Sunday 10 June 2012

Good stress, bad stress

Hi folks
It's a beautiful time of year. The azaleas and roses are in full bloom. Passing the time of day with some other ladies in the jacuzzi at the gym I go to, we were saying how lovely the flowers were, how we didn't notice them last year, or if we did, we didn't feel anything. Yes, life is back to normal and we can smell the roses.

And yet ... I drove up to our office in Sendai the other day and recalled my visit last autumn when I waxed lyrical in the blog about the last of the autumn colours and the oncoming winter. Then it was exhilarating, all my senses on high alert. This time it was a boring journey on the motorway, something to be endured. Then, I could write the blog until 1 o'clock in the morning, have five hours sleep, and work and never feel tired.  Now I'm tired and ready for bed by 11. Then, we were living on adrenaline and the memories are stark. Now life is back to normal and one day merges into another. I guess the trick is to have a modicum of stress to get the most out of every day - but take time to smell the roses too. Easy to say, hard to do.

Some stress though we can do without. Fukushima University this week published the results of a survey on stress levels among parents and children under 12. Over 2,000 parents in the city of Fukushima were surveyed in January and the results compared with a similar survey carried out last June in Koriyama and Fukushima. 50% still didn't hang the washing outside (down from 60% last year) and 54% didn't let their children play outside (down from 67% last year). 71% of parents are 'very careful about food', and 23% are 'slightly careful about food'. So there's hardly a parent in Fukushima who's not careful about what they feed their children.  (Fukushima University, Faculty of Symbiotic Systems Science research team.)

On the face of it life is back to normal. Koriyama is a bustling city. But you're careful. And you do get used to it. But it's still stressful, I think.
There is good news. The pools and poolsides at the schools have been cleaned and the kids will be able to swim outside this summer.
Bye for now
P.S. Picture in the local paper of mating frogs in Kawauchi (see post Kawauchi-mura).
Kaeru Kawauchi

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