Things people will put on the Internet

The internet is a wondrous thing – thanks, Mr. Gore!  The plethora of information is incredible. At any time of the day or night, you can buy, watch, read, look, or listen to practically anything.

However, it still amazes me what people will put on the internet. Like only the people who will appreciate their “sense of humor” or “personality will see it.  Haven’t we learned this is not the case?

Now, I understand that blogs are supposed to be the venue for people to “bear their soul in honesty.” But really, would you walk around the mall naked? Probably not. Posting anything and everything on a website is worse. At least in the mall you have a pretty good idea who is looking at your bare behind. In cyberspace, people can come and go in anonymity. Who knows who is reading about your drunken endeavors, your lunatic rantings, your secret confessionals, and your odd fetishes?

I know who – employers, college professors, colleagues, parents, children, and crazy people.

Try this, google your name and see what comes up. Why? Because people you don’t know do it al the time. It has become a common practice of employers as a means to check you out. And, I am certain that the singles do it too when they meet a new somebody.

I am all for free speech, and I love to blog – just remember that other folks are getting a free read. How much do you really want just anybody to know?

My Beautiful Chaos

Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.
Henry AdamsThe Education of Henry Adams

I have been asked about my tagline “Beautiful Chaos.”  Where it comes from and what it means.  It was born during a conversation with a girlfriend and is the perfect definition of my wonderful life. And I love explaining it and refuse to apologize for it.

I look down at my daily planner, cross check it with the one on my desk, then make sure I haven’t missed something on my Outlook. First thing that crosses my mind as the coffee touches my lips – “yeah, right.”

Some may think it is a defeatist attitude to start the day knowing that 10% of your “to do list” will still be left to do tomorrow. Not me. I am a busy woman with lots of priorities. I will get to them all – eventually. I will leave the “performance guilt” for somebody else.

My husband adores me, my children think I’m the best, my friends depend on me, and my company regards me as valuable. Who cares if I failed to chart the steps or follow the action plan? So what if there was a day (or week) my house was messy, or my desk cluttered. I love my beautiful chaos!

Go the Distance

If you stop this fight
I’ll kill you.”

Rocky Balboa in Rocky

I am a huge Rocky fan – even Rocky V. I love his optimism, sincerity towards his fellow man, and his never-say-quit attitude. Even when he is beaten, he is not broken and he is not a loser. He doesn’t come from affluence, he is not educated, he doesn’t even have a plan. But he believes in himself when no one else does and in others when they don’t believe in themselves. Rocky gets his shot against the heavy weight champion of the world. They beat each 0ther mercilessly. Even Mickey wants him to quit. Rocky then becomes the first man to go the distance with Apollo Creed. He doesn’t win the fight, but at this point,  who cares?

How do you define success? More importantly, what are you willing to do to get there? If the opportunity is not there, that’s just a fact of life. But, if the opportunity is thrown away because it becomes too hard  or we get lazy, then it is a waste. Commit to the fight. If it wasn’t worth it, you would have never stepped in the ring. You owe it to yourself to go the distance.

Imagination Sparks Creativity

“. . . you can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”

Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Spring is here!  Aside from the pollen, it is a wonderful time of year.  The window at my desk finds more children playing now that the weather is nicer.  Work is slowed by the distraction, but the added inspiration is worth the wait.

A child’s energy can often spark the imagination.  They force us out of our “adult brain” box.  Trees become castles, bikes are fast horses, and bushes become the jungle of peril.  The art of make believe creates a wealth of ideas and problem solvers.  These are two of the things most of us would say we need more of in business and in life.  Many times we are paralyzed by that project that won’t wrap up or that issue that has no resolution.  Frustration makes it worse.  Productivity and success suffer.

Take a minute to enjoy the spring.  Watch the kids play, the flowers bloom and the sun shine.  Exercise your imagination and watch your accomplishments soar!

Blog Freeze

The feeling. How do I describe it? You know when it is really hot outside and you say to yourself, “Self, let’s go get an ice cream.” So, you go get the biggest ice cream you can
find because, after all, it’s hot outside. The guy dipping the ice cream has this way of doing it that makes you want to grab the cone and the scoop and do it yourself. He is taking FOREVER! By the time you get it, the sweet treat is melting all over itself and you hurry to lick it all up before it sticks up your hand. So, you take the big bite and then BAM! Brain Freeze! 

That’s as close as I can get. I have Blog Freeze. I have jumped head long into a world where I know little more than how to type. I was fairly certain that being able to put nouns and verbs together in a semi intelligent way and the desire to write would be enough. So, I took a big bite. Now, here I am, holding my head even though I know I just have to wait it out. So I will type about whatever, surf wherever, and read whoever until the pain and swelling subsides. Then one day, when the dust settles, I can only hope the chaos will be beautiful and the new road an adventure.

Azaleas

There is magic associated with springtime in the south. It is called Azalea. These beautiful flowers dot the bush unassumingly. They behave like beautiful young girls who pretend to be coy. They have perfected the art of modesty while all the while being completely aware of the spectacle they create. 

In hours just before the sun begins its journey to regain its throne, powerful in the Southern sky, the azaleas sleep. The crickets sing the lullaby and the mosquitoes have not yet been forced to hide from the heat of the day. The dew begins to collect lightly on the leaves. A gentle cleansing for the fair maidens by the attending servants. As the sun warms the ground, the blooms begin to do their dance. They pretend to be shy. It looks as if they never want to open, self conscious of what they will look like when exposed. But it is the game that the sun and the Azaleas often play.

They are like teenagers who have just discovered the opposite sex and have begun their flirtation with desire. The flowers pretend to protest and the sun pretends to be convinced. So the courting continues. Eventually, and with great deliberation, the blooms open and the squares downtown burst forth with color. The variety of the sight proves that the rainbow is not the only spectacular natural creation.

They sit there, gliding in the wind, proud of themselves. They know what sparks they provide. They are the backdrop for the historical tour. They are the vision out the window at work that reminds of a simpler time.  They are the special something that makes the picnic with your lover special. They are the reason you chose to say your vows and kiss the bride outdoors.

Azaleas are the roses of the south and they guard their title with fierceness. The blossoms appear to be modest in their brilliance but are boisterous in their display. Do not let the subtleness fool you, for they are cunning. They are jealous little beauties and will not settle for anything other than center stage. Without regret or remorse – and with complete intention – they will steal your heart. If you encounter them on vacation, they will be the first thing you mention when you return home. If you have grown up around the flower, they will cast that spell that ensures they are what you miss when away.

They smile and preen. Anxious to be for you whatever you want them to be. The one beautiful thing in your day that makes you smile. Their effort is tireless. And they always try harder if they have been picked by the hands of a child. It is as if the pudginess in the young fingers provides a second life for the flower off the bush. They find the ability to make the color brighter, the smell sweeter and the enchantment deeper.

You would think that the flower would be devastated. Plucked from the root of life and thus condemned to wilt and die prematurely. One would think that such a proud flower would balk at the displacement. That it would be in revolt in spite of itself and wither to dust immediately rather than endure a slower, less graceful death. But the azaleas glow and rise to an occasion that they have waited for since the beginning of the blossom. Like an adolescent girl that has just been chosen for her first dance. They know they will soon be in the place that makes all their efforts worth while. They have begun the portion of the journey that takes them to that coveted spot. The spot of adoration and appreciation that only a child can provide.

The fat fingers hold tight to the stem and pull and tug till the blossom gives way. The child squeals with delight and places the flower delicately to his nose to feel the tickle of the soft petals. The smell is sweet and the child will not realize for quite some years that this smell has infected him for the rest of his life. The child’s only concern right now is the destination. With an energy reserved only for children, he dashes towards the house as fast as his small legs will carry him.

“Momma, Momma, Momma!” he shouts as he throws open the screen door with one hand and an outstretched flower in the other. The azalea knows the moment of glory is near. Momma looks down and sees the gift. The child’s wide eyes look up, searching with anticipation for what he is sure will happen next. Momma smiles with her whole face, gently accepts the token and kisses the child on his round, sweaty face. The child’s mission is successfully completed. With one movement and full of satisfaction, he is off again to resume his exploration of the southern outdoors. Momma turns around and places the azalea in that spot. The one spot that all flowers long to find. The place of unconditional love, admiration, and devotion. That stained glass vase in his Momma’s kitchen window.

About Me

My father’s people call me Hapa Haoli. The words are Hawaiian; Hapa, meaning half, and Haoli meaning, white or mainlander. My mother is a beautiful Georgia Peach with the hair and freckles of the Irish and my dad is Hawaiian with salt water in his veins and sand in his hair. Both cultures are so rich with family tradition. So, you could say that I am a southern transplanted Hawaiian with a strong sense of family.

I am a southerner by heart, by speech, and by eats. There is nothing about the south I don’t like. From cornbread to grits and from hundred degree weather to 100 percent humidity. I have a drawl, I say ya’ll and a cook with so much ham hock and butter my vegetables are unhealthy. I say ma’am and sir and I can tell you, with pretty good accuracy, where yonder is. I love family reunions, weddings at the bride’s Grandma’s house, and azaleas in the springtime. I love the way southern people don’t move to fast, the way we take the time to say hello and smile. The way we take things easy – we really have no choice – most of the time it is too hot to do anything fast. Most of the colleges aren’t as big, but the football is great. Most of the doctor’s aren’t as rich, but he knows my history without my chart. My history, my momma’s, my two sisters my aunt, our neighbor – you get the point. I wouldn’t give up my Southern roots for all the tea in China – because we drink ours sweet and I don’t think they do.

I am Hawaiian by birth. My father comes from a family whose tree is planted firmly in the sands that are Hawaii. My father makes it a point to impress upon us the importance of the Hawaiian blood. Its traditions are rich and family important. I don’t have any Hawaiian friends. They are all family. They are not Mr. and Mrs. They are Auntie and Uncle.

In Hawaii, you are of the land or you are a visitor. There is no place in a Hawaiian’s heart for disrespect of the islands. The land is sacred. It is a part of the history of the people and as such has embedded upon its children the love and respect due to an honored parent. My father has done his best to keep traditions alive. It has been hard since we live so far away, but he has done well. My sisters and I can cook some of the more common dishes such as luau luau and lomi salmon, and we all dance the hula. The distance between the place I was born and the place I was raised is great, but they are both home.

My family is my rock. I believe that even without oxygen, my family could sustain me. The people in my tree define who I am. My mother has given me the courage to withstand all things. She has taught me the meaning of integrity and perseverance. She showed me how wisdom was important and that taking a stand was cool. She gave me the permission to open my mouth in protest as long as I remember that everyone deserves respect. My father gave me the backbone to follow through. He taught me that who you are is shown more by what you do than what you say, who you know or what you have. Together they showed me that nothing is more important than waking up every morning knowing you were loved unconditionally. I now have my own children to love unconditionally.

My two oldest girls are like sun up and sun down – both beautiful and glorious yet on completely opposite ends of the earth. My two babies are still new and 11 months apart. Yet they have already given me more than I could ever imagine. They feed me life. As much as parents are supposed to teach their children, they have taught me more. They have showed me that most answers are simple and most hurts can be cured by a hug and an ice cream. I now know that folded clothes, if left unattended for a second, will need to be folded again and dirt has radar. I have also learned that their best chance of becoming wonderful adults involves being around wonderful adults. In this they have shown me the kind of person I strive to be.

And my husband, the wonderful father of these children. He is my perfect complement. We differ from some of the married people we know in that we actually like each other. Forget the fact that we are married – we are best friends. He thinks I am great. I know it is because of him.

 

I have the best friends. They are like a bouquet of flowers – each different and colorful and bringing incredible life into my world. I love them dearly. They are more than friends, they are fellow journeyers. They walk with me down my life’s path and allow me to experience theirs.

My personality evolves everyday. With each new experience my repertoire changes. I grow and learn and increase myself. But who I am, where I am from
and the things I hold important are as certain as Georgia Heat, Hawaiian Surf and the roots that have been nurtured by each.