Posted by: littlehouseonthebigisland | January 9, 2015

Home for the Holidays, Part I

In case you are reading this blog for the first time and didn’t already know, holidays, especially from late November through early January really, reallScreen shot 2015-01-09 at 4.51.08 PMy stress me out.

Indeed, if, like me, you were in the midst of holiday stress during this period, I can relate. How many times have all of us wished we were anywhere else, but trying to navigate the perfect storm that is the merriment and madness of relatives and celebrations?  Say in some exotic local, like Hawaii.  Actually not Hawaii, because that would be as far-fetched as imagining being on a cruise ship, with someone else in charge, doing all of, the cleaning and cooking and decorating, allowing for the perfect holiday, without having to have a meltdown to create it.

The fact is, when you actually live in Hawaii, holidays are like they are anywhere else, with all the strife and work, except if you are an ‘ex-pat’ like me, the season is usually spent without old friends and family.  Which can be both a curse and a blessing.

Although I visited the Big Island for five years when I was dating my husband, it never occurred to me until after we married, what the cost of being in Hawaii during the holidays would be.

Take Christmas.  Airfares here are to the moon.  And don’t even think about renting a car  unless you have booked it months in advance.  Apparently everyone anywhere wants to spend the holidays here.  Tickets are less, if they coincide with empty planes, returning at opportune times, but they still ain’t cheap.  I happen to know this because I was recently on the internet day and night, checking fares, to see my daughter.

My husband suggested we Skype instead.  My daughter and me, that is.  But if I took a last minute flight, he would not have been amused, if I offered to do the same with him while I was gone.  To be fair, he would be stuck with managing the farm, plus a zillion dog walks, contending with the latest addition to our household, “Duke” from the Humane Society, who is allegedly a four-year-old boxer-mix, but who acts more like a year-old puppy and looks -according to a Google image search- more like he is part Great Dane, part hound… on New Year’s Eve.  When fireworks are going off.

None of this, though, was of any help to me, who had not seen my daughter in 14 months.

Desperate to please everyone and not take responsibility, I did what any reasonable person would after looking up dozens of airfares and itineraries, to put off the inevitable. I consulted inspirational postings from friends on my Facebook page for insight and advice, instead of deciding one way or the other, whether to go or stay. Luckily, the answer came, almost immediately and the post was so good, I read it twice and then, reposed it twice.

The words, specifically, that got to me were:

1. Let go of all thoughts that don’t make you feel empowered and strong.

2. Let go of feeling guilty for doing what you truly want to do.

3. Let go of the fear of the unknown; take one small step and watch the path reveal itself.

There was lots more sage advice and wisdom, but it was that first part, that helped me make up my mind about what to do about trying to see my daughter for a few days on the Mainland…

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