Happy Blog Birthday, Saké Puppets!

Wow, how this year has zoomed by.

It is amazing to think that just a year ago, we had a very different life.

Starting this blog while preparing to move from one side of the world to the other was a hectic endeavor, though I’m glad we did.  It’s been interesting to look back, and a bit bittersweet to realize how far we’ve come in certain areas, yet how little progress has been made in others.

I’m thinking mostly about my Japanese.  When I realized the one-year mark was approaching, I panicked.  I was hoping to be further along by now.  Maybe I was too optimistic with my goals, or maybe I’ve just been lazy. Probably the latter. Rather than rag on myself, I’ll just make a pact — with you all as my witness — to keep at it, and in a year from now I’ll be reading manga with the best of ’em (er, by that I mean elementary school students and Doraemon, the children’s manga series about an earless robotic cat).

The time went by so quickly that I’m afraid I’ll wake up someday and realize I missed it all.  So, a few goals —

Where this past year was about exploring parts of Asia, the next year will be about exploring Japan.  I want to visit Hokkaido, Kyushu, maybe even Okinawa.  I want to visit Kyoto and Osaka, to hike mountains and take the train, and to volunteer in the tsunami-stricken north.  I want to get to know the country I’ve adopted as home.

Year Two will also be a year of creative work.  It took a little while to settle in and find my way around, and I’m glad I took that time, though I’m ready for bigger things.  I want to keep stitching and learning and really come into my own style.  Both Dan and I have projects we vow to move more towards the  “completed” end of the spectrum than their current resting places near the starting line.

I’m grateful for this blog, for pushing me along in the right direction.  Having a year of writing to look back on has been really valuable — to see the growth and our changes in style.  To all our readers — thanks for hanging in there, encouraging us to keep studying and exploring, and for keeping us connected to friends old and new.

Happy Birthday, little blog.  Cheers for another great year!  Now let’s eat pie.