Someone I follow on FB, Instagram and Twitter said they were going to speak this week on the subject of failure and they quoted a Japanese proverb, Fall down seven times get up eight. I was so excited – I was familiar with that proverb. Never before did the subject of failure impress me as something I wanted to read about. Most of us read about success and how to be successful, not failure! And another person I follow just posted that sometimes your best isn’t good enough and said they don’t believe in participation awards. You do or do not, there is no try – to sound like Yoda. So this subject of failure is making the rounds.
What do I say to that? Fall down, get the heck up and do it again! No quitting here.
I went through a leadership course years ago and had to make a presentation using art as a medium for the subject of leadership. I chose to paint a rendition of that same Japanese proverb. I included a few more pieces to my painting. Cherry blossoms to represent the fleeting amount of time we might have on this earth, and a koi fish swimming upstream to represent trials only to become a dragon when it accomplished its goal. I like art. I never formally studied art so I am sharing this picture with some trepidation. I think you get the idea I was trying to portray.
Never give up, try again, and keep trying. You will succeed one day.
March 13, 2009. Four way stop sign intersection. Crossing guard, neon safety vest and flashing hand held stop sign. 1993 jeep grand Cherokee and a teenage driver. What do you do when you get to a stop sign? You stop and then you go. You probably should make sure it is safe to go after you stop but when you are a distracted teenager, you go.
That was my morning a few years ago, caught in the crosswalk with my then kindergartner and her Harry Potter lunch box in her backpack slung over my shoulder. Caught in the crosshairs, not able to out run a motor vehicle, nowhere to go, unable to get away, impact inevitable.
Every day a monotonous copy of the one before. Wake up, get ready, go to work – kid to school, come home have dinner go to bed. Over and over again. This terrible accident changed that. And I am fortunate for two reasons. One because although I was injured and still feel the effects of that injury often, it does not stop me from feeling alive and breathing each day. Second because we all survived and that incident changed my monotonous journey.
In that moment of impact, I remember wondering if I pushed my daughter far enough out of the way and thinking I was going to lose my teeth when I stopped flying through the air. I also realized when I landed and in the ensuing days, life is too short to not live with passion. Without purpose and without passion life is a slow death. You may not know where your passion is or what really excites you, yet, but that doesn’t mean you should accept the slow death of monotony. Keep seeking, keep hunting, searching, and when something comes along that lights that fire inside it will give you purpose.
There is never a time when you are too old and it is never too late. Let passion kill your fear and follow that dream, whatever it may be. The possibilities are endless, nothing can stop a person with passion and purpose. I keep that crushed Harry Potter lunch box as a reminder of how fleeting our time is on this Earth. Here today but maybe gone in an instant. Looking at that lunch box I can ask myself, did I try my best today, did I go out and work toward that goal, did I tell my loved ones I love them today? And as I lay my head down at night I smile knowing that I did.
I ran across a list of Hawaiian Rules to Live By and they are so spot on I have to share:
Never judge a day by the weather.
The best things in life aren’t things.
Tell the truth – there’s less to remember.
Speak softly and wear a loud shirt.
Goals are deceptive – the unaimed arrow never misses.
He who dies with the most toys – still dies.
Age is relative – when you’re over the hill, you pick up speed.
There are 2 ways to be rich – make more or desire less.
Beauty is internal – looks mean nothing.
No rain – no rainbows.
Every time I read through this list, something different resonates with me. Today I am most in tune with the ways to be rich – make more or desire less. I don’t want to be on that rat race train for the next best thing to buy, do you? In fact, in the last month I dropped off so much stuff at the Goodwill that I was on a first name basis with the collection guy. I was there with a car load every day for a week; I didn’t want him to think I was a hoarder so I told him I was cleaning out my aunt’s house. Who accumulates that much stuff? And we had to have it, all of it. And it sat, and collected dust and piled up in the garage because we didn’t want to look at all that stuff!
Those things clearly didn’t bring happiness. They actually bring me to the other rule: He who dies with the most toys – still dies. And then of course I am reminded that the best things in life aren’t things. I am not going to ask for a thing on my next birthday! When my husband and child ask me what I want for my birthday, I am going to ask for something money can’t buy! How about a local hike at sunset! Or a day at the beach! Or since it will be winter come my next birthday, a Hawaiian menu dinner at home. Now that makes me hungry and happy just thinking about Lomi Lomi Salmon and Huli Huli Chicken! How rich I would be if we watched the sun go down together, my family, and feasted on wonderful island cuisine while listening to some favorite Island music. What a wonderful idea, why wait until my Birthday!
Oh my goodness, much anxiety today. I have been on three weeks staycation – didn’t go anywhere but the closets and the garage and the kitchen are completely cleaned out and organized. My office got a makeover and I redid my daughter’s room; she loves it by the way. The guy at goodwill drop off and I are on a first name basis. Panic is setting in, I go back to work tomorrow.
The To Do list is long and daunting and I really just want to pull the covers back over my head, “Go away cruel world!” If I stay in my room with the ocean waves breaking noise cancelling machine, diffuse “Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood”, and turn the air conditioner off, I can pretend for just one more day that I am in paradise. It took me two weeks just to turn the work phone off and completely unplug- ignoring work related emails and such. Then one week to just relax. I am not ready to return! What I think will be worse than returning to the 4:45 wake up alarm, is the pile of work to catch up on just to be up to speed on the goings on over the last three weeks in my absence.
A top priority today is to make a favorite go to treat, in abundance, so that I can have a healthy alternative to my NEED CHOCOLATE NOW fix, as that is sure to hit me tomorrow. Ever had a Ladoo? I was lucky enough to taste a healthy version at a local Yoga place some months back. YUMMY! These things are bombalicious. Now, clearly all things good like this in moderation. I read that some of the ingredients have interesting health benefits. Unsweetened chocolate is stimulating and used for an aphrodisiac, enough said. Cinnamon is warming and helps regulate blood sugar. Dates are considered sattvic, which means that they can be digested easily or having balance. Eaten before or after exercise, they are loaded with potassium and other minerals that you burn up during exercise so good to replace what you use. Let’s go to the kitchen:
Coconut Chocolate Laddo
2 cups nuts (1 cup almonds, 1 cup walnuts)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
2 cups pitted dates
2 tablespoons Grade B maple syrup
Dried shredded coconut to roll the balls in (I like the very fine shred)
- Grind nuts in food processor until they have a flour-like consistency. Add the cocoa and cinnamon powder to make as chocolaty as you like- I like chocolate- Add the dates and the maple syrup.
- Blend together in the food processor, adding more dates until you get a “breakable” dough, which can hold form. Form into walnut sized balls in your hands. Roll and gently press the balls in the coconut. Store in fridge for up to 4 days (or freeze some)
You ever walked into a place and make eye contact with someone, you both get that I know you look but make yourself a little crazy trying to figure out how? Then you finally just ask and you both not having seen each other, in like forever, end up talking story for a really long time?
This keeps happening to me. There is no mistake in the face of those friends I run into. They have that same look and mannerisms as they once did so many years ago. So many childhood memories rush into my mind and I wonder if I look the same to them too. Sure there are now smile lines where smooth skin used to be and I have that keener look in my eye, innocence is gone- but my heart, I am the same and I still giggle thinking of how it used to be.
My friend, I marvel at, she is so fit! And she is really beautiful, time was kind to her. We turn our attention to our children, the reason we ended up at the same place at the same time. Mini versions of ourselves. We used to spend so many hours in a place like this, a gym. Those friendships forged over hours, sweat, tears, years- a lifetime it seems. More time in that gym than with our own families. And yet, years since seeing each other, like not a day passed. So much fun talking without any expectations or agendas.
It will be the same for our children. Those were some of the best friends I ever had. And even though I rarely see them, when I do, we talk fondly of each other- of times we once had. Those memories like a basket of sea shells on the counter, collected and cherished.
Oh my goodness, this page is finally here! You have no idea what a monumental effort this was. I hate computer things. I have a habit of breaking the internet. Well, that at least is what it seems to be every time my husband has to fix something on my computer he asks what I did and my answer is usually, “I just clicked to open the internet.” I married a computer guy, thank God. And with his help Me Ke Aloha Life is now online! I have ideas, thoughts, I am crafty, and I am always doing something! I plan to share all these creative ideas with you now that the hard part is done, the writing will be fun. Me Ke Aloha life is about so much more than just a Blog. Please read our About page and save us in your favorites, you are going to want to visit and talk story often! Anyone having been to Hawaii just once knows what I mean. But for now, I absolutely must unwind with my “Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood” essential oil from Young Living, cue the ukulele…..dreams of sand between my toes and warm off shore breeze through my hair.