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To My Children (2): Career, Its Ending and Beginning 子供達へ (2): キャリアの終わりと始まり

Neil is 66 and has been retired for 2 years now. My children are in their 30’s working hard building up their careers. For me, the word “career” does not apply, since my work is so free and individualistic. I just watch. When I am watching, it gives me so much insight and perspectives from each one of you and makes me think.

When you retire and look back on your career, you realize how much you have learned over all those years. Often those learnings were earned in the hardest ways. Naturally, you want to pass them on especially to the young loved ones who are just starting. You don’t want all the wisdom you acquired to be lost and wasted.

However, do young ones really want to hear them? They might feel, oh it’s from last generation and therefore irrelevant, or you can always find better information online, or they might simply want to have their fresh start, do things their way. They might not want to be bothered with awkward suggestions, “just leave me alone!”

I don’t know if you are feeling that way…but even if you are, please graciously listen to Neil’s stories, put his wisdom somewhere in your head. One day, it might become helpful…or at least you might understand what he was saying.

Neil was an excellent researcher and wonderful educator. However as you know, he is super simple and ultra honest person, and he does not read air very well. He was not a politician and politics gave him so much pain. I could see that very well. It was hard for me to see him suffer in his career. However, he IS a deeply caring person. His struggles led him to take on the position of the faculty advisor for the university. He wholeheartedly helped for many many years those who were having difficulties in their careers. He dealt with all kinds of difficult cases. His knowledge is amazing. He was such a valuable person in the university.

Organizations are all so political, especially universities. They are terrible. One day, you are bound to face some enormous problem. When you do, I hope you remember that your stepfather is there for you, offering you some valuable ideas.


リタイアすると今まで人生の大半を占めてきたキャリア生活を思い返して実に色々な教訓を得てきたことに気づく。そしてなんとかその教訓を若いこれからの人達に伝えたいって思うんだよね。そうしないと苦労して得た教訓が無駄に消えてしまうから。でもね、若い人たちはそう言う教訓を聞きたいって思ってるんだろうか? 時代が違う、なんでもオンラインで調べられるからいい、フレッシュスタートで自分の思うようにやって見たいって思ってるかもしれない。お節介なお説教は聞きたくないって思うかもしれない。




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Family Reunion 家族のリユニオン

We were always together….nobody questioned about it. But one day, somebody moved out for university, then somebody got married, then somebody moved for work…. before knowing, our family was forever changed….sad. 😢

Since I was divorced in a foreign country, my three little children and I were like a little cocoon, so close together all the time. I really miss those days…

My boy, Ikkei, got a job in Hawaii, and we decided to have a family reunion in Seattle. After all these years this was the first time all of us gathered together. We rented a house in Seattle for three days. Ikkei’s family drove from Pennsylvania, Tomoka and her kids flew from Tokyo, Rutsu and her baby drove from Lions Bay, of course Neil and I also drove from Lions Bay, and we all joined in Seattle. My three children are now 37 to 33, and our five grandchildren are from 9 years old to 10 months old.

It was crazy noisy, but such a joy. It was my life’s highlight!

It’s so true that the time never comes back. When we gather again, we will be all different. Some of us are aging, some are growing…. that makes the moment even more precious. I would treasure the memory for the rest of my life.