Everyday English, every day, With English Now!

March 29 – message

March 29 – message

March 29, 2019 =========

☆  message  メッセージ

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As a noun, the word message means a piece of information from you to someone, or from them to you, when you cannot speak to them directly. For example, when you call someone and get their answering machine, “Please leave me a message and I’ll get back to you.”

These days, I get a lot of advertising calls – they all want to sell me cheaper electricity and gas for my home. It’s so annoying, that these days I never answer my phone unless I know the number. If the caller doesn’t leave then I know it was a tele-marketer and I can block the caller! 

Bye,

Chris

March 28 – relief

March 28 – relief

March 28, 2019 =========

☆  relief  安心感

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If you feel a sense of relief, you feel happy because something unpleasant has not happened, or is no longer happening. If you have to say goodbye to someone, in some ways you might feel relief, right? For example:

“When my father passed away after a lot of suffering, it was a relief for all of us that he was no longer in pain.”
“It was such a relief to get a phone call from my daughter telling me that she had safely arrived in the US.”
“I didn’t like working with him, so it was a relief when he quit!”

Can you use relief in a sentence?

Bye,

Chris

March 27 – inner-strength

March 27 – inner-strength

March 27, 2019 =========

☆  inner-strength  内面の強さ

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Inner-strength is having integrity of character, and mental resistance to doubt or discouragement. Inner-strength gives you the capacity to face difficult challenges. Body strength is easy to build, right? Go to the gym and lift weights! Or some other kind of physical exercise that you prefer.

But how do you build inner-strength?

One suggestion by psychologists is to focus on identifying your natural character strengths, and start working to enhance them. Most people focus on what they are not good at, which actually doesn’t help build inner-strength, because it takes much longer to feel confident. Instead, focus on building your strengths even more.

Bye,

Chris

March 26 – gesture

March 26 – gesture

March 26, 2019 =========

☆  gesture ジェスチャー

============================

I’m interested in this word, what exactly is the meaning of it in Japanese – why is katakana used I wonder? In English, it has two meanings, the first one is a gesture or action that you do with your hands, face and sometimes body – as in body language.

However, it also has the important meaning of being something you say or do in order to express your feelings or attitude. For example:

She sent flowers after my mother passed away, it was such a lovely gesture.
I want to send a get ward card, as a gesture of my sympathy.
He got my name tattooed on his arm!Read more about March 26 – gesture[…]

March 25 – courage

March 25 – courage

March 25, 2019 =========

☆  courage  勇気

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Courage is the quality of being brave even when you might be afraid or experiencing hard times. The question for the end of the month is this:

“How do you have courage in rough times?”

Some of the answers in the Eigo Techo include relying on inner-strength and ignoring doubts. Another suggestion is to make a list of what’s on your mind, and then take action. I really like this idea. If you just spend time thinking and worrying, it’s hard to resolve anything, right? An easier way to have courage during rough times, is to make a list of what’s stressing you, and find ways around thoseRead more about March 25 – courage[…]

March 24 – uplifting

March 24 – uplifting

March 24, 2019 =========

☆  uplifting  気分の上がる

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Someone or something that is uplifting is something that makes you feel very cheerful and happy. I have a friend who everyone describes as uplifting, she is always smiling, and spending time with her always makes you feel happy and loved. If I’m feeling down, then I try to spend time with her!

However, if she is busy, my next choice is uplifting videos! Facebook and YouTube always recommend videos for me to watch so that I feel more cheerful! The only trouble of course is that you end up watching waaaaay tooooo many videos! I never manage to stop watching after just one. How about you?

Bye,

Chris

March 23 – loving

March 23 – loving

March 23, 2019 =========

☆  loving  愛のある

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Someone who is loving feels or shows love to other people. For example, “She was a loving and kind mother.” might be a way to describe a parent who has passed away. Or if a friend leaves to live in another area, you might say, “I really miss him, he was always very loving to me.” This doesn’t mean that he loves you in a romantic way, just that he was kind and gentle to you always.

You can also take loving actions, meaning that your action is done with great enjoyment and care. For example, you might clean your house with loving care! I recently readRead more about March 23 – loving[…]

March 22 – concerned

March 22 – concerned

March 22, 2019 =========

☆  concerned  心配している

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If you are feeling concerned, you are feeling worried, anxious, distressed, troubled, uneasy or upset. The useful phrase this week is, “There’s no need to be concerned.” In this case, the speaker is worried that the other person might be worried about them or the situation, so this is a simple and polite way to tell them not to worry.

Here are some example sentences:

The parents were concerned about recent decisions by the school.
Her family was concerned for her safety.
A: What’s wrong? Are you OK?
B: There’s no need to be concerned, I’m just sad because my friend has moved to America for a year.

Can you use concernedRead more about March 22 – concerned[…]

March 21 – understanding

March 21 – understanding

March 21, 2019 =========

☆  understanding  思いやりのある

============================

Today is “Harmony Day” in Australia, and so my kids have added a “splash of orange” to their school. I bought them orange shoelaces to use today! Orange is the color chosen to represent Harmony Day because it signifies social communication and meaningful conversations. The color orange also relates to the freedom of ideas and mutual respect.

Harmony Day is a day to celebrate multiculturalism in Australia, and the idea is to celebrate inclusiveness, respect, understanding and belonging for all Australians regardless of their culture or language background.

The day was chosen as it coincides with the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, which isRead more about March 21 – understanding[…]

March 20 – hopeful

March 20 – hopeful

March 20, 2019 =========

☆  hopeful 希望のある

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If you are hopeful, it means that you want something to happen will happen, and you might be feeling confident that it will happen.

If you’ve said goodbye to someone recently, as in a relationship ended, you might be feeling hopeful that you will get back together with that person. Or you might feel hopeful that you can remain friends with your ex. Or you might even be hopeful that they move to another state and you never see them again! Ha ha!

Are you feeling hopeful about anything right now?

Bye,

Chris

March 19 – warmhearted

March 19 – warmhearted

March 19, 2019 =========

☆  warmhearted 心の温かい

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Someone who is warm-hearted is sympathetic and kind. For example, like the useful phrase this week, “She’s so warmhearted.” My neighbors are so warmhearted. Last year was pretty tough for us, and one neighbor made a lasagna dinner for us – it was huge and lasted us for a few days, while I was too busy to cook.

Another neighbor helped out during an emergency and looked after my baby girl so I could go to the hospital. 2018 was a crazy year for me, but it really showed me how lucky I am too, to be surrounded by so many warmhearted and generous people.

How about you?Read more about March 19 – warmhearted[…]

March 18 – fond

March 18 – fond

March 18, 2019 =========

☆  fond  好みの

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If you are fond of someone, you feel affection for them. For example, “I am very fond of you.” You can also use fond to describe behavior when you show affection. “She gave him a fond smile.”

If you are fond of something, you like it very much. “He was fond a collecting vinyl records.” And, if you have fond memories of someone or something, you remember them with pleasant feelings. For example, “I have fond memories of our trip to France.” Or, “I have fond memories of your mother.”

Have you said goodbye to someone recently? Do you have fond memories of them?

Bye,

Chris

March 17 – get in touch

March 17 – get in touch

March 17, 2019 =========

☆  get in touch  連絡を取る

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When I first went to Japan, there was no such thing as internet connections at home! I had to go into Harajuku and use an Internet café to get in touch with my family. Of course, I could call them and get in touch that way, but it was hard to find the right time to call, so email was more convenient.

The other night, my friend called me at 10pm on a Tuesday! I was so surprised – it’s not that late, but it is late when you have young kids! Ha ha. I didn’t answer, but I did send a text back askingRead more about March 17 – get in touch[…]

March 16 – send someone’s sympathy

March 16 – send someone’s sympathy

March 16, 2019 =========

☆  send someone’s sympathy  ~に気持ちを伝える

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If you send your sympathy to someone, you let them know that you are thinking of them. In Japan, when someone dies, is there a certain phrase or comment that you must make? In English, there are a few things you can say when you want to send your sympathy. Here are some examples:

Please allow me to send my sympathy to you/your mother/your father/your coworker etc.
I’m sorry for your loss.
I was saddened to hear about XX.
Sending you love and comforting hugs.
Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss.

Bye,

Chris

March 15 – fret

March 15 – fret

March 15, 2019 =========

☆  fret  心配する

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This week’s useful phrase is, “Please don’t fret.” Meaning, please don’t worry. You might fret over something you have said to another person. In other words, you worry about how the other person feels about what you said.

When I was young, I said something horrible to my older sister… I fretted about it for YEARS!!! I was only 10 years old at the time. Finally, in my thirties (yes, 20 years later!!) I said sorry for saying that nasty thing to you. And she said, “What are you talking about? I don’t remember you saying that!” Oh my goodness!! 20 years of energy wasted fretting aboutRead more about March 15 – fret[…]

March 14 – suffer

March 14 – suffer

March 14, 2019 =========

☆  suffer  つらい思いをする

============================

If you suffer, it means that you are badly affected by an event or situation. Saying goodbye usually involves some suffering – at least for the person or people being left behind. I remember when I was 16 coming to Japan for a homestay for the first time. I was so excited, but I’m sure my parents were worried and suffered a lot, thinking about whether I was OK or not.

The people that get left behind are the ones that suffer the most, right? My oldest son is going on a camp at the end of this month. It’s for three days, usually his school campsRead more about March 14 – suffer[…]

March 13 – abandon

March 13 – abandon

March 13, 2019 =========

☆  abandon  断念する

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You can use abandon in a few different ways. Firstly, you can abandon a place or person, which means you leave that place or person permanently. For example, “Her husband abandoned her and the children, and she hasn’t seen him since last year.”

Secondly, you can abandon an activity or work, meaning you stop doing it before it is finished. My son usually abandons his Lego projects before he finishes them! It’s so hard to find the pieces apparently, so he gives up!

And thirdly, you can abandon an idea, meaning that you stop thinking in that way. For example, “I was thinking about starting an internet business,Read more about March 13 – abandon[…]

March 12 – make someone’s day

March 12 – make someone’s day

March 12, 2019 =========

☆  make someone’s day  ~を喜ばせる

============================

If you make someone’s day, you make them happy. What are some ways that you can make someone’s day? Surprise notes are a nice one, I think. When I make my kids’ school lunches, I sometimes put little notes in their lunch box. Last month, I made them a Valentine’s Day love heart and note. They came home and told me that the note was a lovely surprise and it had made their day.

If someone you know is sad or unhappy because they have said goodbye to someone, a nice way to make their day is to give them a gift to remind themRead more about March 12 – make someone’s day[…]

March 11 – console

March 11 – console

March 11, 2019 =========

☆  console  慰める

============================

To console someone means to comfort someone who is unhappy, and try to make them feel more cheerful. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do was actually console my kids when my own mom died last year. It was the worst time for me, and I wanted to be so sad and just cry and cry, but when I cried, my kids got worried and cried too!

So, I had to console them and let them know I was OK, but just sad and needed to cry. And then of course, when they felt sad about losing their granny, I had to console them –Read more about March 11 – console[…]

March 10 – rough time

March 10 – rough time

March 10, 2019    =========

☆  rough time  つらい時

============================

When someone is going through a rough time, it means they are going through a challenging period in their life and they are struggling to do or cope with something. Saying goodbye to someone would definitely count as a rough time, I’d say, but whether you were struggling or unable to cope, would depend on the situation.

For example, if a friend moves to a different state or prefecture, you’d go through a rough time, I’m sure, but you’d most likely be able to cope, right? On the other hand, if you lost your job, and then someone in your family got very sick, thatRead more about March 10 – rough time[…]

March 9 – good time

March 9 – good time

March 9, 2019   =========

☆  good time  楽しい時

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A good time is when you enjoy yourself and have fun, you might say, “I had a good time tonight.” Or when you are apart from someone or feeling sad, you might use the useful phrase for this week, “Just remember the good times.”

Facebook’s “Memories” is a great way to remember the good times, I think. So long as you only post happy things! If you are posting things that make you feel sad, then when it comes up in your memory a year later, then it won’t be a good reminder!

Instagram has also started this feature, showing me photos that I posted aRead more about March 9 – good time[…]

March 8 – solace

March 8 – solace

March 8, 2019      =========

☆  solace  慰め

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Solace is a formal word, to describe the feeling of comfort that makes you feel less sad. For example, it’s common to say that you “find solace in XX”, so “I found solace in running when my father died 6 years ago.” Or “Many people find solace after losing a pet by adopting a new one soon.”

When something sad happens in your life, how do you find solace? What is your way of comforting yourself and making yourself feel better? Is it running or exercise? Or catching up with friends? Or just spending time alone and writing in a journal or reading a book? WhatRead more about March 8 – solace[…]

March 7 – tranquility

March 7 – tranquility

March 7, 2019 =========

☆  tranquility  平静

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Tranquility is the state of being tranquil; a peaceful and calm state, without noise or worry. There is never much tranquility in my house – except during school hours, when there is no one at home. Ha ha.

What about saying goodbye though? Sometimes there can be a feeling of tranquility and calmness when you are saying goodbye to someone. Cemeteries are usually filled with peace and tranquility, but other than for funerals, it’s not usual to spend time at cemeteries.

When was the last time you experienced tranquility?

Bye,

Chris

March 6 – absence

March 6 – absence

March 6, 2019 =========

☆  absence  不在

============================

Have you heard of the saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” This means that when someone is away, you miss them, and long for their return. This is a good saying for people in a long-distance relationship for example.

However, there’s also the exact opposite saying too! “Out of sight, out of mind.” Meaning that once there is physical distance between you and the other person, you forget about them. This can be good if there was a break up, but not for a long-distance relationship!

So, I guess depending on the reason for the absence, you can choose which idiom you want to use. Ha ha!

Bye,

Chris

March 5 – companionship

March 5 – companionship

March 5, 2019 =========

☆  companionship  友達付き合い

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Companionship is having someone you know and like with you, rather than being on your own. This doesn’t have to be a relationship, like husband and wife. It can be a friendship, or even an acquaintance.

I remember my mom used to enjoy traveling. The tours were specifically for older people. Many people came alone, because their husband or wife had already died. So, even though they didn’t know each other, they had a kind of companionship with each other during the trip. Sometimes, my mom met people that she got along with well, and so they organized to take more trips together! A great way toRead more about March 5 – companionship[…]

March 4 – empathy

March 4 – empathy

March 4, 2019 =========

☆  empathy  共感

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Empathy is the ability to share another person’s feelings and emotions as if they were your own. I often talk about the difference between empathy and sympathy, as in the translation it can be confusing which one is being used.

Sympathy is when you feel compassion, sorrow or pity for the hardships that another person is going through. Empathy is actually putting yourself in the shoes of the other person and feeling the way they do.

For example:
Sympathy – It must have been very difficult when XXX happened to you.
Empathy – I know what it feels like to have XXX happen. (Because XXX has also happened to me)

Bye,

Chris

March 3 – count on someone

March 3 – count on someone

March 3, 2019 =========

☆  count on someone  ~に期待する

============================

If you’ve had to say goodbye to someone and you’re struggling, it’s good to know that you can count on the people around you. In fact, it doesn’t just have to be when you are struggling, it’s good to know you can count on your friends, family, coworkers and so on, any time you might need to, right?

A good way to make sure that you can count on others is to make sure that the people around you can count on you! Do they people around you know that they can count on you for anything? If not, how could you let themRead more about March 3 – count on someone[…]

March 2 – reach out

March 2 – reach out

March 2, 2019      =========

☆  reach out  心を通わせる

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If you reach out to someone, it means that you are offering help or support to them. I read a wonderful folk story that is told in the Middle East about a drowning man. It is the perfect example of how to reach out to someone who is struggling.

Many people who saw the drowning man, stood on the edge of the river and said, to him, “Give me your hand.” But the drowning man didn’t do anything, except continue to struggle in the water.

Another man came along, and went a little way into the river, getting wet himself, and said to the drowning man,Read more about March 2 – reach out[…]

March 1 – cherish

March 1 – cherish

March 1, 2019     =========

☆  cherish       大事にする

============================

This month is all about “How to manage goodbyes.” Last year, I said my forever goodbye to my mum, when she passed away in July. That was a tough goodbye to say. I will cherish all the good times we had together, and try to remember those times when I’m feeling sad.

However, saying goodbye doesn’t always have to be the goodbye forever like this. It could be just a goodbye for now – perhaps a good friend is going to live in another state or country. Even if you are likely to see that person again, it might not be so often, so it’s stillRead more about March 1 – cherish[…]

February 28 – focus

February 28 – focus

February 28, 2019 =========

☆  focus  集中して取り組む

============================

Another great way to make life sweet is simply to focus! Focus on what you are doing at the time. Be present. Don’t think about the past, or worry about the future. There is only now… ha ha, I sound like a self-help guru!

It’s true though, I find that whenever I need to do something that I’m not really interested in doing, if I focus on that thing only, then it is always more effective. When I know it’ll be hard to focus, I turn off Wi-Fi and set a timer for 15 minutes. Surely, I can focus for 15 minutes, even if it’s something IRead more about February 28 – focus[…]

February 27 – captivate

February 27 – captivate

February 27, 2019 =========

☆  captivate  魅了する

============================

One of the other answers in the Question & Answer this month, was “I only do things that really captivate me.” Hmmm…. This doesn’t really sound realistic does it! If I only did things that really captivate me, I certainly wouldn’t be cleaning my house or making dinner every night! Ha ha!

But it is an interesting idea. Before deciding whether to do something you could think about whether or not it will captivate you, and if the answer is no, then you could try to delegate it, or find another way of doing it. What tasks do you do often that really captivate you? What tasksRead more about February 27 – captivate[…]

February 26 – incorporate

February 26 – incorporate

February 26, 2019 =========

☆  incorporate  合わせる

============================

One way to make life sweet is to incorporate – in other words, include – things that you love to do with the things you have to do. For example, I have to walk my dogs each day, but I also love running. When I wanted to train for a marathon, I decided to incorporate my short runs into my walks with the dogs. It saved time, and helped me train for the marathon, while giving the dogs a good work out, and making us all happy!

I have a Japanese friend who makes amazing origami jewelry. She makes tiny cranes and so on, and creates earringsRead more about February 26 – incorporate[…]

February 25 – accomplish

February 25 – accomplish

February 25, 2019 =========

☆  accomplish  達成する

============================

In the Question & Answer for this month, “How do you make your life sweet?” one of the answers is, “I set goals and focus on accomplishing them.” Does this sound like you? Is setting and accomplishing goals something that makes you feel happy and like life is good?

Usually, people set goals at the beginning of the year, thinking they will accomplish them in the coming year. For me, I find that January is just too busy to do this. It’s summer and our long school holidays, we have Christmas, New Year, birthdays. It’s really too busy to try and set goals, and there’s no chanceRead more about February 25 – accomplish[…]

February 24 – lifework

February 24 – lifework

February 24, 2019 =========

☆  lifework  ライフワーク

============================

This week’s useful phrase is, “Finding my lifework has increased my happiness.” I thought that I had found my lifework as an English teacher, but then I realized that I actually only like to teach Japanese students – I feel more of a connection with Japanese students than I do with other Asian cultures or Europeans for example. I have no idea why, but it’s just how I feel!

So, my lifework might actually be “teaching Japanese people” rather than “teaching English” … what a strange thing that is! I will have to think more deeply about this idea!

How about you? Have you found your lifework? IfRead more about February 24 – lifework[…]

February 23 – friend

February 23 – friend

February 23, 2019 =========

☆  friend  友達

============================

A friend is someone you know well and like, but who is not related to you. Having a circle of friends around you can definitely make life sweet, don’t you agree? When I lived in Japan, it was a strange situation – if my friends were Japanese, we often had language and cultural barriers.

Funnily enough, with my English-speaking friends, we often had language and cultural barriers too! Strong British accents, or strange American culture that I didn’t understand! Ha ha!

How about you? Do you ever experience these kinds of barriers with your friends? Is the dialect differences between prefectures in Japan ever a problem?

Bye,

Chris

February 22 – obligation

February 22 – obligation

February 22, 2019 =========

☆  obligation  義務

============================

If you have an obligation to do something, you have a duty to do that thing. Imagine how sweet life would be if all of our obligations were actually things that we loved doing!! I have two dogs, and when they were younger, one of my obligations was taking them for a daily walk. Of course, this was so much fun for me, so it never felt like a duty or obligation.

Another obligation I have is feeding my kids. I like cooking, but I don’t really want to do it every day! Unfortunately, my kids want to eat every day, so until they are older, IRead more about February 22 – obligation[…]

February 21 – responsibility

February 21 – responsibility

February 21, 2019 =========

☆  responsibility   責任

============================

I think one of the biggest problems with doing a spring clean is about who has responsibility for what. I’d love for everyone in my house to share the responsibility, but of course it is hard for kids to do the heavy or hard jobs. So, of course, the adults must have more responsibility.

I think that sharing the responsibility for the things that “need” to be done can help everyone have more time to do the things that they “want” to do. It’s hard to get this perfect balance of responsibility though…

How about in your household? Who has the responsibility for the spring clean? What aboutRead more about February 21 – responsibility[…]

February 20 – spring clean

February 20 – spring clean

February 20, 2019 =========

☆  spring clean  春の大掃除

============================

I’m so jealous! As we start the gradual slide into colder weather and autumn, you guys in Japan get to start spring soon! I wish it could be spring and summer all year round! Even if that means I’d have to do two spring cleans each year! Ha ha!

In fact, doing two spring cleans a year wouldn’t be a bad thing – there are many benefits. Getting rid of dust during a big spring clean makes the air in the house cleaner. If you use lemon-scented cleaning products, the smell helps you to de-stress. And of course, all that cleaning is actually pretty good exercise!

ButRead more about February 20 – spring clean[…]

February 19 – ritual

February 19 – ritual

February 19, 2019 =========

☆  ritual  儀式

============================

We usually think of rituals as being connected to religion or some kind of ceremony. For example, the rituals followed by Shinto shrines, or the Christian rituals after someone dies, and so on.

However, we can also have our own rituals that make life sweet. It might be a cultural thing, such as Italian culture, which people say revolves around the ritual of eating. Or it might be a thing for you and your group of friends. When my brother lived in San Francisco, they had Thursday night ritual of drinking at the local bar. Everyone from his friendship group came each week, and it was greatRead more about February 19 – ritual[…]

February 18 – newness

February 18 – newness

February 18, 2019 =========

☆  newness  新しいこと

============================

Newness is a noun, meaning novelty, freshness, innovation, originality, and uniqueness. Sometimes in our lives, we need a bit of newness, to mix things up and get excited about things again.

Talking about my running schedule, the newness of my approach is that I am running during the daytime, usually at lunchtime. In the past, I would wake up early and go for a run with a neighbor or my running group. But I just can’t wake up early anymore! Ha ha, so I hoping the newness of this running schedule will help me stick to it. Wish me luck!

Bye,

Chris

February 17 – balanced

February 17 – balanced

February 17, 2019 =========

☆  balanced  バランスのとれた

============================

This week’s useful phrase is, “It’s important to live a balanced life.” What does this mean to you? For me, I think it is kind of impossible to always have balance between work and personal time. Sometimes work is very busy, and sometimes my personal world is very busy.

However, I’ve decided that for me, living a balanced life simply means creating time for the things I have to do, and definitely creating time for the things I like / love to do. Last year, I didn’t do any running for various reasons. This year, I am committed to creating time to run and exercise.

How about you?Read more about February 17 – balanced[…]

February 16 – committed

February 16 – committed

February 16, 2019 =========

☆  committed  傾倒した

============================

When you are committed to something, you definitely do it. Thinking about making your life sweet… what are you committed to doing? For me, I’m committed to getting rid of things that we don’t use, so that we have more space and time to do the things we love doing.

I think it helps if you have a “committed to doing” and “committed to not doing” list. If you have both of these lists, then you’ll always know what is and what is not important to you, right? So, for me, I’m committed to clearing out our unnecessary things. And, I’m committed to not wasting time organizingRead more about February 16 – committed[…]

February 15 – appealing

February 15 – appealing

February 15, 2019 =========

☆  appealing  魅力的な

============================

Something that is appealing is pleasing and attractive. For example, an idea might be appealing. So, when you’re thinking about making your life sweet, you want to find hobbies and ideas that are appealing to you.

As I talked about before, I have been watching the Netflix KonMari and Consumed series, and both of these shows are about making your house more appealing. I love this idea because if your house is appealing to you, then you are happy to spend time there, right? When you come home from work or a busy day, an appealing house is so important! This definitely makes my life sweet. HowRead more about February 15 – appealing[…]

February 14 – invigorating

February 14 – invigorating

February 14, 2019 =========

☆  invigorating  元気になる

============================

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you describe something as invigorating, you mean that it makes you feel more energetic. As I live close to the beach, I can go to the beach on my runs. The fresh sea air is so invigorating.

When I lived in Tokyo, on a clear day, I could see Mt. Fuji from my train window. Even though the air inside the train wasn’t fresh, seeing Mt. Fuji was always invigorating. It gave me energy and power for the day ahead! What is something in your life that you find invigorating?

Bye,

Chris

February 13 – rejuvenating

February 13 – rejuvenating

February 13, 2019 =========

☆  rejuvenating  若返える

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Something that is rejuvenating makes you feel or look young again. Unfortunately, these days most of the focus in on looking younger, for example supplements, or spa treatments. However, an important aspect of something being rejuvenating is that it also makes you feel younger.

For me, running is rejuvenating. I haven’t been able to run for almost one year, so last week, restarting running was very rejuvenating – even though it was hot and hard work, and I definitely didn’t *look* younger! Ha ha! But I definitely felt younger.

How about you, do you have something in your life that is rejuvenating?

Bye,

Chris

February 12 – magnificent

February 12 – magnificent

February 12, 2019 =========

☆  magnificent  豪華な

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If you think that something or someone is magnificent, you mean that they are extremely good, beautiful, or impressive. This week’s useful phrase is:

“Oh, how magnificent! I love it!”

What do you think this could be talking about? The person could be describing a view – for example, from a hotel or house balcony. It might be a present they have just received – a ring, or handbag, for example. It could be describing a painting – either on a house wall, or at an art gallery.

Last week, I went for my first run for almost a year. It was magnificent! And, I saw some sunflowers inRead more about February 12 – magnificent[…]

February 11 – unpredictable

February 11 – unpredictable

February 11, 2019 =========

☆  unpredictable  予想できない

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If something is unpredictable, then you do not know what will happen or how that thing will react. When I lived in Japan, my friend was a part-time English teacher. Her schedule was always unpredictable. A student could book in on the same day or weeks in advance. She said it made life exciting! She never knew what she would be doing each day.

For me, I much prefer my work schedule to be predictable, not unpredictable. That way I can plan the rest of my day or work to do what I need or want to do. Of course, now with a little baby at home,Read more about February 11 – unpredictable[…]

February 10 – transform

February 10 – transform

February 10, 2019    =========

☆  transform  一変する

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To transform something, means that you change them completely and suddenly, so that it is much better or much more attractive. One way that I like to make my life sweeter is by transforming my living space! I love to clear out clutter and set up the furniture in a new way that transforms the room dramatically.

That’s one of the reasons I love the KonMari Tidying Up series and the Consumed series, too. Because all of the houses in the show were so completely transformed! It’s amazing to see the Before and After photos. And especially when the room that is transformed is so muchRead more about February 10 – transform[…]

February 9 – manipulate

February 9 – manipulate

February 9, 2019   =========

☆  manipulate  操作する

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If you manipulate something that requires a skill, such as a complicated piece of equipment or a difficult idea, you operate it, move it, or process it. For example, these days, many Tablets and Smartphones can actually be manipulated by using a pen or pencil specifically designed to manipulate something electronic (as opposed to being used on paper).

You can also manipulate ideas, for example, combining ideas, coming up with new ideas, jumping to new ideas and so on, in order to find the solution to your problem or project.

One of the things my son loves to do, that makes his life very sweet, is manipulatingRead more about February 9 – manipulate[…]

February 8 – flourish

February 8 – flourish

February 8, 2019      =========

☆  flourish  活躍する

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If something flourishes, it is successful, active, and developing quickly and strongly. In other words, it is thriving. Here are some examples of how to use this word:

She is really flourishing now that she has a new teacher.
I’m so excited as my business is flourishing these days!
Since I joined a book club meet up, I have some new friendships flourishing.
I’m so happy to see you flourishing at your new job.

In what ways are you flourishing in your life at the moment?

Bye,

Chris