Sunday, January 29, 2012

Slumber Party and Recontracting

I had a great weekend, but I'm PMSing today.  Great opener, eh?

Forgive me, but the PMS is severely affecting the tone of my post today.  Grab a bucket of Ben n Jerry's and share my pain. 

I expected to get facials Friday night with my friend Nichole, but we hadn't made a reservation and the place booked up, so we couldn't go.  It was actually kind of a relief.  I had dinner with Knox and Peter and played with Knox a little before it was time for him to go to bed.  I miss Knox.  I don't see him enough, and I hate doing all the chores and stuff at night.  I like it when the sun is shining and I have lots of time to do everything that needs to be done.  You might say, "Oh, sure, doesn't everyone?", but I don't think it's too much to ask.  These days, I get home from work and try to squeeze in something for me and Knox to do, then scramble to get just enough laundry, dishes, vacuuming, and/or exercise in.  I don't get to enjoy my baby.  Everything is always so busy...

Friday night, after dinner and play (which involved setting up Knox's stuffed animals and "bonking" them off of things with a baseball bat), I went grocery shopping.  It was relief for me not to get a facial because I was able to go grocery shopping.  That's kinda sad.  I do love a leisurely super market visit.  I had a good one Friday night, and I even had time to put everything away, not just the perishables.  I had time for a full shower and blow dry.  Crazy!!

I spent Saturday cleaning in preparation for my 2nd Annual Ladies of Oita Slumber Party.  I went to Judy's apartment to pick up many futons, then Judy and Lisa had to basically share one seat so we could get back to my apartment.  We had 14 ladies chatting, screaming, flashing people, playing games, drinking, etc.  We had gobs of girl talk and played Apples to Apples and Taboo.  Then came "the game where you write a question and put it in a bowl and then someone reads it and then everyone writes down their answer and then we all try to guess who's answer it was."  That got crazy.  The questions were as personal as they come, and for the most part we all came out with it.  I learned a few things at the party.  I learned that the peach wine is like syrup, many bedroom roll play scenarios, and that South Africans no longer have such an easy time moving to the UK, among other... details.  We ate lots of cookies, crab dip, macaroni n cheese, and soba, and drank lots of wine and jager, among other things.  My cycle definitely moved up a couple days thanks to being in an apartment with 14 women.  At bedtime there were people and futons everywhere.  Last year, one person ended up with no futon on the floor.  This year, everyone had a futon.  Progress. 

In the morning we ate cornbread from Nichole and blueberry muffins that Brie brought.  She was also kind enough to fulfill my odd request for hand soap as opposed to chips or wine.  (Hey, I had forgotten it the store and with all those people, clean hands are a must.)  It was good to get the girls together.  We MIGHT make it bi-annual, but I don't know yet.  I started it last year because January was slow and I hadn't seen many people due to the holidays.  The summer is too hot for a sleep-over.  We'll see how September is.  I was disappointed to be 30 minutes behind Brie and Jen all Sunday.  I had wanted to go to a new onsen with them.  Instead, I had a lovely lunch with Cheryl, Eilish, Judy, Brandy, and Knox at Sushi Meijin and then went to our old stand by onsen, Sama Sama.

It's Monday and I'm just about cleaned up from the party.  I still have to put clean sheets on the bed and the clean cover on the couch futon.  I put the kotatsu table back into the living room from the kitchen.  My living room rug was missing for a half day, but I found it under stuff in the kitchen.  I still have to shake it out and replace it.  The girls were great with helping to clean up.  Amelia did a boat load of dishes.  THANK YOU!!  Dishes are my most dreaded chore, just because they never seem to be done.

I had post party blues last night.  I woke up today with a new sense of ugh about work...

I think most JETs love Japan, but they leave because the job satisfaction is so low.  That's what I'm feeling right now.  I have been feeling it, but I have filled the many hours sitting at my desk with studying Japanese or for the GRE, writing this blog, paying bills, writing e-mails, reading, and the like... but right now I just have this sense that I just can't do it anymore.  I can hardly speak to the people I work with.  I've gotten used to the loneliness of working at this school.  I guess I feel kinda useless here.  I feel like there are so many better things I could be doing with my time.  I would so rather be home putting the clean futon cover on.  The papers to sign for re contracting were sent to our schools a week or more ago.  I'm invisible here, and they surely were placed off to the side somewhere and forgotten, since I still haven't heard a word about them.  I haven't asked for them because I'm not exactly sure what to do.  I love Japan and my life here, but I'm not sure I can show up at work to sit at this desk again and again for another year and a half.  I need some variety.  I need a work place that values what I have to offer and makes use of it.  I don't know what I'll do.  Peter wants to stay.  Knox is doing well, although I think we need more time together.  But I really need to shake things up.

I was doing ok until the winter break, but when I had to come to work, day after day, with no students at school, no classes to attend, and just sit here for no good reason.  I really kinda lost it.  I could've used that time with my child and just getting refreshed.  Instead I felt more weighted down by the day, by a system that doesn't have reasons for what they do.  By the time classes actually started again, I was ready for another vacation.  I heard that teachers used to get more days off, but that people on the community complained that they were off playing Pachinko all day, so they were chained to their desks.  I don't know if that's true, but who cares what people do ON THEIR OWN TIME as long as it doesn't impair the job they do at school?  Pachinko isn't illegal.  Apparently, enjoying your time is slightly illegal when it comes to teachers who are at school from 7am to 7pm plus every day except Sunday. 

I don't want to be this complaining person.  Maybe it's the PMS.  Maybe it's the winter.  Maybe it's a down in the culture shock cycle.  Can I shake things up?  Will I stay?  We shall see.

I need a hug.  I want my mommy.

From Japan,