January is rolling quickly to an end and it looks like 2013 is going to be a great year! It has been a while since I have had time to sit down and write so I have decided to spend this Sunday catching up by publishing some posts I have been wanting to write. With a new year starting, I always take the time to reflect on the past year and take inventory of myself. I think this is important, as it allows me to embrace my strengths and work on areas of my life that may need improving.
2012 was a big year. Making the move to Maui last March was such a good move for me. The last 11 months have been filled with beaches, palm trees, local island cuisine, and new friends. It hasn’t all been perfect, by any means, and Maui has tested me every step of the way. 2012 was a year of learning for me; a year of soul searching and I have been humbled by my new island life. 2013 is a new beginning and I have faith that this year will prove to be one of the best years I have ever lived, both personally and professionally.
I spent the majority of the 2012 holidays here on Maui without being surrounded by my friends and family back on the mainland. Thanksgiving was not the same without my family. However, I was invited to spend the day with my neighbor and her family. Bonnie cooked a traditional Thanksgiving meal and we all went to the beach after to soak up some holiday sun, Aloha style. Had I not been invited to join my neighbors that day, I would have ended up at one of the many restaurants that are open Thanksgiving day and offer a special Thanksgiving menu. Here in Hawaii, the word “ohana” means family in the extended sense of the term. I was happy to spend Thanksgiving with my new extended Hawaiian ohana.
Christmas in Hawaii was definitely a big change for me. In Oklahoma, the cold weather brings snow and right after Thanksgiving, most people adorn their homes with Christmas lights and holiday decorations. In Hawaii, the weather is constantly around 80 degrees and Christmas decorations and lights are more sporadic. Maybe it is because of the high cost of electricity here… There are some homes that put lights up, however, and if you are trying to get into the Christmas spirit, I suggest visiting places like Whalers Village – They erect decorated Christmas trees, lights and wreathes, and play Christmas music. I found it a little more difficult to get into the holiday spirit, being this far away from family and friends. My Christmas was spent doing a Skype video call back home, and that was nice, being able to see my entire family gathered together for Christmas. Of course, I was also able to spend the rest of the time that day at the beach with friends.
Even though I was not able to spend time with my family and friends on the mainland, I was happy to be spending the holidays here on Maui. I knew that I was going to be able to spend time with my family in Mexico for New Years and the time apart from them has reminded me just how important everyone in my family is to me.
I headed to the Riviera Maya in Mexico to meet up with my family for the New Year at the end of December. It was awesome being able to spend a family vacation together. That week was spent scuba diving, kayaking, zip lining, lounging on the beach with margaritas, eating great Mexican fare, and catching up with all of my nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters and my wonderful parents. It renewed my spirit and made the start of 2013 one I will always remember!
Aloha 2013 and Mahalo 2012 for all that you taught me!