Ohhh, hanami! One of my, if not most, favourite things about spring. A sign of new life, new times…and a lot more sunlight. I have written about hanami and sakura before, so I will not go through the process of explaining its significance again. But I do want to mark a little moment in time through these pictures of my own little hanami last Friday. And you know, remind you of it being Stress Awareness Month.

Since last year (so yes, it’s been 2 times now — we may call it a tradition already!) my friend and I have visited the so-called cherry-blossompark in the Amsterdamse Bos in Amstelveen. My friend is a very old high-school friend who came to visit me in Japan a few years back. We explored some of Kyoto and Osaka together back then. It’s funny, because initially we bonded over playing Pokémon on our gameboys, these days however we can really get to the nitty-gritty of our mental states because I guess both of us haven’t been really kind to our minds during adolescence. We made a pact though… we would visit the cherry blossom each year and count our blessings. Really sit under the trees with a snack or two and enjoy the beauty. So that is exactly what we did this last Friday.

Well that, and take a fuckton of pictures of the beautiful petals and trees. :)

On another note… we discussed resolutions ’n things in January on the blog, and I just wanted to say: my challenge of being more of a hedonist this year is really, really turning out for the better. Maybe I am not literally becoming a hedonist, but becoming more mindful of the pleasurable is actually fun and seems good for the mind so far.

Going into things more with a sense of curiosity and optimism, rather than seeking to plan ahead and going in pessimistically is a good exercise for the mind. Keeping my keen sense of criticism and sarcasm is something I can’t really seem to tone down too much, but I guess I’m keeping my snarkiness on a low most of the time.

Life has taken a turn again, I hope for the better! Last week I started working again at an actual office. I think that in spring I always feel more empowered to take on life. I feel more emboldened to chase the things I want. I start getting more aware of my needs and longings, or maybe I allow myself that awareness more so than before. I don’t feel like talking about my current state of mind too much. But’s tricky, because I really want this to work out — but I don’t want to force myself too much. So it’s a good lesson in patience. Patience with the world, but still…mostly with myself.

However, I would like to share with you some wisdom from this brilliant book I’m currently reading by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong:

“Curiosity takes ignorance seriously, and is confident enough to admit when it does not know. It is aware of not knowing, and it sets out to do something about it”
— Art as Therapy