Great Expectations

I wanted to take a moment to write a little about expectations.

How many of us can admit at various points in our life, that we have felt legit expectations? Whether in the form of expectations someone has had for you, or expectations you have had for another person/situation, or expectations even you have had for yourself. It’s a pretty broad topic, so let’s unpack it a little.

First let’s talk about expectations that have been made clear. These might come from situations such as work, religious affiliation, rule books, behavior on an airplane to name a few; This would be something that almost anyone could look at and say, “Yes, I know the rules for this/I’ve read the handbook/I’ve had the orientation/I’ve been taught the parameters.” This is broad of course, so bear with me, I am aware that there could be a million caveats.

Next let’s mention expectations that may be not-so-clear. These might be scenarios that you have experienced before, but in a slightly different way. Let’s say you have a similar but different job, you are visiting a similar but different church. Examples of these are scenarios where you may have a basic understanding of expectations, but you are drawing that out of a comparison, or a memory, or an experience, and it may not be a scenario that is laid out in black-and-white for you. These scenarios will require clarification.

And lastly I want to mention personal expectations. Examples of these could include all interpersonal relationships in your life, family, significant other, coworker, stranger on the street, friends, even yourself. This is a scenario you are in where you think to yourself, “I know what this person should be doing,” or, “I should be doing x,y,z…” These are conclusions you draw yourself based upon your own likes and dislikes, you own personal experiences, your own set of goals and desires; but they also spread outside of yourself to involve other people you encounter. They can be biased in a way, because these set of expectations involve much more freedom to choose. These expectations will vary from person to person, and will be much more in line with personality differences, than a rule book.

So how do we handle different expectations in our life, and how do we differentiate between what is realistic and what is not?  The results, after all, affect the way you evaluate your happiness, or contentedness, or success in this life.

First, let’s set aside which ones are something that need to remain as-is.  For example, which expectations are coming from your job? If you want to keep that job, succeed at that job, then those expectations must remain unchanged and you must follow them.  Consider this category already figured out.

Next, let’s think about which expectations in our life might be a requirement, but of which we still need some clarity. These will be expectation that you are fairly certain is a requirement, but you need to find the answer on.  Find the answer.

Lastly, look at any questionable expectations you have floating around in your life of a personal nature. I know for me, and maybe some of you, these in the last category can sometimes feel like the biggest, the most important, the most influential, the most realistic. Maybe they are, but the fact remains that these expectations can also sometimes be unrealistic. This is based on the previously mentioned theory that these expectations can stem from personal interests, personality differences, past experiences, personal goals and gains that may or may not be positive in nature. This requires a lot of personal unpacking I think, to examine the expectations you may have of others in your life, and decide for yourself if those are realistic. After all, it’s very difficult to know for sure what exactly someone else is expecting of your life, or control that, so let’s just look at what you expect.

If you are like a lot of people I have met, maybe you haven’t given much thought into what you expect out of your life or others! This isn’t an outrageous discovery. Many people throw themselves into roles of care-taking, or simply always thinking of other people before themselves, and over time realize they have forgotten who they are. Maybe you find you have just thrown yourself into particular roles involving your career or relationship or any other various category, and simply gotten so caught up in those “rules” that you forget who you are outside of that role. Oftentimes this can happen over time without you even realizing it.

I believe you have to re-discover who you are, in order to be able to orient what is realistic and unrealistic about your life. If you believe in God, remind yourself who God says that you are. Our worth in God’s eyes is laid out clearly all through the Bible. We are “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.” God has a purpose for our life, to have hope and a future.  John 8:32 says, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” You are loved by God, not because of what you’ve done, but because of who you are.  The Bible tells us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. He longed to have a relationship with you even before you became His child! Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rediscover the things about yourself that you enjoy. What did you really like to do when you were a kid, before all the pressures of careers and relationships and performance came into the balance? Do you still do any of those things?

We are not bad people, for having unrealistic expectations at times, that happens. We have to realize that if we only surround our self with expectations that are unrealistic, that we will constantly be disappointed. We will constantly feel like we are struggling just to keep our head above water. We will find our self losing focus on what is good, not having gratitude for what we have, and instead obsessing over what we believe we don’t have. Without realizing it, we mentally created expectations of others that they should not have to reach for us, or expectations of our self that shouldn’t be our focus.

True acceptance of others, and of ourselves, comes from knowing who we are, as God’s creations, and knowing the plan He has for us and the reason that we are here. It comes from reminding yourself what is truly important in this life, and not losing sight of gratitude. Let’s not get so caught up in worldly gains and selfish goals that we forget that our first purpose is to Love. Love above all else. Love in everything you do. Every job you take, every person you meet. This is not about letting go of all goals! … but about hanging onto the goals that are truly important in this life and the next.

These words are just my two cents today. They are something I needed to remind myself of, and figured I would share, in case they were helpful to you. Take what you need and leave the rest.

Aloha! ❤

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Visitor Week

Aloha!

Many apologies for going off the grid via social media this past week, as I had the blessing of a wonderful visitor friend from home in Virginia staying with us this week. We went on many adventures trying to get in as much of all that beautiful Hawaii has to offer, during the short visit here. It’s been pretty muggy/hot here this past week with not much in way of trade winds 😦 I hear it’s the first day of fall this past weekend ?? I’m still not sure what to expect in the way of “fall” weather here in Honolulu, but I figure it shouldn’t be getting HOTTER at least right now, right? haha . And still, I truly cannot complain, as I love the weather here. It never feels as hot as the temperatures say, because the humidity is normally so low, and the breezes so refreshing.

My friend returns to the mainland tomorrow, and I should be back to catching up with you all on here with what is happening on my side of the Island. Thank you for keeping an eye out and following a lot anyway way! More later! Mahalo !

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Hawaii 5-0

Aloha Everyone!

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to write an updated post. This has been a very busy week! Josh and I went snorkeling in an AWESOME new area with some new friends last week, then we experienced another tropical storm, then his household goods finally arrived, then he had a scuba refresher course and I had a conference to attend, then there was church, and finally; we got to sit on the beach right beside the red carpet and watch the stars of Hawaii 5-0 and Magnum PI walk by and everyone viewed the premiere showing of the first episodes of the upcoming season right there on the beach at sunset in Waikiki !! (Longest “sentence” ever, my bad) It was incredible! Plus Cyndi Lauper performed a few of her top songs live.

I dropped Josh back off on duty this morning at 0630 and am finally sitting down to catch up on a few things, and try and organize the condo. A good friend of mine from VIRGINIA, is flying in on Wednesday to visit for a week !! I’m so excited to be having our first guest here, and working really hard to get everything ready in a couple short days.

God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. I absolutely love the church we attend here, Ohana Baptist. Everyone is so welcoming and so helpful, and I just praise God for all the connections I have been able to make already in my short time here. Each time I visit, I make new friends. Has anyone else noticed that as we get older, it’s harder and harder to put yourself out there and make new friends as adults? Nah? Just me? 😀

If there is one life lesson I have learned so far, is that good friendships are important. Variety in friendships is important. As far as I am concerned, I truly can’t have enough friends/acquaintances/connections in this life. I am thankful for every soul I have met along the way in this journey of life. Whether you and I are still in frequent contact today or not, whether our friendship was situational or seasonal for whatever reason, I always welcome the pleasure of catching up with you and reconnecting again, and I’m grateful for every single one of you anyway.

Along with that life lesson I have learned about friendships, I have learned that I need to force myself out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. With most things! But especially when it comes to talking to people I don’t know. I am a firm believer that I can find something in common with anyone I talk to if I am just willing to start that conversation, and if they are willing to keep it going with me. This is the hardest thing to do, but as I have heard before, and experienced in my own life; we often have to do a very difficult thing for one short moment to reap the benefits it will give us for a lifetime. Unfortunately for many of us, myself included, that “one short moment” is where we get hung up. As I continue to navigate this life as an awkward adult, I want to encourage you all to keep doing the same. 🙂

He who is outside his door has the hardest part of his journey behind him. ~Proverb

The level path is easy, but it will not bring you to the mountaintop. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer

Much good work is lost for the lack of a little more. ~Edward H. Harriman

God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into its nest. ~J.G. Holland

The one thing that matters is the effort. It continues, whereas the end to be attained is but an illusion of the climber, as he fares on and on from crest to crest; and once the goal is reached it has no meaning. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands, translated from French by Stuart Gilbert

He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

If a man is called a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and Earth will pause to say, Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
[Y]our life is a journey, not a rest. You are travelling to the promised land, from the cradle to the grave. ~The Sunday at Home, December 7th 1854

 

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Makiki Valley Loop

Hey ya’ll !

Yesterday I took a solo hike to a new spot; The Makiki Valley Loop. This hike was much different than my last one, the Aiea Loop Trail. According to one trail-finding website I searched, Hawaii has 412 hiking trails! I’ve only done a handful so far.

Makiki Loop was definitely more forest-ey than Aiea Loop. There were points I felt like I was straight up hiking through a rain forest. Everything was gorgeous and green! The loop itself wasn’t posted as being as long in distance as Aiea, so I figured it would be no big deal. Joke’s on me! This trail kicked my butt for sure, but I’m glad I did it! I’m not sure if I ended up taking the loop the “backwards way”, but no one else I encountered was going the direction I was, and it felt like a straight upwards climb over rocks and streams and branches nearly the entire hike. One thing I’ve noticed about hiking in Hawaii is the trails are not always easily marked. One can figure them out, but if anyone knows me, you know how directionally impaired I can be. Thank God I didn’t get lost ! I spent plenty of time before starting the hike to research the reviews and comments online, and to study the maps available. In another comparison to Aiea, this trail was not NEARLY as muddy, which was nice! There were plenty of cliff-like points of the trail, but unlike Aiea, this trail was so shrouded by greenery, that it was kind of difficult to notice how high up you were.

I have to be honest, this trail took me a lot longer to do than I anticipated. I finished at just under 2 hours, which was the time it took me to do Aiea, which was stated as being about twice the distance. My Fitbit recorded a longer distance on Makiki than was posted on the map, but that might have been due to the extra walking I needed to do from the parking area…or maybe I just did it wrong! 😀  I enjoy a good hike that takes a couple hours though! I just didn’t anticipate it taking me that long. This was a GREAT workout. I don’t think I have sweated this much on a hike in Hawaii so far.

The trail itself loops up to 3 separate paths, and by the time I reached the 3rd and final leg of the loop I was feeling like a pretty awesome person for surviving this. As I descended I could hear the chickens again that were congregating around the entrance to the trail when I started and I could smell the food people were cooking and knew I was almost finished. Again, I was feeling pretty proud of myself for the tough accomplishment until a little Pomeranian passed me going the other direction, with it’s owner, at clearly a quicker pace than I was doing. 😀  Oh well.

Here’s some pictures! It was a great adventure, and it ended with a nice view from my place, with the sunset reflecting off of distant buildings and the large pink Tripler Hospital. Mahalo for reading.

 

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Food Post!

Hey Ya’ll ~

I figured I would make a food post and share with you all some foods we have made/bought/tried since being here in Hawaii! I wish I had gotten photos of all the fun foods we have tried (like the awesome fish tacos from the food trucks at Shark’s Cove!) but this is what I have on my phone. Try not to judge the healthy-ness of it all, haha.

Josh has become a fan of Spam, and these little spam sandwiches with egg and rice called Musubi (I have to pass on that one). I have always been a fan of Hawaiian Pizzas, so I have tried a few versions here! They have all been VERY different, but my favorite was one in Honolulu with pulled pork and sliced jalapeños with barbeque sauce on top. Then we have had plenty of days where we are trying to save money, and we also are limited on cooking utensils (or furniture, see the “box-table”), so have made tuna melts, and eaten canned beans. The pineapple here is of course delicious. And no meal is complete for me without some coffee! 🙂 Hawaiian Host chocolate is THE BEST. And although we have been mostly trying out places to eat that are special to Hawaii, we had to visit Buffalo Wild Wings one night when it was across from one of the hotels we were staying at 😉 for some grown up chicken nuggets.

 

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Mahalo!

Mahalo to everyone who has started following me on my site, thank you! I’ll try to write updates as much as I can, but the days Josh is off-duty are pretty busy. We are sharing one vehicle, his, that was shipped to Honolulu a few weeks ago. None of his household goods are due to arrive until later in September, but we are doing just fine surviving off of what we have and our creativity.

There have been many “logistical” things that have needed taken care of since moving here, and yesterday we felt pretty accomplished. I picked him up from the station around 0830 and we went straight to the car inspection place. We needed to have his car inspected by a certain date of being here, and registered with the Hawaii DMV, and he decided to go ahead and get Hawaii plates also. Side note: the license plates here are so cute!

He had been given a heads up by some others, that this process would probably be an all-day thing, and that due to Hawaii law we would be going back and forth between the inspection station and the DMV a couple times. The car was required to be inspected before the DMV could register it, but the inspection would fail without the DMV registration, so we would get the inspection done, go wait in line at the DMV, get the registration complete and get the license plates, then return to the inspection station to finish everything up.

In between all of that, I needed to get one of my prescriptions refilled (since we were already downtown with the car), and I figured out last month that my current health insurance wasn’t accepted here in Hawaii. I also figured out that the written prescriptions I brought with me from my doctor back home in Virginia, couldn’t be filled at the Walgreens here unless they were written by a Hawaii doctor. So a month ago I had walked around until I found a walk-in clinic with a doctor that could write me my prescription that I then walked back to Walgreens to fill; therefore I knew where I needed to go today. The same doctor was willing to see me, and though I was still required to pay out of pocket right there for my exam in order to get my prescription re-written (confused yet?), she was kind enough to give me a discounted price on the exam, and a little card to help me get a discount on my medication if the pharmacy didn’t accept my insurance there either. Thankfully I didn’t have an issue with that at Walgreens, since my insurance card was already on file with them.  Josh and I both agree that we have met some of THE KINDEST, UNDERSTANDING people here in Hawaii. So grateful. And that isn’t even the best part of this!

I had been worrying with how I would be able to find myself a new insurance plan now that I am in Hawaii, and had been struggling to pay the nearly 400/month for the plan I already had (ridiculous right?). I went online last week to update my address of living , but I didn’t hear anything after that. Yesterday I got some mail informing me that I had been enrolled in a Hawaii healthcare plan and that all I needed to do was mail the information back to confirm my acceptance. No more huge monthly bill! This plan covered the medication I needed! This plan even offered vision! God is so good. (Shoutout to my mom who video called me while we were at the DMV to help me understand some of my health insurance paperwork by looking it up online for me. :))

Back to Josh’s car … we managed to jump in line at the DMV just as it had shortened some, and all-in-all this whole process of inspection/registration took us only a few hours. We were grateful indeed for all we got done yesterday, and for how smoothly it went, and once again, grateful to God for the people He continues to put in our path along the way. We even had time to cook a nice meal and go for a swim.

It’s 0830 here now, and I’m going to fix some breakfast.  Josh and I were invited to a lunch meeting with the pastor at our new church here. We are looking forward to that, and then a Costco trip to do some meal prep for his upcoming almost 4 days of duty. Maybe we will hit up some snorkeling on the north shore if the weather holds up. 🙂

Let me know that you are here! Leave some comments or start a topic discussion! Happy Thursday everyone 🙂

 

 

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No Horseplay

Happy Labor Day!

You know, this whole journey in Hawaii so far, in similar fashion to my life, God has continuously put people in my path for much-needed purposes. That’s one thing I can say with absolute certainty; even when I failed to look for the ways God was working in and around my life, He was still working. This past year and a half specifically, God revealed to me some awesome things that were without a doubt, His work in my life “Behind the Scenes”. It brings me such a sense of comfort, to know that even in my own mess and my own chaos, God still sees me, and He’s still working out His perfect plan in my life.

I’ve been in Honolulu one month now ! Since that first week, God has been putting people in my path with a purpose. The first Uber driver I used, shared with me his faith in God, and asked me about mine. He invited me to his church, and I went! He gave me numerous tips and advice for how to approach the coming weeks, finding my way around here; That is just one example. If you are my friend on Facebook, you’ve probably seen some of my other updates.

This post isn’t going to be too deep, today. A lot of people and kids are off today, for the holiday, and while I was spending some times at our complex’s pool, I was reading “Blue Like Jazz” (awesome book, I’ve read it multiple times) and listening to 4 middle school/high school age kids having fun and talking. At one point they were reading the pool rules, posted on the side, and one boy make a joke about the “No Horseplay” note. “Well, I don’t have any horses to play with, so I’m good!” he commented, and I had to laugh out loud.

I’m working on not taking life too literally. I’m working on getting to actually get to know people, strangers even, because I know we all can find something in common if we try. I know how vital human relationships are to our lives. I also know how difficult that is to do sometimes. I’m working on being more bold with these things. God intervened in my life again today and placed two women in my path that I was able to talk to and get to know. They gave me some great tips and advice as well, and it feels much better to feel like I am getting to know some people in the complex.

So thanks, God. For looking after me another day. 🙂

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First Public Post in Awhile

Ahola!

Apparently I created this blog for myself 7 years ago. Yes, 7! I’m sure that doesn’t come as a surprise, after you see the very basic layout of this page. I have always enjoyed my own personal writing and journaling, and throughout my life have filled (or partially filled) stacks and stacks of journals and notebooks with my thoughts and experiences. Writing has always helped me make sense of the jumbled, chaotic thoughts in my head. I opened this blog 7 years ago as another journaling outlet for myself. I kept the blog posts private, but since I am a much faster typist than hand-writer, I thought I would be able to get my thoughts down faster. Slightly closer to the pace they fly through my own head, at least.

That worked, for a little while. Life ebbs and flows, and life got busy and filled with many changes once again. Personal journaling via any avenue slowed some here and there…

But One day…!

I found myself in a life-changing position once more, and this time I moved to Hawaii. 🙂 Here goes another attempt at some very general, hopefully regular, blog-posting…this time public. I’m going to ramble on about all sorts of things, and I welcome any topics of discussions, any questions you may have for me, and anything you may want to share with me, as I share in my continued journey with you! So, please follow along with me, and invite others to as well.

Help me get started! Comment, or private message me and ask me anything! Ask to stay anonymous, or start an open discussion.

Mahalo and God bless.

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