Funny, I never really cared about the age, but last Friday, my 40th birthday I felt especially down!
It might be because the past working week had been quite a nightmare of overtime and not so satisfying results (not because of my working efforts, just testing and it is as it is!). I know the results and the report I wrote the past 2 days will lead to lots of discussion and more testing, that I actually look forward (this is the kind of work I do not dislike). But it is a fact I am tired!
Also I had planned to do something different the past weekend. Not Aikido but visit some place I had not been before, and we decided with 潘蕾 and her brother for Suzhou. I was there for work and I have seen nothing, but it is supposed to be a garden/park/river nice city. But buying the ticket proved to be difficult. We could only get standing tickets, so it will be 2 trips of 3 hours each squatting on some passage or corners.. hopefully!
The weekend was ok, I will post later some pics and we were also quite lucky with the weather. Even with less time than we hoped, we did not run around as a crazy rabbit just to see everything in short time: we manage to relax and enjoy as well.
I am not sure then where all the down-feelings came from.
One thing for sure is that I am sorry I did not get my Aikido-birthday-ukemi: the number of your years in throws.. and usually for dan graded people the number multiplied by the (rank+1), so also shodan people can get more fun!! I could have join my friends in Shanghai for the saturday practice, but I had decided for a weekend with 潘蕾 since she will be away all August (true, I will have Aikido every weekend in August, with visiting instructors! More later about this though!).
But that was not the only source of sadness.
During this past period I have started considering what to do next, and I really want/need to move either to Hangzhou or to Japan. But both places are difficult for the same reason: language (Chinese the former, Japanese the latter). In both cities, it seems an engineer can work only speaking the proper language. And I don’t!
The main reason for moving is of course Aikido: I need to live in a place with a club. I have seen now during the past 2 years that it is not good for me, not bearable to stay here without a fixed practice, and not only for “belly reasons”. My mind, more than my large stomach, is the main problem. Difficult to explain to people that Aikido is not like football for others or like a hobby that done once in a while is enough.
Back on FB I see with envy my dear friends in Norway traveling all the time the same road I used to “walk on” long time ago. I met them last year in Norway, most of them, and I was happy to see how much the whole bunch improved in these past years. At the same time I got a little more depressed knowing my learning curve has not stopped but got a sudden slow down. As I felt last time in Norway, I don’t think I have lost too much of my Aikido but on the other hand I have not improved as much as I could/should, as much as my friends did thanks to the several seminars they can attend.. and I used to attend when I was over there..
I started thinking about going back as well.. but I feel I am not done “here” yet, and for here I mean East Asia: I am still lacking my experience in Japan. Now I focus on this as well!
But also I am not finished with China. I know I can do more. Both for myself and also for Aikido. Maybe an arrogant thought, but without speaking Chinese and even as weekend-aikidoka as I am now, I still have achieved lots of contacts and friends and people that enjoy the rare practice with me. Maybe because it happens so seldom.. a few “lost friends” from Norway would say! 😉
At least this coming weekend I will go to Hangzhou for practice.. only possible session I can have in July. And I planned to work on basics, the basics we all need to build upon.. step by step.. as I hope I am also doing with my life.. even if I go much slower now..
I must remember to keep on walking, like a baby.. as sensei says.. but keep walking..