Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Fine Balance

Sunrise at the top of Sleeping Giant

Next to less money, balance is the biggest adjustment for me to make on my path to actualizing dreams. Since we are recreating our lives with intention, it helps when I pay attention. I have yet to cultivate patience and have crammed the last six weeks with change, and yesterday it came to a head. 

Whoever came before me, scattered rose petals. They brightened the trail from top to bottom.

Six weeks ago, we quit smoking. Yea! It finally stuck. The trick for us was electronic cigarettes, and now I find myself using it less. When we quit, I immediately felt more energy, maybe because the stress of feeling so bad about smoking was eased. Plus, I am getting more oxygen. 

Baxter enjoying the morning sun 
Five weeks ago, I started seeing Paula, a personal trainer. I lift weights twice a week for 90 minutes, and try to hike Sleeping Giant three times a week. I didn’t get a picture of me to post, but I do feel like the weight is coming off. Although there is no need to buy smaller clothes yet!

Fresh squeezed ruby red grapefruit juice made with grapefruit from a friend's tree. 

Three weeks ago, I hired a writing coach. She really got me focused, and I worked hard to find local publishers, their writing guidelines, and a list of ideas to pitch to each of them. I crafted a few letters and sent them to magazines, but I ended up firing her because she was trying to poach work that I had found for myself. 

One thing Dan and I are not going to do, is go hungry. Between the restaurant articles, farmers giving us food, and friends giving us food, we have plenty! This is a salsa I made with all local ingredients: lime, ginger, lilikoi, avocado, papaya, tomatoes, tomatillos, red onion, and basil. It doesn't look that great but it was yummy!
Wednesday, I went with Dan's boss Michele, to a Women Empowering Women networking meeting. It was really great to meet women in my community, but the pupus were atrocious. I was invited to cook for the next one, as long as I bought all the food!

Freshly harvested ginger

Thursday, Dan and I went to interview a farmer. He farms on 45 acres and gave us about 30 pounds of papayas that he just picked off the tree, along with some limes, avocados, and about 10 pounds of ginger. We had to stop by Tutu's Soup Hale and give them some ginger and avos! I made ginger-ale, and ginger popsicles. 

On September 11th, we spent our time on a boat for my farmers markets column.

Leaving Nawiliwili Harbor

Darrell, on the left, is a bail bondsman. But on Sundays, he is a commercial fisherman. Bruce, on the right, is a friend who helps him out. 

Dan got seasick, and din't appreciate me taking his picture on the "worst day of his entire life."

I, on the other hand, had a fantastic day! It reminded me of my uncle Manel and my mother, both loved to fish. Plus, Bruce is my dad's name.
First, we caught live bait.

The bait gets put in a bucket that has a hose attached to it. The hose pumps in fresh sea water and air. By the end of the trip, it was my job to get the bait and give it to Bruce. 

Friday I cooked all day for a new client. He is a bachelor and wants 10 healthy meals every other week. Before me, he lived off veggie burgers and steamed broccoli. I cooked my butt off, and I loved every minute of it! It makes me happy to cook meals that are good for him with ingredients that are good for the planet. I gave him some of my ginger-ale for a special treat.

We were doing a story on Uku, or green snapper, and Bruce caught a big one!

Yesterday, I was supposed to go to maha`ulepu for a beach clean up, stop at a farmers market for some networking, and go to a friends party. But when I got up, I felt like I was getting sick. I think someone at Paula’s said they were getting sick. So I decided I would write this blog post, and two articles for the paper, and make sure I called my niece to wish her happy birthday. 

Unfortunately, on the way up, a reef shark took most of it.

None of that happened. I crashed hard. After breakfast, I fell asleep. I did a little restorative yoga after Dan went to work, had lunch, and fell asleep until he came home. I just didn’t have anything left. 

The fish was about this big before it got ate by the shark.

Fortunately for me, and despite what I sometimes think, my husband does pay attention! He could see this coming, and tried to gently warn me. But like him, I am stubborn, and I had my mind set. I needed to earn more money dammit! Before he left for work, he asked, “What do you have to get done today?” I thought for a second and petulantly said, “Nothing.” So he said, “Don’t do anything then.” 

Darrell did catch a 7 pound one, so we met him later that night at his restaurant The Jailhouse Pub, and he cooked it up and gave it to us!

Going forward, I need to remember to slow down, and enjoy paradise. My life was out of balance before, that’s why I came packing to Shangri-la. Without the overhead that we had in Colorado, I can afford to say, “Hey! Slow down. Stop and smell the plumerias.” 

The whole fish was steamed, then topped with thinly sliced fresh ginger and green onions. Darrell poured hot peanut oil over the top to crisp things up, then warm say sauce for flavor. YUM!

But I wonder, why is it so hard to be happy with what I have. Wanting more always steals my joy, my time, and my energy. Has anyone out there figured out how to create balance in their lives?

This morning, Dan got up at 4:30 to catch the sunrise.