Once Upon a Tanbo


Posted on: May 10, 2008

There really just is something about May.
I am having a serious bout of Go-gatsu byou (May sickness) which refers to a general feeling of blueness and lowered productivity which apparently hits all of Japan in this month.

Since my trip to America in March I have been (for the most part) in good spirits, so feeling down and sad this past week has not been welcome. As always, my complaint is that this just isn’t working for me.

This = my life at the moment. But, there isn’t really anything I can do. This next year has to play out exactly in the way that it going now. I’m really not one for complaining but I really just need to get this all off my chest and if I can’t by blogging then there isn’t much else I can do.

I’m feeling not “burnt out” and not “unsatisfied” but just very meh about my job at the moment. I work about 35 hours per week but the actual hours spend “working per week” would be closer to 5 or 6. Which means that the other 30 or so I am just surfing the net, which sounds great, and usually is (on Monday) its really boring by the end of the week, especially since my work blocks most of the interesting sites.
Of course, I like the people in my office a lot, and I think its reciprocated so thats not really an issue. I just feel so blah everyday, and even though I don’t do too much I’m exhausted by the end of the day. To be honest, at this point I feel like I “have” to work because 1. the pay is good and 2. I need the second year of experience (or at least it feels like I do if doing at home translation is going to be an option in the future.

So many people my age seem so different, everyone is about career and climbing the corporate ladder etc etc.. I wonder why I just don’t have that desire in me. I’ve always had a clear idea about what I would do… until I went on JET. I’ve never had an “I want to do this” besides having kids and staying home with them. However, I know that just being a SAHM isn’t going to cut it financially especially with the age at which we wish to start and the number of kids Ryohei and I would someday love to have, so I’m perfectly happy to do something I enjoy (translation) out of my house if I can.

On the upside, I’m not feeling as worried about Ryohei. He did well on his last practice test… and last week he took his first “real” exam. (The one he least wanted to past as well as the hardest one) The test was two section “general knowledge” and “speciality.” A passing (to the next round) is a score of over .6 on both tests. Well, Ryohei looked up the results online and figured out that he got a .4 on the speciality and a .6(!) on the general knowledge!! I was so proud of him! He did “fail” technically but he did really really well especially for a test that he hadn’t specifically been studying for. When he told his teacher at school, he said he was told he had a good shot for some of the other less difficult tests. So, like I said even if its not this year, I’m sure that next year he will be fine. (so thats good)

Theres more but I don’t feel like going into it now.
Ryohei is sitting behind me giving me a lot of cuddles. I’m so so happy hes here, but I’m sick of our one room apartment and his computer being broken so he has to use mine, and just feeling blah in general.


9 Responses to "五月病"

hang in there! 五月病 will pass, and probably before may is over. i hate the feeling of just being “stuck” but not being able to get myself unstuck and just having to suck it up.

i’m not loving work at the moment either, so i’m just making a lot of effort to enjoy the time i’m not at work as much as possible. that being said, sometimes a day of doing nothing is just what you need to recharge and feel okay heading into another week or work.

i can’t imagine living in a one room apartment with another person, but i’m sure it’s tight some times, no matter how much you love each other. at leas the weather is getting nice so you can maybe go outside for some “me” time?

and you can always look up cupcake recipes in your free time at work!! 😉

just wanted to send a virtual hug your way and say hang in there, too.

I remember when I was on JET that I felt that way sometimes too, although I was lucky that my supervisor did allow me to do things and make plans for events etc, but it was really in my 3rd year on JET that I was given such “power”. And when I was in my first year, we didn’t even have the internet on at the office – I thought this was Japan!?!

Anyway, if it were me (please take the following with a grain of salt, and remember that even though I say “if this were me” I might not have done it this way anyway, lol) I would be using the extra time to my best advantage, and I know you can’t study the whole time, but look at the bright side – what a great opportunity to get some serious translating practise in! Is there any translating/interpreting courses you can do on-line that will give you some sort of qualification? Even if not, perhaps you can suggest to your office that you would like to translate documents/websites into English, maybe tax related documents/tourist information etc to help local foreigners etc (you might already be doing this, I don’t know). Is there a newsletter that you can write a spot article in Japanese in – about your life here/ differences betweeen home country and Japan – great practise for your written Japanese.

FWIW, I was only working part time for the year after we got married, then gave up working when I was pregnant with K, and enjoyed a very lazy 9 months (lol) but now I sort of wish that I had worked a bit longer, just for the money really….I keep thinking if I had have worked another 2 months even, I could have had enough money for at least one trip home. Save while you can!

Oh, and another thing, what I try to do when I feel Blah, is to go for a long energising walk outside every day – I always feel refreshed afterwards.

chin up! It’ll be june soon enough, and then we will be complaining about all the rain (lol)

I’m not sure what I can say that will make you feel any better. All I can say is I hope you are feeling a little bit more cheerful, and to remember I am always here (on your blog, on facebook, email, or we can even chat) if you need to talk to somebody!

I have to admit, we have never met, but I already consider you a friend, and I would do anything to make you feel better!

Jo – thanks! I think most of yesterday was weather related – I seem to get really really blue when its rainy out. And of course one room apartment = life inside a box

hope things get better with work on your end! hmm.. cupcake recipes!! gotta look into that!!

TJ- were you also a CIR? hmmm interesting? I have lots of questions for you but may be a little personal for comments! maybe I’ll send you an email sometime!

my job is pretty much “cut and dry” i have some friends who get to do a lot of fun stuff like school visits and events but i’m pretty much just desk translation and occasional interpretation for the mayor.. are there courses where you can get translation qualifications online? that would be something to look in to I think.

Like I said I think its just the time of year, I go through phases between enjoy and disliking work. When I was an English teacher I had the same thing and “I couldn’t wait to transfer to a CIR” and now there are some things about working at a school that I miss.

I’m not looking forward to June at all.. like I said I seem to have mild weather depression so a so-so day will see much worse with the addition of rain!

Thanks for all your advice! Like I said I have some other questions but I’ll ask in a more private way!

Nay – thanks for the hugs! I appreciate you being there! And same to you!! I think of you as a friend as well! I’m sure you have a lot going on emotionally as well so if you ever want to chat let me know!! I am feeling better than yesterday!! Just wish it would be sunny a bit longer!

yeh, I was a CIR for 3 years…. please feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions (don’t know if I can be of much help, but happy to try!) tjinjapan@gmail.com

Hi! I can totally relate to the boring job thing- was very underused at my school for the past two years (and really had trouble with that since at my old school, a private one, treated me like an actual staff member WITH responsibilities.) I always thought I would enjoy the CIR job, organizing events, helping foreigners, etc. But after reading this, I think it’s better for me to stay away from that in the future too- I totally recommend working for a private school (although sometimes it goes to the other extreme, too busy). The time will pass and you’re doing the right thing it sounds like. Now that you’re married though, you can actually quit and do any job- work at a cafe, teach privately or part time, etc. Sometimes the money isn’t worth it or sometimes you can actually do almost as well or better with a part time job and private teaching on the side. I hate feeling unsatisfied at my job. A year is a long time. May be time for a change. Money always comes from somewhere it seems.

I wanted to “use” my free time at work to write a book or study or something, but feeling brain dead every day really drained me and my forced unproductivitly rendered me even more unproductive. Keep a journal! It helps pass the time and is funny to read later and you can include positive visualizations for your future and check them off as they come true. Have you heard of the Artist’s Way? It’s a book that helps you get in tuned with and encourage your creativity and there are “assignments” in it that you can do at work too. Good luck!

Oh babe, I hope things improve soon!

Some of the suggestions for what you could do at work are good. Maybe even look into some private translation stuff you could do from work!?! Journaling is another great idea!

Big hugs, and know I am thinking of you, always!

The best thing about go-gatsu-byo is that it doesn’t hang around past the end of the month! Don’t worry, it’ll be over soon.

Christelle – Thanks for all the suggestions!! Yah, I know that there are quite a few opporunities for after my job is completed. At this point, more than taking on English teaching, although I maybe do some at some point, I’m looking into doing some freelance translation.

I love writing! I would love to write a book of some sort maybe something to think of 20 years or so down the line!

Lulu – Hey I guess you are in Oz by now! Wah! Like I said I’m looking into the private stuff!! May have some good news regarding it soon as well!!

Medea – Thats true!! I don’t know of any rokugatsubyo. Actually I’m feeling quite a bit better! Thanks for the encouragement!

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