This year reminded me of appreciating one thing – everyday life.
During this unusual holiday week and beyond, I want to be grateful that we are still here.
In 2011 when earthquake and tsunami hit northeastern Japan, I was in the UK. I phoned my family and friends in Japan but I couldn’t get through them. I emailed them but there was no reply.
My stomach shrunk when I heard my hometown Hachinohe had also been hit by the tsunami, and Kamaishi where my sister lived. After a sleepless night, I got a text from my parents saying they were ok but they didn’t know if my sister and her family were ok.
Two days later I still hadn’t heard from my sister. The Japanese media reported the tsunami destroyed Kamaishi’s entire city centre and people were killed. I also heard about the nuclear accident in Fukushima. I didn’t want to accept any of these events happening in Japan.
Four days after the earthquake, I finally heard my sister, her husband and their one year old baby were all safe. My friends in Sendai were also found safe.
Three weeks after the earthquake, I was reunited with my family in Japan. I was so fortunate. So many people lost their loved ones and the pain they went through is beyond my imagination.
The catastrophe made me realise that life could change any time without any warning. I realised what I had taken for granted is a precious gift and I should appreciate every moment.
But I am forgetful. Nine years after the Japan earthquake, I was complaining about little things in my life. My husband isn’t tidy. The children don’t listen to me. I don’t have enough time. I don’t make as much money as I want. It’s too grey in England, etc.
Then, lockdown happened. School closed. It was difficult to work while the children were home. I got so stressed out. Watching me like this, my husband said,
“Hey, you won’t get this time again. So treasure it.“
Something pinged in my head. Yes, this is probably a once in life opportunity! So I started documenting my everyday family life with cartoons.
One good thing that has come out from this year for me is my cartoons. They are a celebration of ‘everyday life.’
I hope you enjoyed some of the cartoons. You can find them all here
🎄Wishing you all a Happy Christmas!🎄