It’s been a while, and that’s something that I want to change. I originally focused on moving to Hawaii, then on humorous (to me, at least) observations of life here. Right now, I need to get real about what I’m doing with 3+ years under my belt.

2017 was a tumultuous year in many ways, not all of them political. My mom visited me for the first time on her own and stayed in my very own home for one week, and this was glorious. The one year anniversary of my home ownership in Hawaii occurred. I made new friends. My best on-island friend left the island and focused on a life somewhere else, taking not just her physical presence but her emotional one as well. My job changed and I was let go from my employer. I became self-employed, and also collected unemployment because I was so uncertain about my business that I wasn’t working enough hours to support myself. A week with my friends and family in California filled my heart to bursting and I gleefully shopped at Old Navy, Trader Joe’s and Barnes and Noble stores. Working almost exclusively from home, and trying to build my business isolated me from interactions with people even more and I’d go days without using my voice. I turned 44, and got frustrated with myself. The holiday season happened and I spent time with a couple of friends, but mostly read entirely too many hours, while drinking too frequently and not eating enough.

Now it’s 2018, and I’ve got to do better if I want to continue this life that I worked so hard to achieve. It’s completely different from the life I had in California, which is the very point of having it. I just have to figure out how to deal with the setbacks and the disappointments and the loneliness.

Here’s the thing about making (and keeping!) friends as an adult: it’s HARD. All the cool people have partners, families, kids, other friends, jobs, interests… all the things that make them cool and why you want to be friends with them. You may be a perfectly nice person, but they don’t have a lot of time or space to fit in a new friend. Add in: you are on an island, a limited population, a pinch of self-doubt and social anxiety (okay, more like a generous helping) and the number of people you are willing and able to approach – repeatedly – to be friends gets smaller. It can be crippling to be the one always reaching out, “Hey are you available? Do you want to do this thing with me?” If you don’t try though, you spend your time pulling ever more inward, maybe spending more times on your hobbies, or your bad habits, or getting bitter. Frankly, that’s exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Now, I’m bumming myself out and my neck hurts from the navel-gazing. Yes, it’s hard to adult, but it’s gotta be better than the alternative. Also, these are choices I made for myself (which reminds me of a series of exchanges with a conservative dude about taking responsibility for choices and jeez, I don’t like that guy’s attitude), so it’s time to take responsibility for them, and make different choices if I don’t like the results of them. So, 2018… let’s see if we can thrive together, shall we?

This post brought to you by several bouts of depression, and far too much time on Facebook.


Progress Report

I have a couple of topics that I want to write about, but since it’s been so long since my last post, I thought I should provide a progress report on what I’ve done recently.

It’s been over a year since I moved in, and I’m still enjoying my home a great deal. Since it has been over a year, I’ve become more familiar and comfortable with what I’m doing in the space, and am continually coming up with new and different ways of using the space and the stuff in it. What that means: moving around decor and furniture, repurposing and reusing a variety of stuff, and just figuring out how to live better in my home. Example: instead of stacking up the plastic water bottles and lidded coffee mugs in the kitchen cupboard, I took an extra fabric “cube” and put it on it’s side in the linen closet then put all the bottles and cups in it.  They take up less space and I can easily access them there.

Bottle stack

I have the best parents ever, and they bought me a new roof earlier this year as it was due for replacement. It wasn’t nearly as expensive as I expected, and I’m so grateful I found a competent professional to do the work. I’ve watched my neighbors do their own roof, and I cringed every time the tarp over the exposed wood was blown away and then it rained. My windows and sliders are almost done being replaced. The special-order sliding glass door for the master bedroom is on order for the third time (1. doors didn’t include in-glass-shades, 2. door opens wrong direction), and I hope it gets here soon! The windows and doors were just about the same cost as the roof, mostly because of the special order sizes I needed, but there is a massive improvement having screens that fit and double pane glass. Very worthwhile. No more major projects this year, but I’m sure there will be small kine stuff like painting inside and garage re-org. Oh, and I need to re-grout the master tub/shower and figure out how to get my hair dye off the walls and porcelain tub surface.

It’s been almost 3 years since I moved, and I’m still confident I made the right decision. Life hasn’t been all leis and mai tais, for sure, but I am digging deeper into life here and continuing to make connections. Yesterday, I was one of those annoying people who has a 20 minute talk story session partway in an aisle at Target. 🙂 It felt really good. My work life took a major right turn recently, but I’m pretty confident that I can make it benefit me rather than drag me down. When I first moved here, the plan was to be a better version of myself than when I lived on the mainland. I’m continuing to polish those layers and discover shiny new facets. It’s really pretty neat. Mahalo for continuing on the journey with me!

Finding a house to be my home

An electrician is currently up in my attic, installing another box to support one of my new ceiling fan/lights. I decided to replace the two existing fan/lights, one fan only, and one light fixture so I have four matching fan/lights. We’ve discovered that 2 out of 3 (so far) didn’t have the proper box in the attic to support the units, and I’m hoping the last one doesn’t have the same problem as the electrician doesn’t have any more boxes in his truck. Also, it’s apparently quite hot in the attic, and the poor guy is sweating a lot.

Here’s a little of the background I promised last time on what I’m doing here: I haven’t lived in proper single-family home in at least a dozen years, and I desperately wanted to. Most recently I rented a condo, in California I owned a condo. Prior to that, I lived in a 450 sq ft “in-law unit” in my landlord’s back yard, with the rented single-family home and roommates prior to that. I was very tired of having people so close to me, and in my last condo with a wall of jalousie windows, I could hear a LOT of what happened in my next door neighbor’s unit. Thankfully, they weren’t in it very often (seasonal owners). Also, I got a taste for nesting and making my space most useful and convenient for me when I lived in CA. I still miss that gorgeous kitchen that I remodeled from the studs out. It was time to buy a home.

I knew I wanted to stay near town and near the ocean. I could get a lot more space for less money if I went mauka (up the mountain) or south, but that would also require me to be a bit more self-sufficient and I’m not as rural in sensibilities as needed for moving south. Moving inland and up the mountain means more travel time, and the threat of mold (though I’m sure the temperature difference would have been fabulous). Since I sold nearly all of my possessions before moving to the island, and was renting a furnished condo, buying a “turnkey” (turn over the key, start living immediately) place was a high priority on my list. Finally, I wanted great outdoor living space. We spend so much time outdoors that I hoped to find a home with either an existing, large covered lanai or the space to build one. So, I started looking. Thankfully, I have a fantastic Realtor, who showed me some great properties. I did find the home I purchased on my own, and it was the first place we looked at.

I fell in love with this house, seriously. I probably overlooked some things that now irritate me, but isn’t that how it goes when you’re in love? The landscaping is gorgeous, unique and sortof low-maintenance (I have a landscaper for a close friend, fortunately). I’m surprised at how much joy I get wandering around the yards (they wrap around the entire house), pulling weeds and plucking dead blooms from the plants. There is a beautiful plant across from my office window that attracts butterflies. Hibiscus plants of all colors line the front sidewalk. I have no idea of the names of virtually everything, but it gives me such joy to see all of this beauty. The house is situated really well, at the bottom of a hill and the long part faces the ocean which is on the other side of the houses across the street. If the surf is high, I can hear it pounding the nearby shoreline, and I get some great tradewind action most afternoons. There is a walk-in master closet in the master en suite, a large covered lanai off the living room and a smaller one outside the sliding glass door in the master. I have a second bedroom that is currently my home office, but will also be a guest bedroom. And it was fully furnished when I bought it, which is what led to the garage sale mentioned in my last post.

Next post will talk about the purchase process and what happened after I moved in. A hui hou!