Book alert in 2 years advance: Aesthetics of Joy by Ingrid Fetell Lee

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.

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