change of scenery

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I’ve been feeling meh lately. First, I haven’t been doing a good job of taking care of myself. I was on a 6 month junk food bender, I haven’t had a haircut in over a year, laundry mountain is next level, you get the idea. Also, I’m in a bit of a rut. With a nine to five and a child in school, my week is pretty structured, and I do like to have routines but I think I have taken it too far. Same office, same cafe for tea, same lunch spot, same route to and from work. Meh.

So now I am on a quest of sorts. A quest for new.  I don’t really have room for major change at the moment, but I realized that doesn’t mean I can’t incorporate a little newness into my day to day. This week I’ve been making an effort to go to different cafes in the morning. I’ve been taking a different route to work. The other day I went to the farmer’s market at lunch for a change. There is nothing earth shattering about this, but a change of scenery can’t hurt.

And I am trying to take care of myself. I am in the middle of a cleanse to break my crazy sugar and caffeine addiction and perhaps lose a few of the junk food bender pounds. I am going to schedule a haircut and I am even considering exercising. I don’t have anything against activity, but I don’t care for “working out”. There is something so forced and soul-less about it to me. I would love to go hiking or take a yoga class every day. Alas, 4am and 10pm are not practical times for these activities and that is when I have available time for exercise. I like to think that my morning walk to work is sufficient, but I am starting to face the reality that it just isn’t. So hello soul-less exercise. Maybe.

What do you do when you are in a rut or when you want to take better care of yourself? I’d love to know.

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just one more (for now)

I should really consider changing the name of this blog to “kimonos and cherry blossoms”. It seems that is all I can post about these days.

I want to thank you for all the kind comments about Abby’s performances. I have been carrying on, haven’t I? It’s just that this is one of those times when your child really surprises you. She hasn’t been taking lessons for very long and I only was able to attend a lesson 2 weeks before her big performance. So in a matter of weeks she went from a girl who would only ever consider getting up on a stage if I was allowed to go with her to a poised red carpet veteran.

I also can’t get over how beautiful the dancing is. I didn’t know anything about it a few months ago and I find myself enchanted. If you are interested, the type of dance she does is called nihon buyo and you can find a video of the San Francisco performance here.

Have a wonderful weekend! Doing anything fun?

behind the scenes

Are you tired of kimonos yet?

Good! Me either! Here are a few scenes from before the festival while the girls were getting ready.  I was so enchanted with the whole process. It is so involved. It took almost 3 hours to get 3 girls ready. Abby loved being fussed over. The girl will definitely love spa days when she is older.

The hair was so intricate, it was an architectural feat. It was fascinating to watch its creation.  

Then there was the makeup. I was feeling vaguely “toddlers and tiaras” seeing my perfect little girl made up. But it’s tradition. And it’s very theatrical, so I likened it to make up for a play.

They even recruited me, “the professional”. Ha! It’s true that I know a lot about makeup, but I don’t often apply it on others and certainly not liquid liner on a twitchy 5 year old. But it worked out.

I think my favorite was watching all the fuss that goes into the kimono. It takes at least 30 minutes to put one on properly with all the adjustments that are necessary. I’m trying to learn so I can help there too, but it is really complicated.

All the girls looked darling and enjoyed all the attention. But because I am a mom, I worry. They got A LOT of attention. And I started to worry that Abby would start to equate the hair and makeup and dress with being special and beautiful. She commented on how much she liked the makeup several times over the course of a few days, especially the eyes. I was quick to remind her that 5 year olds can only wear the black stuff that is usually just for mamas (I wear black eyeliner every.single.day) for performances.

But now that some time has passed, she hasn’t mentioned the make up in a while. And I guess my job now is to pay attention and look for opportunities to remind her that she is special and beautiful every day. To look for opportunities to take the focus off appearance and place it on kindness and character and teach her about what true beauty is.

She is true beauty.

cherry blossom festival – the performance

The day was like a dream. It was hot, more summer than spring. But when we got to the holding area, we were relieved by the shade from the cherry blossom trees and a slight breeze that caused the petals from the trees to rain down on us as more onlookers than I can count clamored to get pictures of the tiny living dolls.

She did look like a doll, that girl of mine. She looked so different, so unreal.

Then as the approached the stage, the breeze picked up some more and, as Abby noted, “made her kimono look really pretty”. And my once shy girl got up on a stage in front of hundreds of people and without the slightest bit of hesitation…

brought the house down.  

The crowd loved them. They ate them up with a spoon. They applauded. They cheered.  They rushed the stage like a mad pack of paparazzi in a photographic frenzy. That last bit may be an exaggeration.

But only a slight one.

I asked if she had been nervous and she said “not at all”. And I couldn’t help marvel at her ability to get up in front of hundreds of people and remain present in the moment enough to notice the breeze that ruffled her kimono.

And when we got home, me exhausted, her energized, she wished aloud that she had a performance every day.

Every day? I have a performer on my hands.

What about you? Are you a performer? Were you when you were a child?

cherry blossom festival

Here are a few scenes from just before Abby’s very first dance performance this weekend – at the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in San Francisco’s Japantown. I still can’t get over it. She has only been taking lessons for two months.

Do you think she enjoyed herself? You have no idea.

The girls made quite a splash! They couldn’t go more than a few feet without someone asking to have their picture taken with them.

Because really, just look at them. The hair, the kimonos…

those smiles.

I’ll show you the actual performance tomorrow.

Happy Monday!

rehearsal

Abby recently started taking kimono dancing classes.

Do you see that face? Yeah. She is serious about kimono dancing. She has laser focus in class. In 6 weeks, she has learned an entire routine and will soon be performing it with two girls who have been working on it for 8 months. I didn’t know that she could memorize a dance routine. I learn new things about this beautiful girl all the time.

I love watching her develop interests, loves, passions. This one is particularly interesting to me because it has created a few others: flowers, all things Japanese and a desire to perform in front of an audience.  But it’s that laser focus that is intriguing me the most. I don’t have it. I didn’t know she had it and I am delighted by it. She works really hard in class and her sensei told me she is always on task and is picking it up really quickly.

One thing I do know is that it is because she loves it.

Happy Monday!

hello

Hello! I hope you had a nice spring weekend and if you celebrate Easter, I hope it was lovely.

Can someone please tell me how it is Wednesday already? I feel like life is in fast forward these days. I try my best to slow down on the weekends but I haven’t gotten the hang of it during the week yet. Do your weeks fly by? What do you do to slow down?