香山リカのココロの万華鏡:まず目の前を大切に /東京

(Mainichi Japan) January 8, 2012
Kaleidoscope of the Heart: Doing things in your own way a good enough goal for 2012
香山リカのココロの万華鏡:まず目の前を大切に /東京

At the end of last year, I was interviewed by a magazine and was asked for my goals and words to live by in the year 2012.

"Well, I don't have any particular goals, and I guess I'd live by the words 'for the time being' and 'in my own way,'" I answered.

The magazine editor there looked at me with an expression that said, "What? Are you joking?" but I was just being honest.
 それを聞いた編集者は、「はあ? 冗談でしょう?」と言いたげな顔をしたのだが、私としては、正直な気持ちを話しただけだ。

At the end of last year, many of my patients mentioned things being a certain way "for the time being" and that they'd done something or another "in their own way."

They all had plenty to deal with, since they faced illness in addition to the earthquake disasters and the long-continuing recession that affected the entire country.

As the end of such an eventful year approached, it was only natural for my discussions with patients to turn to how far they'd made it -- in their own way, and how they hoped to make similar progress -- for the time being.

And that's no easy feat. Under such unfavorable conditions, making it to the end of one year and welcoming the next even if it is "in one's own way" is actually a grueling task.

"Doing things in your own way, at least for the time being, to get by is an incredible achievement," I might say to a patient. "It's because you've been working so hard at your day-to-day life and treatment that you've come this far."

In normal conversation, the possible subtext of the phrases "in my own way" and "for the time being" is that whatever has been accomplished is sufficient only according to a subjective yardstick, and that any achievement is temporary.

They have the negative implication that things have been left unfinished and people have been left unsatisfied.

But in these times, it's especially hard to attain high ideals or perfect success.

On the contrary, we are sometimes treated to unpredictable incidents and unexpected sources of stress.

Amidst all that, we have to do what we can to take on a day at a time while not giving up, at least for the time being.

Keeping that up is no simple task.

I expect there are many others who, like me, have yet to set up a particular goal for this year.

To those people I recommend that for the time being, you just try doing things in your own way.

I, too, hope to move forward this year not by chasing after goals too high or too far, but by first of all treasuring those things and people directly in front of me, and taking each step slowly.

(By Rika Kayama, psychiatrist)
毎日新聞 2012年1月4日 地方版

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