Monday, December 31, 2012

15 Things: Glad 2012 Is Done

Thank you O Magazine for the perfect blog idea/topic: 15 Things Every Woman Should Write Down before the year ends.

1. The Watched/Read It List

Name of the book I'm currently reading:
Telesa Special Edition (And Daniel's Novella) - I just love The Telesa Series by Lani Wendt Young.

Last Movie I Saw:
The Odd Life of Timothy Green -- It's a great family movie. I rented it from I miss going to the video store to browse all the different movies in all the different genres but I also like how we can instantly rent a movie without ever leaving home. My cousin and I wrapped gifts in my office while watching this movie. Great holiday movie!

Also, thanks to Netflix keeping track of my movie-watching I have an entire list of the movies and TV shows I've watched in the last month. I am totally in love with GLEE. I put down Season 1 of SCANDAL. Now I'm watching MONK and I love, love, love the quirky characters! The last movie I watched was What Dreams May Come. I think I selected that one because of my recent obsession with death.... and it's not like I want to die or contemplate suicide or anything like that... I'm just curious as heck how people view death. What Dreams May Come is one version of death and suicide and love. A young man in the community I live in just recently committed suicide. It was this past Saturday, right before Christmas. It's all so very tragic. What pushes one to that point? **heavy sigh**

2. Grammas Words of Wisdom

I remember a particular evening when I was going to a Tongan Ward dance in town. I was 12 or 13 years old. A bunch of my friends and I were asked to participate in their talent show. I was so excited. Who lets a preteen go to a dance 40 miles away? My mother kindly obliged. She wasn't home when I left but my grandmother was. Overly excited about the dance, 20 minutes before my ride arrives I come out of my bedroom dressed in a pink sweater, grey biker shorts (rolling my eyes -- it was the 80's), and a pair of Nikes.

My grandmother was gifted with psychic ability. I am not kidding. She could read minds and knew your ailments before you came to her with them. She truly was a gifted woman. I wish she were around to help direct me. Anyway -- my grandmother managed to make me squirm in an uncomfortable conversation about protecting my shell. Me, not having any idea what she was talking about, contemplated the conversation for many years. It wasn't until my cousin and I were sitting around reminiscing about my grandmother that we both realized that the "shell" talk was given to the both of us and that it was actually the Samoan equivalent of the American "Birds & the Bees" talk. I'll let you contemplate that on your own.

Her words of wisdom -- to protect my shell -- still rings true today. If I had a daughter, I would give her the same advice, using the same visual!

3. My True Happiness

The ocean.
If there is something that instantly makes me emotional, it would be the act of being immersed in the Pacific Ocean. I don't know if it's the salt content of the water and the negative ions that come off the ocean but there is something extremely pleasurable about floating along the water.

When I am extremely stressed or physically ill, whether it be a nasty cold or a migraine, all I need do is head to the ocean. I experience relief immediately or at least feel myself calm down enough to think through the issues. The salt water always flushes away a nasty cold or congestion. I love the ocean. I could float forever along it's surface...

4. The Mistake I Never Want To Make

As a teenager and on into my young adult years, I took care of lots of kids. My parents were foster parents and also happened to work full-time. That means that their foster children, ranging in age from a month old to 14 years old, needed babysitting. The assumption was that, naturally, I would take care of the children. I resented that for a very long time and promised myself that I would NEVER, NEVER have children. I didn't like to be tied down. It's still true of me now that I don't like to be tied down. I feel so stifled when I commit to something long term. Sometimes I trip myself out that I've been married to my husband for 9 years already. (joking)

So me NEVER wanting children led me to getting on birth control as soon as I became sexually active. I have no doubt that the pill has wreaked havoc on my body. It has messed up my system and interfered with the natural functions of the body.

So... the mistake I never want to make again is using the pill.

5. Best Go-To Recipe From a Friend

This is so ridiculously simple but it's the go-to appetizer in a pinch.
1 8oz. brick of cream chees
1 jar of salsa

You can microwave it and melt it down or serve it as-is. Either way it's delicious. One bag of tortilla chips will do!

6. My Favorite Failure

Hmmm... The first thing that comes to mind is the failure of my first marriage. The evidence is in past posts on this blog. The epiphanies still come up, even today, as I write.

7. The Most Unexpected Compliment I Ever Got

Nothing really comes to mind with this. I know when I was younger I didn't quite have a healthy self-esteem (like I do now). I would say that my younger self was always completely caught off guard if someone told me that I was pretty. Without going into detail about my childhood and my experiences, I had to work through the issues and people that made me think that I was "less than" everyone else because of my weight. So back in the day, someone telling me that I was pretty meant a lot to me. Now, I could give a rats what other people think of me. Life is good!

8. My Personal Syllabus for 2013

Learning Outcomes in 2013:
1. I will be able to do YOGA enough to be able to teach a class.
2. I will learn to crochet. I wish my mother were still around to teach me. My bad for not wanting to learn. What a terrible opportunity I wasted.

9. Deep Dark Secret

My life is an open book. There is probably nothing that I wouldn't share if someone asked. And if I do have a deep, dark secret -- I have no intention of volunteering the information. :-)

10. What Younger ME Would Love About Present ME

Easy -- younger me would love present me's "I-dont-give-a-rats" attitude.

11. That One Quote...

"Out of abundance He took abundance and still abundance remained."
~The Upanishads

12.  The Hardest Thing To Forgive

What has haunted me over the years are all the fat jokes directed at me. It was such a self-esteem buster for me, growing up. That has been the hardest thing to forgive. I still carry around the extra weight like a shield from the world. **heavy sigh** I'm ready to let it go!

13. The Best Surprise I Ever Had

Seeing my husband get off the plane when he arrived from IRAQ. That was a beautiful moment. The feelings and emotions of the day still gives me butterflies!

14. Amendment to the Bucket List

I will probably never sky dive. According to my husband, it's too much of a risk. I would love to feel the rush but I respect my husband's wishes. I may override his desires. **shrugs** We shall see. I said I would do it on my 40th birthday and I still may do it.

15. Last Night's Dream

I was in an earthquake. My reaction to it as well as the reaction of the people around me was strange so strange. It was beautiful though.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reflecting Death

The past two months have been such a roller coaster. With all the different funerals and deaths that I have dealt with in the past couple of weeks, I am emotionally overwhelmed (not in a bad way). Life is short. People I love will come and go in my life and just because they're gone from my presence doesn't mean that they aren't alive in me.

We buried Uncle Roy today. When my mother moved here from Samoa she lived with his family. He was a little boy when she came through but my mother always spoke so highly of his mother.  If I remember correctly, my mother left Samoa to attend the Church College of Hawai'i and to escape my grandmother's attempt to marry her off. I did whatever I could to assist in making the memorial services for Uncle Roy a success. From decorations to set-up and execution, ordering flower leis, following-up on food orders, making sure there are enough workers to assist in different things. **whew** I feel like I put in more work than when my own mother passed...but that's because others served me in my own preparation to send my mother off. I put in work in remembrance of my mother and my mother's love for Uncle Roy's mother. I wonder if other people think about the relationships from the past and serve in "remembrance of"...? Both my mother and Uncle Roy are gone from my presence but I know that their energy is out there somewhere in the great big universe. A piece of them are alive in me.

Death has a way of making people reflect on life and the people they love. Surely I have contemplated my mortality since the passing of my mother. I think of my father and how wonderful he still looks at 70 years of age. I think of preparing a living will to tie up all the loose ends and helping my father get his stuff together also. But most importantly I need to sort out the stuff that really matters and hold on to it; sort out the stuff that's just FLUFF and let it all go. Ultimately, the thing that matters most is my family and the people that are closest to me. I want them each to know how much I love them.

Perhaps this is a continuation of my previous "Letting Go" post. I have to release my feelings in some way, shape, or form. I have become so infatuated/obsessed with death, dying, and the "whatever" of life after death. I read through my most recent book, Proof of Heaven, in a day or two. It's a neuroscientist's account of his journey beyond death and back again. It was a short, simple read and I enjoyed it (for the most part).

I love to dream about tomorrow, about what life will be like after this dreaming. There are so many traditions in the world that discuss the afterlife and I think all of them have a measure of truth in them; from purgatory to reincarnation to multiple lives -- they all have something I want or something I hope is true. What if one lifetime is not enough? I wouldn't mind coming back through the ages to find my friends. It almost seems like the ULTIMATE game to play.... hide-and-seek through the eternities. **sigh**

When I wake from this dreaming, I hope to see my mother and my grandmothers there, grandfathers that I have never met, my uncles and aunts, cousins, and dear friends. I hope they will meet me at the beginning of my journey and help me cross over.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Letting Go... A Rambling of Thoughts

A couple of weeks ago, I buried my uncle. A man I considered to be my second father. **sigh**

A couple of days ago another uncle passed -- so sudden.

Today, they found my cousin's body at the bottom of a famous cliff.

I don't quite know what to make of it all. Just a year and a half ago, my mother left this world also. I can't help feeling a little envious of the people that have gone on from this life and are moving toward eternity. That's where my mom is, right? Isn't she out there in the great universal heaven where we are all fated to go some day?

Hearing the news of my cousin missing since Thursday was a shocker. We weren't very close but I always used to think it was so sweet that every time he saw me he would invite me to one of his singing gigs around the island. Apparently, from all the Facebook posts from friends, he invited everyone to his gigs. LOL. Someone reported him missing. The police found his car and soon after they found his body at the bottom of the cliff.

I don't quite know what to make of all the death around me. Should I feel happy and hopeful that someday I will meet them again? I feel like life is starting to be about letting go. All the different stages in our lives are about letting go of the past to embrace what's ahead. I used to think I was really good at that. As I age, I'm getting less and less good at letting go.

Most times I wish things could be just as it was at my happiest moments -- feeling my parent's love; seeing my first niece come into this world; seeing my husband for the first time; seeing the light in my baby brother's eyes when he came into our lives; allllll very magical moments that I wish I could experience in every single breath that I take.

When we buried my uncle before Thanksgiving, as I said my last tearful goodbye, I only thought of my mother on the other side. I miss her so very much and I wish I could see her and talk to her and hear her voice again. I don't think I will ever let her go and I don't want to. I do however want to let go of the idea that she has died. I can let that go and be peaceful in the fact that our energies will meet again and we will put aside the ramblings of this world and trade it for an eternity of endless living.