Friday, July 29, 2011

Living Aloha

My Hawaiian man- with our nephew Kawai
So the whole point of starting this blog was not only to shamelessly post as many pictures of my new baby as I want (lolz!) but also to contemplate what it is to be good and to do good things.  Some call it karma, or just personal responsibility.  Since I've been in a relationship with a Hawaiian man for the past 3 years I choose to call it Living Aloha. 

Living Aloha encompasses many things, but the baseline thought is to be good.  Treat others how you want to be treated, do the right thing, have integrity, be responsible, and just love.  Love your family, love your friends, love the earth, love yourself.  I've been trying to become a better person lately.  I think it's important to try to make ourselves into the best possible selves we can be for the betterment of humanity on the whole.  If people just tried a little more, how much better off would we all be?  If people cared more, how much better would our world be? 

It's frustrating to me that human nature is what it is.  People are greedy and lazy and selfish and it seems that that will never change.  It's hard for me to want to be good and kind when it seems like nobody cares and they'll just take advantage of it.  It makes me want to be greedy, lazy, and selfish, too.  But I see how it's cyclical and I just keep hoping that if I stay true, maybe someday, things will change for the better.  It's hard to stay optimistic in the face of such blatant disregard, though. 

The other day I was at WalMart (I have an internal struggle with this, too).  I parked far away (someone else might need a closer spot, I can walk!), brought my own reusable shopping totes, tried to make the cashier's day a little better, and when I unloaded my things into my car, I looked around for a cart corral in which to put my shopping cart.  There wasn't one in my row, but there was one in the next row over, only 3 parking spots up, and there was a gap nearby that my cart would fit through.  Score!  So I proceeded to push my cart toward the corral.  On the way there, I passed a girl of perhaps 17 years of age putting her bags into her car.  Mind, she's between my car and the cart return, so she's much closer to it than I.  I smiled at her, she stared blankly back.  I shrugged and kept on, pushed my cart into the return, making sure it slid into the cart in front of it (don't you hate it when people put their carts in there sideways so nobody else can put their carts in?).  I turned around and headed back to my car and saw the 17 year old getting in to her car.  Her shopping cart was between her car and the one next to it (which is next to the cart corral).  Really?  I mean... really?!

How much work could it have POSSIBLY been for her to put her cart away?  It was literally 10 feet away from her.  And she has no excuse.  She wasn't in a hurry; she sat in her car and put more lip gloss on before driving away.  She's not disabled, we were more than 2/3 of the way down the row of cars.  She couldn't possibly have been scared to return her cart, as it was broad daylight and I'm certainly not going to hurt her.  Well, at that point I might have, but if she'd just taken 5 extra steps and pushed her cart into the corral, I probably would have smiled again!

I just don't get it.  Now some poor, underpaid employee will have to work that much harder to return all those carts left abandoned in the middle of the row by lazy slobs like her.  WTF, people.  I could never do that job.  I would get so angry every time I went out of my way to fetch a cart that was left willy-nilly when there was a cart corral nearby.  I would probably have an anyeurism.

As I reread what I wrote, it seems to me that Living Aloha is kind of the opposite of being selfish.  That makes sense, then, that I would try to hard to embrace it as a way of life, since I have such a personal conflict with selfishness. I want my son to grow up with good karma in mind, and the only way to ensure that is to make sure he sees me doing it.  I guess I'll just keep working on it.

That's a clear conscience right there

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hello, Monday

As it's Monday, I'm in the office.  I'm still on a reduced schedule, which is nice.  I work from home Tuesdays and Fridays and still manage to get 40 hours in, which is pretty important when you have bills and a baby and a boyfriend that works a job that pays him like he's a high school student.  Seriously, why would anyone settle for so little money?  It's barely more than minimum wage!  Well, that's a topic for another time, I don't feel like complaining today (for once, lol).

My mom usually watches my little peanut while I'm in the office, but she's going out of town tomorrow.  It's my grandparents 50th anniversary this weekend and they're hosting a little get-together at their house in Montana.  I wish I could go, but I didn't feel right taking the time off, and the logistics of taking Kawika, and Chris couldn't come, and... it wasn't meant to be.  So now I'm left wondering: should I work from home the rest of this week, or maybe bring Kawika with me once or twice, or keep looking for someone to take him?  I'd better figure it out soon!

I wish I had pictures of Montana on my computer that I could share with you, but I don't.  How about, instead, I pick a few from my trip to Mexico two years ago?  Pictures always make things more interesting, and I love sharing, so here are a few of my favorites.

The pyramid at Chichen Itza (or chicken pizza, as the tour guide jokingly called it)

So pretty!

I'm glad those people were there to give perspective on this beautiful natural sink hole


Poor guy didn't have much shade in his enclosure. We felt bad and offered him some water.

Love this!

Touching a turtle! So fun!

From left: Rose, Elizabeth, Teri, Joelle, me

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I'm a procrastinator

I should be doing things right now that will make tomorrow morning easier, like packing up lunch, restocking the diaper bag, getting my work computer & various projects all buttoned up so I can just run out the door like I always do... but I'm not.  Instead, I'm here.  There's no good reason for it; I don't have anything funny or insightful to share.  I just would rather sit here and "ramble" than do what needs doing, and I'm not even sure why.  At least Kawika's already asleep.

I'm nervous about work this week.  I have a big event that covers Tuesday and Wednesday that I have to go out of town for, which means several things.  I will be leaving Kawika with his father for 2 days and 1 night, which is a little stressful.  Not that he's not capable of taking care of our son, because he is, but because I won't be here just in case he needs me.  Just in case.  Also, I will miss him.

Also, the event itself is stressful. It's a high-pressure spill drill during which I will be ceaselessly bombarded with information that I must enter into a database and then regurgitate to anyone who asks.  I am "tracking resources deployed" for the "containment" of an "oil spill and fire" that is "going to happen."  Like all those quotation marks?  It's a drill.  We're practicing.  This is good for various reasons that I don't feel like explaining and also feel like you should already understand. 

I also have to wear my work shirts.  We don't have a uniform (or much of a dress code, really) at our office.  I think I was told once that we're Business Casual, but everybody just wears jeans, t-shirts, slippers (flip flops for you other haoles out there), tank tops, sundresses, etc.  My own supervisor goes braless on occasion, which has never bothered me, I just say it now to give you an idea of how casual our office is.  However, at the drills, those of us who participate must project a certain image to those companies and organizations who have us on contract and are paying us to be there.  So I have to wear my official company shirts, embroidered with our logo, and watch my language, and... play nice.  I'm sure you know how it is.  There's a time to relax and be yourself, and then there are other times.  Times when one is required to play a role, for whatever reason, and go along with the politics of a situation.  I wish it weren't so.  I wish I didn't have to make friends with certain managers and then talk about them behind their back because their manager has more of an influence on my position within the company.  But I do.  As I've gotten older I've learned that that's just how things ARE.  In order to get ahead you've got to play the game.  I think it sucks.

This post turned out much longer than I thought it would.  That's what happens when I ramble.  I start on one insignificant thought and it spins out into a diatribe on office politics.  I have nothing else of value to add to what I've already said so I suppose I'll call it a night.  I've got 1/2 a glass of wine waiting for me in the other room.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On a more positive note

I decided not to leave the blog on such a downer note and will now share with you the light of my life: Kawika.  Just his name makes me smile, now.  =)

Thoughts on selfishness

As promised, I am here to continue my train of thought on second-guessing myself, which leads ultimately to the topic of selfishness.  Let's dive right in.

I've been told by two different people (whose opinions I greatly value) at two different times in my life (two very different phases, actually, where I thought my behavior had changed radically from one phase to the next) that I'm a very selfish person.  So much so, in fact, that I'm not even aware of it.  It is simply so deeply ingrained in my personality that I am that way without a second thought.  My very nature is selfish.  This I tell you as it was told to me.  Obviously, I am unaware of such selfish behavior, as I never thought myself a selfish person.

The first person whose opinion I value told me I was excessively, unbelievably selfish about 6 years ago.  I thought on it, dismissed it, and continued as I had been for another two years. In the back of my mind, though, I started recognizing those hurtful words for truth as I paid more attention to my behavior, and started to slowly change my way of thinking. 

Three years ago I met Chris and realized that I wanted to be with him for the rest of my life. I decided to revisit those aspects of my personality that could use polishing in an attempt to be a more enjoyable person to be around.  It seemed to work, because we've been very happy together.  We even decided to start a family, and had our first child, a son, on April 25th of this year.  You'll be hearing PLENTY about him later  =)

Not too long ago, though, I was told once again that I am a very selfish person.

If the words hurt a little the first time around and made me more aware of my actions, they hurt even more so this time, because I'd been made aware of my selfish tendencies and was consciously trying to be UNselfish for some time.  Instead of rejecting the words out of hand like I did the first time, I took them to heart and redoubled my efforts to be more selfless.  It's taking a toll, though, since I now feel a little like I'm stretched too thin and I take no enjoyment in doing things solely to please others.  I used to, when I thought it was appreciated.  Now I find out not only is it not appreciated, it's not even noticed, because I'm still perceived as selfish.

I find that I'm not one of those people that can be completely selfless and be happy in the knowledge that I'm making someone else happy.  I like for my efforts to be recognized.  Not every time, no, but occasionally.  Otherwise I just feel like I'm being taken advantage of, which makes me want to stop thinking about what everyone else wants altogether. If I go out of my way to do something for you, I expect you to recognize it on some level.  An offhand "Thanks" is enough (not to mention polite).  Acting like you deserve it, for whatever reason, is the fastest way to make it never happen again.

I find myself struggling with a decision:  do I continue to make more of an effort than I ever have before to put the needs and desires of others in front of my own, possibly making myself miserable in the process, or do I continue at the same “level of selflessness” that I’ve been at for the last few years where I was happy and it seemed those around me were happy as well? Is it selfish that I'm even considering continuing the behaviors that made me happy?

I've decided to end this post now because I feel like I've lost my original point and it's going to turn into me whining, and that's SO not attractive.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Obligatory Introductory Post

Already I know that this post will not meet my personal quality standards.  I am starting this blog at an inopportune time (in my day, not my life) because I'm not very good at waiting for things that I want.  I decided to start a blog (a new blog, not a continuation of my Livejournal which is not for public review) and did it.  I did not think beyond what starting a blog entails, which for me includes full formatting overhaul and a post to get things started.  As I like to finish what I start in a timely manner, it would offend my inner control freak to stop halfway through the blog startup process.  I (and you as readers, once you discover me) can expect several formatting changes over the coming weeks as I tweak individual settings to my liking.  For now, it will do.

If you haven't realized it yet, I'm a bit detail-oriented (perhaps the word is neurotic?). My apologies.

I also apologize too frequently for things that I need not necessarily take blame for.  Or maybe I should?  I've been second-guessing myself a lot lately.  I have much to say on the topic of second-guessing myself and the backstory there, but unfortunately for me (fortunately for you?) I'm out of time.

I'll end this post now by saying that I'm excited to have started this blog and I look forward to sharing everything that rattles around in my brain on a daily basis. I promise, it won't all be as dry as this first post.  Some first impression, huh?