I’m baaack

Okay, so anyone else picturing Jack Nicholson? Just me? Moving right along…

I think this is the longest break I have taken from blogging since I started this thing 2 1/2 years ago. I wanted to write, I really did, on some days at least, but it seems the entire six weeks of our holiday we were either having fun with friends new and old, on some all day excursion, or the wifi was shitty. That’s the truth. I opened my laptop twice, maybe, the entire trip, and I’m pretty sure that was to pay bills. I find it super difficult to pay bills electronically on a smart phone. Anyhoo, let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Our trip had changed a bit since I originally posted about it. Blue Eyes vacillated back and forth on whether he wanted to do a business trip to Tokyo on the front end. He was able to schedule a boat load of meetings, and flying through Tokyo would shorten the flight to Auckland, so we opted for yet another trip to our home away from home, Japan. Our flight from Portland to Tokyo was a nightmare. I am not very superstitious, but I was sure hoping that very first leg of our trip wasn’t some crazy omen. We left Portland a few hours late due to heavy winds in the Tokyo area. The flight, which is normally max 10 hours (most times closer to 9) was 11 hours. Ugh. They tried to land twice at Narita Airport, but failed. Meanwhile while they were trying to land, our plane was being tossed around in the sky, pretty dramatically, and people were actually getting sick. Worst flight I have ever been on. Eventually they diverted us to Haneda Airport, also in Tokyo. We then sat on the tarmac in the plane for four hours. First they were going to try again to get us back to Narita (that plan was scratched), then due to all the diverted planes, there was no transportation available to get us from the tarmac to the terminal. Not sure why we were not able to actually pull up to an empty gate (there were plenty of them at this time of night), but we weren’t. Probably staffing issues. Of course they don’t give you any information other than to continually promise that they will get us off the plane “soon.” Eventually they transported us by bus to Customs. We had originally been scheduled to arrive our hotel at 5:00pm. We finally checked in at a few minutes past midnight. Blue Eyes had a 7:00am meeting the next morning. Ouch.

Our time in Tokyo was mostly business. We did get to have a fun dinner with GQ, but the princess was once again sick. I hate when that happens. We dined with my brother at a lovely old Sukiyaki Restaurant near Asakusa Temple.

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Asakusa Temple

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Sukiyaki Dinner at Imahan Bekkan

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The perfect Japanese Style dessert after a heavy meal: three perfect strawberries dusted in confectioner’s sugar.

I was bound and determined to keep up my exercise routine, so I spent an hour each day in the gym. I would have preferred to walk around outside, but in attempting to pack “light” for a six week trip, I was unable to fit in a lot of winter clothes and it was colder in Tokyo than expected. No matter how many layers I attempted, it really wasn’t enough. My first trip to the gym was a bit triggering. I was having some of those creeping thoughts. It’s that Marunouchi area of Tokyo, once again, that does it to me. A double edged sword. My favorite Tokyo location to stay, but still a bit tainted by my husband’s sordid past. My view from the gym was of a bunch of gray office buildings and a little Lawson’s convenience store (like a 7-11, or what is called a “dairy” in New Zealand. I feel so worldly now 😉 ). As I set up my phone/headphones/music and programmed the Elliptical, I couldn’t help but stare at that damn convenience store and think about those trips. The trips where the first thing they did was head to a Lawson’s (Lawson’s are everywhere in Japan, especially across from hotels) and pick up snacks to eat in the room so they didn’t have to order room service, or be seen together outside the hotel. I tried pushing the thoughts out, but they persisted. The first song to randomly play as I started peddling was Pink’s ‘I Don’t Believe You,’ fast forward, then OneRepublic’s ‘Apologize,’ fast forward, then Christina Perri’s ‘Jar of Hearts.’ ACK. Fuck it, I need to download some new more uplifting music! I closed out my iTunes, and turned on the machine’s television and watched NCIS dubbed in Japanese. By day two I figured out how to turn off the dubbing and I ended up watching an episode of a show called Rizzoli and Isles, in English. Pretty hokey, but not triggering.

It didn’t take long for the triggers to melt away. I guess what I have done is train myself to not let the creeping thoughts, the traumatic mind games if you will, take me over. I know it takes time to be able to do this, because believe me, I never wanted to be obsessed with those thoughts. I can push them out and away now. If a song is triggering, I turn it off instead of living in that space. I have to do this, consciously, in order to live with the life I have chosen, and I’m good with that. Some days are a little more difficult than others.

By the end of the week, all triggering thoughts were gone and I was ready to face the world… Down Under. Before getting on another plane though, I had scheduled myself a day of indulgence. After a relaxing facial, a gentle neck massage, and a soak in the Onsen tub, I was off to a gorgeous afternoon tea at our hotel. What a treat! I wish Blue Eyes had been able to join me, but he was at yet another of his many many meetings that week. He does it to himself, so I shall never feel guilty for taking care of myself in this process. We all have choices. Blue Eyes was a bit hyped up while we were in Japan. The environment does it to him. It is one of the most difficult places for him to manage his addiction… and that’s his issue, not mine. I have learned to better ignore his workaholism under the circumstances in order to focus on myself. I do wish my boys had been able to join me for tea, however. I have the most amazing memories of our little family enjoying this indulgent and relaxing tradition. The afternoon tea at the Four Seasons Marunouchi was divine and even included a gift of a little bottle of Ferragamo perfume. I also fell in love with the cherry tea I ordered. I purchased a bag of loose tea from the restaurant and I just found it in my luggage and tossed it in a box that I will take to the beach house this weekend. Ah, life is good!

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The savories at afternoon tea: croquette with squid ink and brandard, mackerel and wine reduction terrine, salmon and mascarpone ball, mini wagyu burger, cheese puff, and truffle popcorn and cumin chips.

Next up… New Zealand!

10 thoughts on “I’m baaack

  1. Welcome back!!! Sounds amazing!
    Can so relate to consciously diverting the mind from triggers. I am still little under a year and so desperately
    Hope that it gets easier to settle my thoughts. . I find myself
    Exhausted emotionally sometimes bc I am in my head so much trying to quiet the haunting memories ….

    Liked by 1 person

    • The trip was amazing! I think you will get to that place where you can do it. Day by day, it gets easier as does the realization that you will be fine, regardless of what was done to you, or where your path leads. ❤

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  2. So glad you are back! Love to read about your travels. Also love to hear about managing thoughts and emotions. I love your statement about pushing the negative thoughts away, “I have to do this consciously in order to live the life I have chosen.” It helps to remind myself that I have choices and for now, I’ve chosen to save my marriage. . I may not be able to stop a thought from popping into my head, but I don’t have to let it stay there. Looking forward to hearing about New Zealand.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Maggie. I realized there is an older comment from you that I need to address. Currently I am torn between blogging, and laundry… haha, just kidding. I hate doing laundry, but I do love a clean laundry room. It’s a dilemma. Yes, once the trauma settles, we realize we have choices, we have control over those choices. Trauma can be a powerful beast, though. I know that. Time and choosing happiness have been critical to me. It’s weird thinking about walking away from a 30+ year relationship, but in the end, we have one life and doing what is right for ourselves is not selfish, it’s survival. I think many of us women, wives, mothers are so used to doing what needs to be done for everyone else, and feeling that our choices are limited by what others, what society thinks, that we forget that we are responsible for what happens to us, and only we have the knowledge necessary to make our own choices. I’m hoping to get my first NZ post out today! xo

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