son-in-law, who actually likes me.
4. My health. I'm pretty darn healthy, although the cold winter air has stirred up my asthma a little. Never knew I had asthma until I moved to Tokyo.
5. My friends, even though I don't see any of them unless I or they get on a plane.
6. Food to fill my belly, a roof over my head, and a warm bed. An alarming number of people around the world don't have those basics.
7. My computer and Internet connection, without which I would be lost.
8. A belief in something greater than myself, that guides, inspires, and comforts me.
9. A sense of humor that often gets me through the day.
10. The ability to see, feel, and hear the world around me, and to make my way through it relatively unscathed.
When I re-read my list, I realized that my life is really quite basic. The older I get, the more I accept the simplicity of my life, and the less I need. I've gone from living a somewhat privileged life in an exclusive, expensive neighborhood of luxurious homes to living in a tiny one-room, cockroach-infested Tokyo apartment. I lost everything I had in the stock market crash of 2001 where I had invested heavily in technology but didn't have the safety cushion of wiser, more cautious investments to soften the blow of a world turned upside down after 9-11.
For three years I was unemployed, though not for lack of trying. Then, through a chance meeting, I found an opportunity to work in Japan, which I grabbed.
I look around me at people my age and wonder what their lives have been like. Did they ever lose anyone they loved? Do they ever wake up in the middle of the night, wondering what they would do if they didn't find work soon? Do they have someone to love them, to be with for a lifelong commitment? What kind of old age will they have--one of freedom to do the things they've always wanted, or one of desperation, trying to make ends meet?
Maybe I'm feeling a little nostalgic tonight. Thinking about my youth. Thinking about the things that used to make me happy, and realizing now that while life is a series of ups and downs, not much of it is all that important. It's the basics that count. It's sort of like the family whose house catches on fire and the only things they manage to save are themselves and a box of pictures. When you boil it down to its essence, life is nothing more than that box of pictures. Everything else can fall away or disappear because none of it has real significance. It's the basics that count--our families, good health, and a job.