Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My Word of the Year

Here it is, New Year's Eve 2013!  I have actually worked all day and am pretty pooped to be honest.  I doubt that I will be able to stay awake until midnight.  But I am okay with that.  I have been prepping for this New Year by cleaning my house, organizing my closets and doing lots of thinking. 
 As you all know, every year, I choose a word of the year.  For 2013, it was "Change".  It was a good word, but I do think I should have been more specific because it seems that I ended up with more "hot flashes  from THE CHANGE" and even several pockets of "loose change" than the other types of "Change" that I was seeking! 

This year went by so fast that I didn't really feel ready to completely give up on that theme, but I wanted to expound upon it.  Perhaps "Transformation" was more of what I was looking for.  But "Transformation" brings on visions of robotic transformers...and that wasn't my thing....so after lots of contemplation, I decided on a word that describes one of life's most beautiful transformations.  It is also the word I use to describe the feeling you get in your gut when you are stepping outside of your comfort zone, pushing your limits a bit beyond what most people would do.  That "little bit scared", "little bit excited" feeling.....you know the feeling! 
Yes!  Butterflies!  I have some goals that scare me a little.  Things I want to do but they are infact outside of that space where I feel safe and secure.  A friend told me recently that "the good things happen outside of your comfort zone".  "That is where the magic happens".   I believe that to a large degree.  You have to push your own boundaries or you will never experience your full potential.  I thought about the caterpillar all safe inside the cocoon.  Working quietly at her transformation.  Then with effort, she works her way outside of the safety of that cocoon and prepares to spread her wings. 
I am not ready to share what all of my goals are yet.  There are many.  But I just wanted to tell you to be on the look out for Butterflies!  When you see one, think of me, here in Hawaii, spreading my wings, and becoming all that I can be! 
a hui hou

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Counting Down to the New Year

The end of December is one of my favorite times of year!  The Christmas rush is over, and I can start to look ahead to the New Year.  Traditionally, it is also a time to clean the house, so I have been busy washing windows, cleaning closets and decluttering my abode.  It is also when I have to do my annual inventory of all of the "nuts and bolts" that keep my business running.  I am SO NOT looking forward to that part!  Do you have any idea how many swivel hooks, D-rings, purse chains and turn locks I have in stock?  ME NEITHER! 

As many of you know,  I don't DO New Year's Resolutions.  I do set business goals around this time of year just so that I don't stagnate and get lazy, but I don't like setting myself up for failure by promising to not overeat or the like.  I prefer to set goals and take steps to achieve them.  I pull up my sales records for the year, and analyze which accounts I can work on to increase sales to and then set myself to go about doing it! 

In place of making resolutions, for many years now, I have instead taken the opportunity to reflect back on the past year by stating what was my "best" and "worst" of the year.  Some years it seems that nothing all that remarkable has happened and it is harder to identify the best and worst.  This year, the "worst" comes to me easily.  It was having my mother in law get sick last spring and then pass away a few weeks ago.  It is always hard losing someone who is such a part of your life. 

Thinking about the best thing is a comfort to me.  I had several really great things this year. My mom came out here in the spring and we got to spend some time just laying in the sun and relaxing together.   MM and I got to go over to Kauai for our anniversary.  I adore Kauai so that was such a treat!  Then we got to go see my mom this fall and help make sure she was all set for winter.  Seeing that she is getting by better than she was last year made me feel more at ease.  Then we went to Seattle and my daughter and son in law were able to make the trip up there to see us.  It was a short visit but it meant so much to me.  So when I think about all of those things, and ask myself, "what was the best thing of 2013?", I have to just sum it up by saying "Family".  Not just my own family either, but I got to experience something special this year with MM's family.  I was so touched at how the whole family rallied together and took care of his mom so that it wasn't too overwhelming for any one of us.  What a gift that everyone came together and honored her wish to die at home. 

I hope that your "bests" outweighed your "worsts" this year.  But even if they didn't, I do hope you find comfort in realizing that no matter how bad your "worst" was, you survived!  As long as you live, there is hope for better days.  Let's make 2014 a great year! 

a hui hou

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Tribute

On Thanksgiving Day, 2013 my mother-in-law passed away.  Kikuye Sasaki was 93.  When I think of words to describe her, things like "hard worker", "kind-hearted" and "generous" instantly come to my mind.  She was married to Harold Sasaki and together raised four kids while in the early years working in the coffee fields and later at their own full-service gas station.  Her husband passed away in 1995, a year and a half before I met their son.  Kikuye retired from the gas station at age 88 to enjoy longer days in her garden, which brought her great joy.  "K", as most locals knew her, loved growing vegetables, often calling it "fun"! 

One time, in an effort to show my appreciation for a discount she gave me on some new auto parts, I went up to the gas station to work for the day.  Just as you would sit down, another car would drive up.  Ding Ding!  And off "K" would go to start the gas pumping before checking the oil, and washing the windshields.  Checking the tire pressure seemed so much easier for her since she was "low to the ground".   To reach the taller trucks, this slight woman who maybe was 4'8" on her tippy toes, would stand on a plastic milk carton container to clean the windows!  I was in awe that #1. anyone would allow this tiny elderly woman to do that and #2 that she was so willing instead of having her workers do it! 

During the months preceding her passing, I was able to enjoy many good days with her and listened as she shared stories of her youth. She wasn't much of a talker, but when prompted she would share her memories.   Her parents ran a piggery on Oahu when she was a small girl so each day Kikuye and her sisters had to go door to door with slop buckets asking for scraps to feed the pigs.  She remembered what hard work that was. 

Some of her favorite memories were of visiting Disneyland as an adult and of course going to Vegas!  She loved Vegas!  She also enjoyed crocheting afghans for family and friends when she wasn't out in the garden. 

My mother-in-law was one of the biggest sports fans I have ever met!  She always knew the names of every UH volleyball player.  She often would call us to tell MM what time the UH volleyball games would be starting so he wouldn't miss it.  She adored tennis and especially liked the "cute" players like Andre Agassi (with long hair), Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal.  It reminded me that age doesn't matter, even in her 90's, she was still "a girl". 

"Mom's" favorite color was yellow, and one year for her birthday, one of her sons rented a yellow Mustang convertible for a week to drive her to work up at the gas station.  How she loved that! 

This is a sad time for our family, losing the Sasaki matriarch.  But somehow, I believe that her passing on Thanksgiving Day was appropriate.  I am grateful that I got to know her and have her in my life for these past 16 years. 

Rest in Peace Kikuye. 

A hui hou