Takashimaya Department Store Adventures

As it’s the season for presents, I find myself hitting up the usual haunts for the majority of my stuff. For wrapping paper and goofy “lol Japan” gifts, I head to a one hundred yen store. For food, I gather ingredients at import shops. For clothes… Haha seriously no clothes are boring presents.

But once in a while I see something in my bag, left over from months prior. A gift from a student who heard I once wandered into a department store to check things out and decided it was my favorite store ever (it’s not). A little envelope of gift vouchers, only usable in one location. And I decide to pay it forward by buying something from said store.

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The new year to come

Wow. Well. That certainly was a year, wasn’t it?

We’re coming to the end of it now, thank goodness, and I can’t wait to see 2017. Now, whether this coming year will be any better remains to be seen, but I am willing to keep an open mind and hope that it will be full of good things. I’m ready for something positive.

To that end, I want to try to take some positive steps for self-improvement, not only for this site but also for myself. I don’t know what the future holds for me specifically when it comes to Japan or my home country at the moment, so improving the skills I have, I feel, is a good step.

So, what is it I want to work on?

  1. Obviously, my blog. So much for posting 2-3 times a week, right? December just took the wind completely out of my sails but I want to get back on that horse and continue putting content up that hopefully, people enjoy. So my goal is to get back to posting at least 2x a week regularly on this blog.
  2. Reading. I don’t read things that are not on a computer screen often enough. Novels are something I enjoy- I can knock one out in an afternoon depending on speed. At least… in English, I can. So I’d like to get back to reading in my native tongue. But on top of that…
  3. Language. I want to improve my language skills, and one way I want to do that is through reading. I read three books in Japanese in 2016. Not terrible, but I want to pick up on that. My goal is to read 12 Japanese novels of any topic in the year of 2017, in addition to reading whatever I want in English.
  4. Certifications. To prove that I’m improving in Japanese, even if it’s not “enough”, I intend to take the JLPT N1 test in July 2017. Depending on my score/level of understanding, I’ll decide when to take it next afterward.
  5. Physical endurance. I want to be able to kill it on the drums, and also I don’t mind looking fit. So to that end I want to pick up exercising more regularly, 3x a week in addition to taiko practice, in any means I deem interesting or useful to me.

What do you think? I know that sounds like a lot of babble, so I opted to bold my actual goals so they stand out to me. Are they good or not? Ehhh, I’m sure they’re pretty standard ones. But they feel like tangible ones to me, and ones that I can keep up with provided I get myself into a proper routine.

What are your goals for 2017? What would you like to see happen, either in your life or in the world in general?

Stefanie, What…. ‘s going on?!

So much for posting regularly. Nano always takes the wind out of my sails in December and I forgot to account for that. Oops! Sorry about that!

I write this now standing in an airport waiting to board a flight. It’s way too early for my liking (anything before eight AM is torment for me). However, I’m off to visit family and go on adventures, so that’s good.

I’m hoping that the plane rides in my near future will allow me reflection and writing time. We’ll see.

What are you all doing for the winter holidays?