Thursday, December 04, 2014


Katy tagged me for questionnaire thingy and usually I just ignore such requests, but as she said... I have a little time on my hands, so just this once, I'll answer for you Katy!  Sorry, but I'm not going to bother nominating anyone else....

As a background for anyone who happens to stumble on this blog... 7 weeks ago tomorrow I was admitted to a Japanese hospital with some form of auto-immune disease and am currently reducing the medication to a level where I will hopefully be released sometime next week.... it has been a long road, but a good chance for contemplation, relaxation and learning time-wasting management skills! 

Questions from Katy..... 
1. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Right now... a morning person.  I get up at 6am and start wandering the empty halls of the hospital on my 25 minute morning exercise route.  I was told there were no cameras operating, and I'm hoping that is the case.... otherwise there will be a lot of entertainment in the observation room as they watch the foreigner striding out around all the different departments, waving her arms in every direction, going round and round in circles, doing a few squats here and there and even a few laps of sideways star jumps and some skipping.... I go for an afternoon walk too, but it is much more restrained as there often a few people around.

2. What is your favorite season and why?
I would normally say spring, because I love all the new growth etc., but this year I'm going to say winter.  I am so looking forward to going home and spending this winter quietly getting back into real life, sorting out what I want to do from here on in, and generally taking it easy in front of our wonderful warm fire.  The perfect season to not feel the need to be out in the garden or rushing around doing things.  And of course winter brings Christmas... in Japan anyway! 

3. If you can chose between time and money, which would you chose?
Time.  If there is one thing that these 7 weeks have taught me it is the importance of slowing down and appreciating the small things in life.  Drinking your coffee while it is still HOT, brushing your teeth while not doing 20 other things, not feeling guilty about taking a nap when you feel the need, but most of all... making time for friends and family. 
Since being in here I have had visits from so many friends and family that I haven't been able to talk with slowly for many months or even years.  It has been great to catch up with everyone and has reinforced the importance of keeping in touch with friends, not just over a rushed coffee, but actually MAKING the time to sit down and talk.    I'm always looking for positive things from this experience and this is one of the major ones.

4. What do you think is the greatest thing about yourself?
Apart from the fact that I have managed to survive 7 weeks in a Japanese hospital without going completely crazy?  Probably my people-watching skills.  I love to observe people and I think it then makes it easy for me to make connections with people reasonably quickly.  This has been a huge benefit here - my mobile phone is loaded with people that I have met here in the hospital, that I have plodded up the stairs with, reassuring each other regarding our situations, and generally enjoying each other's company.

5. What is your favorite country and where would you like to go to next?
Japan.  Of course I love New Zealand too, but things have changed so much in the 18 years I have been away that I often feel more of a foreigner when I am back in New Zealand.
I have always dreamed of going to Turkey, but right now a holiday on a tropical island somewhere sounds rather appealing...

6. Cat person or dog person?
Cat - especially if it will snuggle on my knee.  As much as the kids would love a dog, I am just too lazy to look after it properly. 

7. What makes you most happy in life?
Support from my family and friends.  And chocolate!  I have always been a bit of a stubborn person, always trying to be completely independent, not wanting to rely on anyone for anything.  Asking for help has never been my strength.  This experience has shown me that there are times when it is important to ask for help and most importantly to accept the help without feeling guilty about it.  During this whole ordeal the support I have had from family and friends has almost been overwhelming.  I'm looking forward to being able to repay this support whenever the need arises.

8. If you could change your past, what would you like to change?
Nothing.  Bad times mean you appreciate the good times more so changing them wouldn't make my current life any better. 

9. What is your favorite color and why?
Burgundy.  Because... I like it.... can't think of any other reason!

10. Would you want to be famous?
I guess it depends on your definition of famous.  I wouldn't want to be famous in the sense of celebrity status, but I would like to be famous in the eyes of my children..... not quite there yet, but working on it!

11. The last compliment you got?
"Your face hasn't reached the full moon stage yet"..... and then I took off my mask, and was informed that perhaps it had, so I'm not sure if it makes it a compliment or not!