Well, that's it. I am officially 44 years old.
A lot has happened since last year's birthday post, and it is time for some reflection.
Personally, it has been a good year. I came back to japan just before my 43rd birthday, and we have quickly and splendidly settled into Yokohama. The commute to work was long, and the days longer, but I got used to it - eventually that problem solved itself.
Health-wise, I am almost 6kg lighter than I was this time last year, thanks to going to the gym a lot these past 2 months, and to a nasty bought of stomach virus that kept me on my back with no food or drink for 6 days. I feel better than ever.
My stress is also greatly reduced. My leaving my last job was a long time coming, and very stressful up until it resolved. I still love my old company, and miss my co-workers, but the setup was not right for me and we all knew it. Something better will happen soon and I will have lessons learned and fond memories of a bunch of people I spent just over 5 years in co-dependency with.
On the home front, it has been a big year. I have learned a lot about myself and who I am.
I am forever grateful for the love of my wife, who has helped me become a better person. She is direct, simple, and honest; no lies or illusions - very practical. I want to be more like her. At the same time, we must all dare to dream, and my dreams are what led me to Japan from Villa Park, Illinois nearly 20 years ago. I am closer to her and to my darling boys than ever before. The gift of my career change brought with it time to walk to the school bus together, to greet them when they get home, to have dinners together and talk about homework.
Life and family are more than the punctuations of annual holidays - they are the joys of the little things every day we are together; time that can never be replaced once it is gone. They are growing up a little bit day by day, and it is magic to see it and be part of it. This will not last forever, but I am glad to have it right now.
My life in martial arts continues with renewed energy and fascination. Filipino martial arts in particular remain my passion, and I look forward to spending Friday nights with the guys sharing what I know and helping them deepen their understanding. I am lucky to have a small group of regulars who are open minded and enthusiastic. Martial arts is one of those many things in life that give you back what you put in, with interest. I am glad they are mature enough to understand that.
Overall, no complaints about my life at 44. 43 was a great year, and 44 looks to be even better.
That's all that really matters, isn't it?