Road Map for 2023 (and beyond?)

First of all, let me make it clear that the kimono content will always be the primary focus of my blog. Whether it be outfit coordinations, events, or informational posts, this is never going to stop. However, I have realised that in my current situation I can’t keep up with the rate of mannequin coords I have posted in the past.

There are multiple reasons for this. Firstly, I used to work a maximum of twenty hours a week. Then the pandemic hit and I was fully unemployed for over a year. This meant a ton of free time. I now have the luxury of working from home but I work a full forty hours a week, plus occasional overtime, which leaves me much less in the way of free time. My collection has also gotten so overwhelming that sometimes just looking at it while deciding what to coordinate with is exhausting!

Secondly, I am spending months at a time with my boyfriend in California, and hauling significant portions of my collection and a mannequin back and forth is just entirely unreasonable. His house also doesn’t have the space for me to take over a kimono corner, let alone the entire room.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I am dealing with the early stages of a frozen shoulder. This makes it difficult for me to even dress myself in yofuku (you should see me trying to do up my bra, it’s hilarious), let alone dress an uncooperative mannequin in wafuku. I am doing physical therapy and getting injections for it, and we’ve managed to slow its progression, but it’s not really getting better yet.

So what does all this mean for you, my beloved readers and followers? It means I’m going to be making a concentrated effort to bring you more content relating to Japanese arts, culture, and lifestyle, still while focusing on kimono, but broadening my scope somewhat. I also hope to bring more accessible products to you, not only imported things. Between shipping times, fluctuating currencies, and carbon imprints, it’s nice for those of us in the Americas and Europe to be able to experience a bit more wa in our lives with more ease. Expect to see more tea reviews, restaurant reviews (I am going to Morimoto Las Vegas next week and I cannot wait to share my experience with you), book reviews, and health & beauty products (Tatcha and Rituals of Sakura coming up soon). These are all things I will be able to do after work, with a bum shoulder, while away from Montreal, or any combination of the above.

I realise some of you did not sign on for this and if you decide this blog is no longer for you I fully understand. But I hope some of you will choose to stick around and see what the future holds for all of us! And to thank you for sticking around until the end of this ramble, here’s some photos of the beautiful Lego Bonsai tree Keith got me for Christmas. I love that you can easily swap between green leaves and beautiful sakura bonsai! I am terrible with real plants so this is a lovely way for me to enjoy bonsai on my desk without worrying about killing it.

(Sakura tokidoki unicorno not included – she just happened to be on my desk and I couldn’t resist)

Ikigai, or why this blog exists

Ikigai (生き甲斐) is most accurately translated as a reason for being, but often referred to more colloquially as a reason for getting up in the morning. Each circle represents an ideal; that which you love, that which you are good at, that which the world needs, that which can support you. Where all four overlap, there is your ikigai, your purpose for living.

I will be honest with you all right now. I haven’t been in a great place mentally this month. While there’s no one thing seriously wrong, there have just been a lot of little frustrations and disappointments piling up, and it’s weighing heavily on me now. I miss being able to actually wear kimono, but my health is a constant challenge, as is my size. I’ve been trying to do more, to share more things with you lovely readers, but work exhausts me and eats my free time. Last week I ordered a garment rack to display kimono so I could update my catalogue, and that became a whole absurd saga in and of itself (which I will share with you soon!). My point is, sometimes this passion of mine feels more like a chore, and I found myself wondering why I do it.

That was when I was reminded of the concept of ikigai. While I may not be able to use this blog to support myself financially (in fact, rather the opposite – as many of you know, this hobby ain’t cheap!) collecting, coordinating, and displaying kimono fulfill me in a way not many things can. Sometimes the thing you love the most can be the thing that drives you the craziest, but in the end it’s always worth it. I just need to keep reminding myself that frustrations are temporary. So thank you all for reading, subscribing, and sticking with me. Sharing with you gives me purpose. You are the reason this blog exists. 💗