week 18/day 11

P is here. What can I say? I am happy to see him. He has responsibility in working for his company and he needs to make money for us. Although now we live separately, I am thankful to have moved back here.

I appreciate Hawaii more now. Today I stared at the color of the clouds and a mountain in front of it through my windshield while waiting at a red light: a giant white cottoncandy-like cloud contrasted with a green mountain under the blue sky were picture perfect. Perhaps the air makes it so. Everything looks unreal because the color of everything is so vivid under the sun. The thought that everything looks like it’s from a postcard didn’t move me 14 years ago: my reaction was more like a “So what?” It makes me think that becoming older could be a good thing.

The climate, the people, the sweet air: everything is different here. What I like the most about Hawaii is that I feel nobody really cares about what anybody else does, but there is this togetherness in how people appreciate their experience living on this small island of Oahu.

week 18/day 10

I am getting used to my new lifestyle here. I get up between 5:30 to 6:00, make lunch and breakfast for the kids, drive them to school from 7:40, return home, do the washing-up and housekeeping, then plan for the day and write from 9:00. I am so hungry right now and I feel my stomach is going to roar.

Last night I began to read the used book I bought this Saturday. It’s called “Writing True: The Art and Craft of Creative Nonfiction” by Perl and Schwartz. I am so glad that I’ve found the book because I think creative non-fiction is the genre that I have been writing under. I am not writing in an academic way, or fictional; I felt out of place in writing children’s stories. Although my writing is about my experiences of everyday lives, it’s not like a report: the object being described is non-fictional (the world), but I describe it in a creative way (my world).

The reading on creative non-fiction reminded me of Nietzsche because his argument emphasized on the importance of subjectivity. Nietzsche seemed to say that a person’s subjective world view is the only thing that’s valid. I’ll keep reading and working on my writing, with a sense of direction at last.  Time for breakfast!

week 17/day 9

I woke up this morning earlier than usual (it’s a Sunday) because I thought I would get up and READ! I usually sleep in on the weekend because I don’t need to get up early to make lunch and breakfast for the kids, but this morning as I was trying to sleep in, I realized the reason I usually sleep in is not because I am sleepy, but because I don’t think I have anything to do if I get up (or I just don’t want to do anything). Then I remembered the used-books I bought yesterday. Getting up early actually feels good; it feels like winning.

week 17/day 7

Moving is a good chance for me to find what’s important to me because it’s reseting my life.

My life in Japan other than being a mom: I took German, English (temporarily), piano, table coordination classes; went to a children’s stories writing workshop, volunteered at school libraries, participated in philosophy seminars, tried to get a job and ended up teaching Chinese, read books on various subjects, wrote a blog, and worked on a screenplay. Oh, I watched movies at home, sometimes in theaters. Why did I do what I did? Because other than housekeeping and cooking, I still feel I need to grow.  The desire to understand myself and the world has been motivating me to learn and study what I am interested in.

I wanted to give out energy and take energy from the world because it’s the process of living. What I need from the world is very little: I have learned that from a book on a minimalist approach to organizing. So the question is, how can I make myself useful to the world? I want to share what I’ve learned via blogging  because it’s just fun, and fun is what gives work meaning.

week 17/day 6

After the kids begin to get used to their new school, I slowly begin to get bored.

I started to read a book I found in the bookstore, called “do less: A minimalist guide to a simplified, organized, and happy life”. The book is exactly what I want to know about the mentality of organizing.  Despite the complexity of organizing, the book is written in a style that’s very easy to read.  Jonat’s message on the point of organizing is when a person can organize his/her environment, s/he will do less and enjoy life more.  She asks an important question, “What do you want to do with your life?”

“What do I want to do with my life?” This must be my favorite question because it gives me a sense of direction as I often find myself lost. And the answer that pops up on my mind whenever I see the question is, “I really want to write”.  Writing is my way to de-clutter my mind, a need the same as organizing my environment, both relate to my immediate health.  Writing makes me happy.  Now I think of it, I am actually proud of my work because I care about it.

I’d Rather

What’s the point of writing?
I’m not sure, yet I write

What’s the point of fighting?

I’m not sure, yet I fight

What’s the point of drinking coffee?

I think I just like coffee

What’s the point of telling the same old stories?

I’m not sure, yet I could be getting tired of them

What’s the point of living as if making mistakes seems to be its validation?

I’m not sure, yet I’d rather be making them

Till I get them right.

#1. Housekeeping is the basis of good health.

I have decided to write about my experience as a housekeeper. I am not good at housekeeping, but I have always admired people who can keep their environment organized and efficient. I have always wanted to be a writer too, so when I put my the ideal of living efficiently and my dream of becoming a writer together, writing about housekeeping seems to be a perfect theme.

The idea came to me after I read a book on how a writer became good at housekeeping by keeping a note of her housekeeping. The writer’s story inspired me to work on my own weakness and write about my experience.  Hopefully, efficiency in housekeeping will save me more time on creativity!

Even though I am a housewife, I have never took housekeeping seriously. I guess I live mostly in my head since I am naturally drawn to introspection, theories, and films. Writing and housekeeping both help me to think clearly. Housekeeping is the basis of good health: to be good at housekeeping is not only for my own interest, but also for the ones I love.