Thursday 26 April 2012


'Gaman' is a great word in Japanese. It may be up there with 'ganbatte' and 'sho ga nai'. It basically means 'suck it up' and it's something that I think Japan is training me very well for.

I bitch a LOT about Japan, but really I love living here, I think when it gets to the point of white, hot rage against Japan, nobody can actually stand staying, they just go. I have my moments but for the most part I love living here.

Then maybe Japan has nothing to do with it, maybe it's just me getting older and wiser? Whatever it is, I'm finding myself accepting the things that I can't change with a lot more grace and maturity than ever before. Even if I do say so myself!

I've always hated change, even when I was a kid, my mum was constantly wanting to change the furniture in my room, just for the hell of it, just for a refresh. And I fucking hated it. If I came home to hear the vacuum cleaner and see the door to my room open I'd instantly get angry because I knew the bed would be under the window or near the door, or somewhere it hadn't been the night before, and I fucking despised it. I was a bit of a selfish cow now I think about it, but it just made me kinda panic, all that change.

Jobs are the same, I only ever had one part-time job for 6 years through school and University, and after coming to Japan have had a total of 4 different jobs in 7 years, and all those changes were not my choice, what with bankruptcy, and babies and stuff. It's a shame I hate change so much, because every big change I've ever made has been for the better, I am just really reluctant to actually do it.

The upcoming arrival of my baby is no exception. I literally had panic attacks at the thought of all the change it's going to bring in the beginning, but I'm starting to accept that it's happening. I can't stop it, so I have to roll with it, do the best I can.
My instant reaction to things I don't like is to kick and scream and cry. (Literally and figuratively...) Just recently, my schedule has been an 8 o clock finish every night of the week except Sunday, I HATED this, it may not seem late but when you have a hungry kid and hungry incompetent twat for a husband, trust me it's fucking late. But I truly feel that I'm adapting, because that's just the way it is. A few years ago I don't think I could have adapted, not without melting down, but I'm surprising myself by 'gaman'ing it and dealing. I'm proud of myself for this, because it's one of my big character flaws and I'm glad that I might be finally growing up.

I think Japan deals with 'gaman' very well, sometimes too well, and it's all rubbing off on me. Now if only I could gaman through Ryota being a dick, then I really will be a fully-fledged Japanese gaman veteran!

Let's gaman!


  1. Sucking it up is far more catchy though don't you think.

  2. Hi. How is your brother in law doing? Hope he is going to recover. I also used to freak out at big life changes, but I tell myself nowdays that life is too short for that, and now I'm pretty good at facing whatever life throws at me. Luckily, it is mainly all positive things.

  3. Yes, how is your BIL? Hope that your unrelated post means he's okay. As for 'gaman', that's all you can do once you've committed to parenthood, which is the major factor in your life, cos you can't take 'em back.

  4. Gaman? Hard task... wonder if I'll be able to do that.

  5. i dunno, to me words like gaman and sho ga nai = be a good like robot, dont question the way things are and conform like the rest of us. I've been able to overcome things and achieve more here by NOT gaman-ing and saying sho ga nai whenever something happens.

  6. He He!! I hate change too!! Your lucky it was just your room your mum changed around for me it was houses!! I hope your brother in law is doing ok!! It must be very scary!! Enjoy this week though!! The rest will do you good!! xx

  7. We (my family) tend to focus on the season changes because they are more or less dependable and we more or less understand how to deal with them. Each time through the cycle, it gets better. 'Gaman' is useful when it comes to dealing with the seasons, 'cause they are kind of beyond our control (though we do dutifully contribute adding our share of co2). Yeah, 'gaman' is useful when not used as an excuse to be obstinate, lazy, or a pushover.

    Growing up sounds fun as long as it doesn't mean getting old. Ain't in no hurry.

  8. I second the change ordeal. I hate hate hate not expecting things and not knowing the outcome. Nothing freaks me out more.