Japan 2017: A New Year’s Celebration

After living in New York City for several years, I decided to _mg_7251move “back home” (home state) in order to be able to travel more. Moving back came with it’s challenges, but I am so grateful that after three years of being in California, my aspirations to travel materialized into reality. I spent a week in Japan at the end of December. I started my trip in Tokyo, went to Kyoto for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s, and ended my trip in Tokyo.

I hope to spend the next couple of weeks sharing videos and photos of my time in Japan.

15875319_10106431583906116_2879783256546506677_oOn New Year’s Day I went to Fushimi Inari Taisha in Kyoto. Thousands of people from all over Japan and the world travel to Kyoto on New Year’s Day to welcome the new year. Throughout Kyoto, the day is filled with visits to temples and shrines, prayers, fortune telling, traditional dance performances, and at this particular temple, a hike up the mountain to reach the shrine that sits at the summit.

I joined thousands of people as they hiked up one of the most memorable mountain hikes I have experienced.


This Will Be a Great Weekend

During my medical leave I was in intensive group therapy (15 hours/week of therapy). At that time I began to read Feeling Good by David Burns on advice from my therapist. Dr. Burns writes about “the weekend blues”. Apparently, it is very common for people to feel sad on the weekends. My Dr. said I probably feel lost since the weekends are unstructured.

Last night, I couldn’t sleep. I usually dread weekends. Even when I have awesome plans to do fun things on Saturday or Sunday I have difficulty doing anything. I took 30 mg of sleeping pills last night and that barely helped. I woke up on Saturday morning thinking ahhh….I just want to feel good and have a great weekend.  So this is what I told myself as I found the courage to get up:

Dear Xiomara, 

You are wonderful! Today is going to be a great day! Wake up, make yourself a nice cup of coffee, wear something cute, spend time with family, connect with nature, and do something to inspire others to change the world. Be grateful for your beautiful apartment, for the beautiful sunlight, and for being an independent woman who is providing for herself. Plus, you will get to visit a new state in a few days and that alone is super exciting. Smile! You are loved!

<3, me

So, I woke up, washed dishes, made a cup of coffee, and put on a Pitbull concert I recorded — ’cause — yes, I love Pitbull (his music not his politics). I am happily sipping away my coffee and watching a Pitbull concert at 10 am haha. Yay to a great weekend! And since I know that connecting with people is a big part to feeling good I am picking up my little sister who coincidentally asked me to help her write a resume. We are having a sleep over and tomorrow we are going on a hike and to the planetarium. My goal is to set goals for the weekend and follow through!

I am grateful for a beautiful, sunny day. I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with my family and for having the knowledge to assist my sister achieve her goals!