So, it’s not easy to be inspired during a global pandemic. Even less so when you’re watching fools prance around with no masks on, breathing wherever they feel like it.

But, of course, the secret to life is not just inspiration. It is effort after inspiration. And it’s not easy to put effort into anything but the basic survival skills during a global pandemic.

However, what is the alternative? Working, eating, sleeping and nothing else?

It’s like one goes through a set of stages of experience with the facts of the world around them. Like the stages of accepting death is coming, but a bit different. My stage now is Damn It, which means I’m tired of cowering around and making myself anxious.

One life to live, and it’s too short to not do everything I want to do, including learning Japanese.

I had a plan to go to Japan this fall, but that’s definitely not going to happen now. (Even though I haven’t cancelled my hotel reservation yet. Hope springs eternal, or maybe people love fooling themselves.) But even if I never get to Japan before I die, the studying and practice gives me a purpose outside of working, eating, and sleeping.

Inspiration is sexy. But dedication to make yourself a 鉄人 of effort is what needs to follow all inspiration.

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