Bring on 2012…Your best days are yet to come

As 2011 comes to an end, I can’t say that I really am sad to see it go.  Goodbye 2011 I have had enough of you.  Not that it was a bad year, but it is time for it to be over. I would like to think of 2011 as my culmination year. A year where I feel I have taken in life lessons,  prepared myself for further growth, and have a better understanding of purpose. In 2011, I went through relationships like water, met a lot of people, said goodbye to a lot of people, and decided to make changes toward self improvement. I would like to think of 2011 as a year of acceptance. Making peace with what life is, and opening myself up for what the future holds. As with any year I have made a ton of mistakes, In 2012 I strive to be a better person than I was over the past 365 days. To continue to learn from mistakes, increase honesty, increase loyalty, and continue to live with integrity.

I don’t make resolutions for the new year. I am going to make plans. Actually I don’t think I had many plans for 2011 but I do have plans for 2012. I have a vision of where I want to be, what I want to become. During the next year the plan will be to follow through on that vision. I plan to become a better therapist, to become a better writer, to actually finish writing a book. 2012 is the year to take ideas from my head and make them a reality. I plan to think less, to act more. I plan to live my life everyday with purpose. I plan to ask others for help more, what I have realized in 2011 is that I can’t do everything alone. Life is not a solo effort, it works best with help from a group. I plan to stay positive, to do better. To continue to live my best life.

As they say, your best days are ahead of you. Well let’s make the next 365 days those best days.

Happy New Year!

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What does Christmas mean to you?

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is coming to an end in Hawaii, on the east coast Christmas day is now a memory.  So I must end the night by saying a Very Merry Christmas to all.

I hope the day was celebrated and enjoyed by all. I hope we all remember the reason for the celebration of Christmas, and gave a very special shout out to Jesus for the celebration of his birth.  God has blessed us all, so lets celebrate life, blessings, and the spirit of the season for the next 365 days.

I spent Christmas in Hawaii. While I was in Waikiki, I sat at Starbucks for a short period of time. As as looked outside the window, I noticed a garbage can outside the front door of Starbucks. In a span of about 5 minutes I watched two different men look in the garbage in search of  food. One man found a box of Burger King chicken strips and ate what was left in the box. To him that was his Christmas.

I began to think. Today is Christmas, while some people woke up worried about gifts that were under the tree, other people woke up worried about where they were going to get a meal from today. Some kids were excited to get toys, while other kids were excited just to get food, and a warm place to sleep. While some people were complaining about spending time with family, other people were wishing that they had family to spend the day with. This is Christmas.

For everyone who celebrates Christmas it has a different meaning. Whatever your meaning is, lets not forget why it should be celebrated, and what the true meaning is.  Stuff can be bought any day of the year, we do not need to designate a day to give gifts. Lets celebrate Christmas with purpose, celebrate the gift of Jesus, the gift of life.

Hope you enjoyed your day! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Positive thoughts, Positive energy, Positive experiences

Life Happens: Be ready for the changes

Life happens quick, watch out for the changes.

In a week 2011 will be over. What the heck happened to the last 365 days? I am having a hard time grasping the fact that it is already December 24, 2011. I feel like I missed something. Maybe an entire year of life.

I  feel as if  I grew a lot this year. Even though I did not have any major life changing accomplishments in 2011, I feel vastly different from this time last year. Recently, I have had an immense feeling of excitement, and inspiration. Normally I would blame that feeling on the super large amount of caffeine I intake each day, or  possibly a sudden passing moment of mania because I have labeled myself as having bipolar moments every so often. But no, this time the excitement is different. I feel like I am ready for what’s next. Does that mean I am ready for 2012? Maybe. As with every year-end we often say, “next year is going to be my year”.  Or the cliched, “next year is going to different”.  I am not hoping for so much to change, however, I have a feeling that 2012 will be my breakout year.

In therapy, we often talk about stages of change with clients while doing motivational interviewing.  The stages go from  pre-contemplation, to contemplation, to preparation, to action, to maintenance, to relapse (well its an addiction counseling modeling actually, hence the relapse), but I always think that the concept of the model can be translated to any change in life. Over the past few years I have been going through my cycle of change, and I would say from 2010-2011 I moved from contemplation to preparation (everything before that was pre-contemplation). In 2012 I will be ready for action. I am ready to act on the ideas that have been processing in my mind, follow my path, and show the world my purpose. Does this sound a little manic? Well yeah maybe, but if you are going to have a dream, be sure to make that dream big.

Even though I did little in 2011, I grew a lot. It’s funny because when I think about the last three years since I have been in Hawaii, I feel like I grew up more than I have in my entire life. Excuse me while I sound a bit cheesy, but I have truly gained understanding and clarity. With insight comes a sense of peace, and life will be just fine. Everyone I have met has had an impact on my life, and I am finally starting to realize why I needed to be where I am, why I needed to meet the people who have entered my life, and what I am capable of doing next. The future used to scare me, now I wake up excited to enjoy the present.  No one can predict life, it is filled with uncertainty. The uncertainty makes it all the more interesting.

Normally I would end the year by feeling sad that another year has passed me by, I would want time to slow down. I will end 2011 with acceptance that the year is coming to a close, grateful for all that I have learned, and excited that I am fully prepared for whatever may come my way.

Life changes quick, be prepared for the changes.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences

What type of dater are you??

During a conversation with a man I recently met, he asked me if I was staying in Hawaii forever. My answer was, “I have no idea how long I will be in Hawaii”.  I asked, “why?” He responded with because he, “wasn’t dating to find a girlfriend, he was dating to find a wife”. I thought that was very interesting, dating to find a wife. Well if you want to be married one day, shouldn’t the purpose of dating always be to find a wife or husband? Or, is it something else completely different? If you are single then you’re probably dating to find a companion, but what happens when the person you are dating has a completely different definition of dating than the definition you have in your mind?

To be on the single scene in Honolulu is a unique experience, and I can highly doubt that it is comparable to dating in any other city in the United States. Honolulu in a fly in city, meaning you fly in, stay a while, and end up leaving somewhere down the line. Next destination probably undetermined.  If you are not local, or have not lived in Honolulu the majority of your life, then you may consider yourself as a tourist-the extended version.

Many of the people who I have met who have landed in Honolulu for whatever reason, such as work, the military, or just wanting to live on an island, usually return back to the mainland at some point. Hence, dating in Honolulu can be a difficult experience. You have to think to yourself and decide am “I dating for the right now?” Or “Am I dating to find someone who will be a permanent fixture in my future?” Knowing that will probably determine if you will settle down on Oahu or, if you will find yourself settling down back on the mainland.  Once you figure out your own reason for playing the dating game, make sure your dating mate also shares that reason with you. If you have two different definitions of dating, you can find yourself dating for disaster.

Quick guide to commonly used definitions of dating

·         The sexual dater– This type of dater dates to have a sexual relationship. Yes sex may be easy to come by, but they prefer a one consistent sexual partner. No relationship strings attached, just sex, and a few dinners or movies here and there to keep the sex partner happy.

·         The right now dater– This type of dater dates for right now. They are 100% present focused. This dater may have plans to move away in a few months or in a year, but right now they are dating, or may be in a relationship and choose to think about the rest later. If they move away, yeah the relationship will probably end (or you can move too!)

·         The relationshipper– This type of dater always dates for a relationship. They go from relationship to relationship very quickly. You might know them as the serial monogamist. They find their prey, latch on, and poof! They are in a relationship. However, the relationships never seem to last that long. They often get bored (on to the next one) or, they after spending more time with a person, they finally realize that they were never meant to be in that relationship in the first place.

·         The dinner dater– This type of dater likes to go on date for the free dinners (ok I am mainly talking about girls on this one). She can plan to go out with five different men in one week to five different restaurants, and have five different free meals. The rational; why go grocery shopping with I can just go out on a date!

·         The non-exclusive dater– This type of dater will date many people at one time to avoid being exclusive with just one person. They may admit that they are dating other people, and want to “test out” a variety of people before just settling for one. They choose not to put all their eggs in one basket, so they don’t end up giving an overly excessive amount of attention to just one person. This type of dater may appear to have commitment issues, or have been badly hurt in a past relationship. Handle with care.

·         The traditional dater– This type of dater will date to find a monogamous relationship. They will take the dating process slow, not rushing into an exclusive relationship too quickly. They are sure to analyze the situation of the relationship before deciding if they want to settle down and be in a relationship.

·         The dating for marriage dater– This type of dater wants to get married and they are dating for that reason. They are ready to take themselves out of the dating game and are looking for a partner who wants the same. They know what they want and they are not afraid to say it. They are in search of a viable partner who they will be able to spend the rest of their life with. This dater offers a strong sense of compassion, but may be overly compassionate. If the person they are dating, does not share the same definition of dating then this dater may be seen as overbearing, smothering, or rushing the relationship.

So what type of dater are you? Does that match up with the person you are currently dating?

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences!

Tis the season to eat!

I ate a hot dog today.  I rarely eat hot dogs. Well actually I had a sausage dog that looked like a hot dog from Hanks Haute Dogs, I always drive by that place, today I decided to try it. It was my Christmas gift to myself, extra calories!

Tis’ the season to eat whatever you feel like! Merry Christmas!  From Thanksgiving to New Years day all the delicious holiday foods come out from nowhere. Christmas cookies, Pecan pies, Pumpkin pies, Sweet Potato pies, and the infamous egg nog are constant reminders that you will gain weight during the holiday season. Stop trying to fight it, don’t torture yourself, eat, drink, and be merry! The good part: you can again make that New Year’s resolution that you will run straight to the gym on January 2, 2012, and lose those holiday pounds along with all those other pounds you gained in 2011.

Magazines are filled with ways to keep your waist line slim and trim during the holiday season. Fitness blogs are in full effect with tips to avoid those holiday pounds,  and gyms are getting ready to take advantage of you and your wallet at the start of the new year  as you try to keep your new year’s resolution.However, around January 14th you  suddenly forget what your resolution was and you intentionally forget which direction the gym is in.

Christmas only comes around once a year so eat. Holiday cookies and office parties only happen once a year. Egg nog disappears into far off egg nog land after New Year’s day, making you wait 11 more months until it welcomes itself back into your grocery store.  Do yourself a favor and eat without feeling guilty for Christmas. Just don’t eat make yourself sick, as always be smart when eating.

My Christmas present to myself was probably that sausage hot dog thingy that I ate today oh, and those Christmas cookies that I have been eating for the past two days, wait let me not forget that egg nog latte I had from Starbucks last week. I’ll call it my Christmas splurge. Am I worried I won’t be able to fit into my clothes in 2012? Well no, I will make a new years resolution to go to the gym and lose weight of course! And yes I still work out during the holiday season, maybe that’s why I don’t feel so bad if I eat a cookie.

Just remember during the holiday season, stay active, continue to work out, it helps you de stress from the trauma of mall crowds anyway.  Don’t try to start a diet during the holidays, you may want to wait to the new year for that one. But you can start working out any day of the week. The gym is always open so you don’t have to wait until January. Get a head start on burning those extra calories, then you won’t feel guilty. I would suggest to anyone, do what makes you happy for the holidays. It only comes around once a year, so take a moment to enjoy the season, and enjoy life. No need to worry about those delicious office cookies, they won’t be around next week anyway.

christmas 2007
Image by paparutzi via Flickr

Say hello to another Hawaiian winter

Cover of "Winter is"
Cover of Winter is

Today was the first day of winter. Well, it doesn’t really feel like winter in Hawaii, but it is a bit chilly. Yes chilly, to tell you the truth I am just cold.  There is daily fall like breezes (tradewinds), daily rain,  and for some reason it is cold and flu season. Really, I have had a cold (or the flu) for the past week. Apparently there is something going around, I wonder where it came from. To have a cold in Hawaii anytime of year is like getting a cold in New York during the middle of July. It is a bit unnatural.  I know colds come from germs, not from the weather itself, but it does suck to have a cold while the sun is shining, you are dressed in summer attire, and the ocean is calling for you to jump in.

I have tried to explain the concept of winter in Hawaii to my mainland friends. They don’t seem to understand. But I think I finally have an understanding of seasons in Hawaii. The season change is just a little less subtle than the mainland. No the weather does not get down to 30 degrees, but when it gets down to 70 degrees that is cold. I have “Hawaiian blood” now. I get yelled at by my friends on the east coast when I tell them that I drive at night with the heat on in my car. Unfortunately my apartment does not have heat, so to stay warm at home I put on a sweater.

Fortunately, I am not the only one who feels the effect of an Hawaiian winter, last week one of my co workers had on a turtleneck. I did not realize that locals owned turtlenecks in Hawaii.  I am disappointed that I left my winter wardrobe in New York, I could wear my turtlenecks and winter boots (ok maybe I wouldn’t go that far). However, it is nice to know that other people are cold, and I am not just a weird east coast girl who does not understand tropical weather.

My Hawaiian winter is rather interesting. I can still go to the beach in the winter. Hopefully I feel better soon so I can go into the ocean.  The sun goes down early, and the mornings are rather chilly. So even though there is beach time, it gets cut down in the winter.

There is no snow on Oahu. I miss snow. I want to wear a nice puffy coat, with  a sweater dress. Well, not really, but it was a cute outfit. I like that I don’t have to run to my car because it is freezing outside. I love that I don’t have to heat up my car before I drive it. It is so nice that my care is ready to drive all winter. No icy windows,  no sliding on the roads. Actually I think I am starting to like my Hawaiian winter more and more. Forget snow. Snow is cold, and messy, pretty to look at though.

I miss Rockefeller center. I miss the coldness of central park in the winter. It is something about the smell of winter in New York that truly makes it feel like winter. Nothing like watching your cold breath come out of your mouth, and shivering as you walk down the street.  Ice Skating in Hawaii is not the same. Who comes to Hawaii to ice skate? I guess I need to make a quick trip to New York to get my winter fix, then return to the island. I was never a fan of freezing cold weather, and now I

hate it even more. The beauty of winter is nice from afar, but to have daily sunshine and 70 degree weather makes Hawaii a nice place to actually spend winter.

 

Positive thoughts, positive energy, positive experiences