Yesterday I was rereading my blog entries on our 2005 trip to Singapore, Europe and Japan. On the day before returning to Australia I wrote "I decided that things need to change when we return to Australia. Time to think about the future."
Have things changed? Inspired by the simplicity and elegance of Japan, one of the changes I wanted to make to my life was to "make it more beautiful". Inspired by the French I wanted to "enjoy life more".
For the past five years my life has followed a pretty solid routine defined by work, housework and time with B. I wake up at 6.15am, go to my office, sometimes do exciting programming, frequently put up with crap, have too few chances to enjoy the science around me. I eat the same food from the canteen almost everyday (there is little choice) and arrive home at about 6.15pm. We cook dinner, watch some TV and fall asleep. The priority at weekends is housework with the occasional trip out, hopefully not to see family (we are antisocial).
The only major breaks to this routine have been holidays, plus my year of astronomy studies. These have been wonderful, not only for the wonderful sights seen and knowledge gained, but for all the research and planning and daydreaming. It's no wonder that I am obsessed by travel. The other highlight is, of course, beautiful B who makes me so happy whenever I am with her – which I am during holidays, all day and night!
So how to enjoy a beautiful life? One way has been to make the work I do and the places I live more beautiful. Go for elegance and simplicity in web development. Decorate my office with objects that bring positive feelings (model aircraft and photos of travel – happy memories). When we go out to the city, look on it as an adventure, eat Japanese food. Indeed food has probably been the greatest change. Now, when I cook, I try my best to produce original recipes that taste and look good. Each meal should be made with pride and savoured. Sometimes the recipes don't work out, but I have tried and learned.
This morning was beautiful. A very warm early spring day, I cooked bacon, eggs and toast, sliced an orange and opened the blinds around our dining room. It was like eating at a resort. Later today I went the long way around to the shops, enjoyed the sun while walking through the bushland. So nice to escape the noise and demands of the human world and just take pleasure in the natural world.
I still have a long way to go to improve my life further. I would like to sit in a cafe sipping on an iced chocolate and do work, or at least go somewhere other than my office. To escape office politics and stupid demands. I would like to immerse myself in the elegance of solving mathematical problems once again. And I would like us to be able to pack our bags and travel at whim. There is so much of this world to enjoy.