Cliches are unfortunate. They paint a picture of the important slice of life, but because they have been quoted so much, that people ignore them. More time I spend in my life, everything seems to be able to be expressed in cliches.
But because I have come down to these words after much living and experiencing, I will continue to repeat these cliches here.
For the past three years, my work continued to expand more and more, and for the past five months, I have been over stretched. It was a phase of transition too that I have been fortunate and found wonderful partners who are excellent in what they do and are up to par with Japanese as well as global standard of business practices. My deepest respect and appreciation to Naoko Okuizumi, Akiko Nakajima, and Patrick Pemler, and Shinji Suda,
I have been fortunate in being invited and taking part in many, many fantastic design research projects as interview simultaneous interpreter, interview moderator, researcher, and research coordinator. I have not been able to reflect on each project as I would like, but this time, I have the time to do so.
Earlier this week, I have interpreted for Ingrid Fetell Lee. She is on sabbatical leave from IDEO New York, and she has come to Tokyo to do research for writing her book about the Aesthetics of Joy. Every research project gives me a new way to see and feel the world but helping her through interpreting and listening to her private story about finding joy healed me.
Finding your life partner after years of being in the relationship that you know was not right. Knowing that you want to write a book about it but taking seven years before you actually commit to it. Finding joy in many things that you do, not just one. To Ingrid, writing is the true joy of her life, but she found the act of drawing and other things joyful too, with the sense of flow described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
Events in life happen in order, and we do not know which phase we are in until after the fact. Then again, as we experience various events in our lives, phases seems to change in meaning, depending on where we are standing and viewing the life at that point. Right now, although I was out and about the taking part in many projects that required me to be with people of different culture in different countries and regions my life seemed to have been in cocooning phase for the past three years. I seemed to have been tight in my belief of fulfilling life obligations. I feel this way because as the cherry blossom bloomed over the past two weeks and my sons, my friends and colleagues entered a new phase of their life stage, so did mine. I am finding time to do things that are just for me, especially my bachelor’s degree pursuit which has taken me for so many years is rapid nearing its destination.
When I was talking to Nagao-san at Twiggy’s yesterday, she told me that this was the first time in many years that the cherry blossom was blooming at the peak during the start of school and business year in April. Ingrid wrote about this cherry blossom in her blog. Her book will be out in spring of 2018. I look forward to reading about her perception of the joyful experiences in Japan in the real form of the book then.