Sunday, May 24, 2020

Lessons Learned in Quarantine

-- Susan, Every Other Sunday

With the state of emergency here in Tokyo poised to lift on the first of June (and the case loads, as well as people's behavior here in Japan, suggesting it's appropriate to do so) I'm looking forward to the chance to return to the mountains. "Normal" will require a new definition, at least for a while (for some variable value of "while" that is likely to extend for the rest of the year, if not beyond), but I look forward to a future with borders wider than the walls of my Tokyo home.

That said, I'm also taking time to reflect on some of the useful things I learned (or was reminded of) in quarantine - and I thought I'd share a few of them today:

1. The most important things in life cannot be bought with money.

My mom and me on the summit of Mt. Inari, 2018
2.  Haircuts are optional.

Selfie, yesterday morning (before coffee)
3. She who hoots with the owls at night....

Also me . . . at 2am, trying to stop reading and go to bed.

... will be woken up (too early) by crows in the morning.

They start arguing at the crack of dawn.

4. A good pizza covers a multitude of sins.

Miso pizza with cheese and onions. Delicious.

5. And what pizza cannot cure, good pastries will.

I miss this cafe. Soon...

6. Pursue your dreams as soon as possible. Don't put them off for a someday that might not come.

And when you do, you will create amazing memories that last a lifetime.

7. Celebrate the things that are deer to you, and hold them close.

See what I did there...

8. Coffee is a gateway drug. To more coffee. This is only a problem if you run out of coffee.

The ones I make at home don't look nearly this nice.

9. Silence, and time alone, can be both torturous and healing, depending on the person and even depending on the day. Be good to yourself. Life is too short to do otherwise.

Give yourself time and space to breathe in peace.

10. Find a goal you want to pursue when the quarantine is over, and take whatever steps you can to prepare to make it real. The mountains in your life won't climb themselves, but you can climb them . . .

.... just take everything one day and one step at a time.

Homaste: the quarantined person in me respects the quarantined person in you. Sending all of you best wishes from Japan.


  1. I especially identify with #8, Susan. Thanks for these good thoughts. Best wishes from Colorado.

  2. Those thoughts do apply here as well. Peace in June!

  3. Thank you for the laughs and the encouragement this morning!

  4. Wonderful, Susan. Of course, I agree. But I have to say not totally. Ninety-percent-heartedly. But Point 2. No, no, no. The salon where I go is only about three miles from me. I will start walking an hour before they unlock the door.

  5. All great lessons for life, even for those of us who have to go for the decaffeinated version at times. Stay safe!