This morning I went to Zumba as usual and had lunch with my family. Afterwards, I took a very long nap. I tried to write or do some productive things, but aside from a bit of coding, I mostly ended up sleeping.

So much has been going on that has drained me of will. The news depresses me. The anxiety about work depresses me. I haven't been sleeping well. I think I just needed a day to recoup. So I did! I read a lot and rested in bed. I was feeling annoyed at the novel I've been reading, so feeling like I wanted something epic, I started reading the Twelve Kingdoms novels. I watched the anime a long while back, but the novels read more like young adult fiction. It's easy to read and I've really been enjoying Eugene Woodbury's translations. I'm almost done with book two of Shadows of the Moon.

I do want to start improving my Japanese, though. My boyfriend's parents recently said again that they'd really like for us to come visit them in Japan. While my listening and reading comprehension are okay, I'm not great at speaking. I do practice bit by bit with my boyfriend, but I think he lets a lot of my egregious grammar and sentence structure slide.

I need to sit down and sort out an ideal week planner for myself again. I think my priorities and hobbies have shifted a bit and I need to really dig deep and make time for the things I want to do. Otherwise I just won't get anything done, you know?

There's so much darkness in the world. I'm just one person. I'm doing my best every day, and sometimes I get tired and just have to rest. And that's okay. Progress is a process. I'm just a work in progress and every day that passes is full of choices. All I can do is make those choices as best as I can.

There's this part in Shadow of the Moon where Youko and Rakushun are discussing religion and prayers, how they differ in the twelve kingdoms versus the world she knew.

“If you study for a test, then you’ll pass. If you work hard, you’ll earn money. What exactly is praying about it supposed to accomplish?”

This part really struck me. There's some things in your life that are completely out of your own control. And there are some things that are almost completely in your control. We spend a lot of time worrying about the former while neglecting the latter. How often do I worry about what other people think of me? About how the world might react to what I do? Yet the things that are up to me—how hard I work, how kind I want to me—those get lost. I get too fixated on things that haven't happened yet, things that might never happen. In those moments, I freeze and end up doing nothing at all. I don't move, I don't progress. That's the worst.

I'm too hard on myself. And at the same time I'm too soft. I'm still figuring out that balance—and that's okay. It's a process.