Remembering to Unplug

As you may’ve guessed from my previous post, I’ve been feeling rather affected by what has been happening in Japan.

I’m not exactly sure why I feel as connected to all of it as I do. I think to some extent, it has to do with the fact that I’ve lived through a major earthquake. It may not have been as severe as what we are seeing in Japan, but it gives me a frame of reference to imagine. Maybe it’s because I studied Japanese in college and spent much of my young adulthood skulking around San Francisco’s Japantown with my friends. Maybe it’s because I’ve actually been to Japan and have friends living there right now, going through this ordeal. Maybe it’s because my stepfather was a nuclear physicist who lived and worked in Japan for a few years and toldΒ  stories of his time there. Maybe it’s because in 5th grade Kana Takahashi chose me out of all of the Daniel Webster Elementary School student council members to be her pen pal when she and her classmates visited my school as part of their trip to San Francisco.

It’s hard to say.

I know what most people would be thinking: “Sure, Alexa. The stuff going on in Japan is really awful, but you’re miles and miles away. No need to have it disrupt your life.”

Though part of me feels that statement is mean-spirited and selfish, I know that it is also true. While I think the tendency of Americans to forget and/or ignore things that occur outside of our borders is deplorable, it is also important to remember that sitting around watching the television until your eyeballs bleed isn’t going to do anyone any good. Besides, all American television does is scare the bejeezus out of anyone watching with its sensationalist reporting tactics –flashy graphics, reporting of rumors and its constant reminders that sometime in the next 30 years the Earth will rip apart and swallow California whole.

And seriously, if they bastardize Johnny Cash’s song, “Ring of Fire” one more time, I will scream.

Due to this thought that being constantly plugged into the news was a bad idea , I spent a lot of time walking around outside yesterday. Just me and my iPod (well, phone), getting fresh air. And rain. I got rained on. Didn’t bother me though. It felt good. Good to get exercise. Good to have time to think about all of the things that I have to be thankful for. Good (or maybe not so good?) to think about Girl Scout Cookies. Good to enjoy some normalcy.

I urge any of you out there who are also feeling affected to remember to unplug every so often. Or, if you are going to watch, try streaming NHK World or a non-U.S. based station. The news still may not be very chipper, but at least it’s less flashy and they are more careful about propagating rumors just for a story. You can also read Maya’s updates on how things are in Tokyo on her blog or via twitter.

On a (significantly) more pleasant note, I thought I’d share with you something I had planned on posting last Friday. I received two special surprise packages last week. Since people hardly ever send me anything, I was pretty excited.

First was the mystery UPS box. I got home from work on Tuesday to find a missed delivery slip from UPS at my apartment building. It said it was from Amazon. This confused me, as I hadn’t ordered anything from Amazon. I signed the slip so they could leave the package the next day while I was at work. When I got home, I found the following waiting for me:

Maya has been doing the Rachel Cosgrove workouts for a little over a month now. While she was reading the book, she decided that it was something that I might enjoy/benefit from reading, so she waited until she had enough money in her U.S. Bank account and Amazon’d it to me as a surprise. It would have been a complete surprise too, except for the fact that when I mentioned to her in a text that I had received a missed delivery notice for a mystery package, she didn’t respond. Busted!

I don’t really know much about Rachel Cosgrove, or her program, but I look forward to reading it once I finish up my current book. Thanks, Maya!

In addition to Maya’s gift, I also received an envelope from my mother containing these:

As a surprise, my mom took photos I had posted of Daniel and Cosette and had them turned into note cards! She sent me a bunch of Cosie and one of Daniel, and then sent a bunch of Daniel and one of Cosie to my sister. She also sent me a sepia print of a picture from Cindy’s wedding set…one of Cindy, her sister Peggy and myself at the beauty salon after we had gotten our hair done.

My mom said she had just wanted to send my sister and I something unexpected.

The cards made me pretty happy.

I asked Daniel how he felt, but he was too busy to respond. He said he was trying to “unplug”.

I think I am going to join him.

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3 Responses to Remembering to Unplug

  1. elaine! says:

    First of all — that is totally sweet, with the Cosgrove book and the kitteh notecards! I’m seriously thinking about trying the Cosgrove stuff when I don’t have to do marathon training anymore.

    Secondly, I’m with you and Japan. Even aside from the fact that I have friends there, friends with family there, was a foreign exchange student there, that my grandparents got married there — in my opinion, we are part of a global community, so we shouldn’t just turn our backs and forget about it. Japan is certainly equipped to deal with it, so they don’t need our pity. But anybody could use a little support in a time of crisis.

    • girlinchucks says:

      Yeah! It was nice to receive unexpected goodies! πŸ˜€

      As I say, I don’t know much about the Cosgrove program, but I know that when I get more into the swing of things, I will want to incorporate a more set strength routine. Probably going to take some time though, as my restart has been a little rocky, so I’m not ready to add anything else new.

      Agreed. It is important to lend support, and Japan can use (and has requested) it. I did need to remind myself to step back, however. Though I do try to keep up on the news and what is going on in the world, it is unusual that I watch it to the extent that I have been….and I could definitely sense that perhaps it was too much. Good to be informed. Good to donate and help if possible. Bad to let it bring you down to where it disrupts living. Many people lost their lives last week…I didn’t, so I should remember to honor that and continue living.

      (and trust me, watching U.S. cable news 24/7 is not living!)

  2. Naomi says:

    i love random surprises – what a great friend you have (and cute cats too)!

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