Work days in Hawaii can be so hard…

Hawaiian Airlines is wonderfully Hawaiian. I can count on smiling customer service agents to indulge me in my half-witted attempts at humor at 5:30 in the morning. I scored a “Pre-Check”…

Source: Work days in Hawaii can be so hard…

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Five ways to beat the Winter blues

SAD is thought to result from decreased sun light during Winter months…

Source: Five ways to beat the Winter blues

Work days in Hawaii can be so hard…

Hawaiian Airlines is wonderfully Hawaiian. I can count on smiling customer service agents to indulge me in my half-witted attempts at humor at 5:30 in the morning. I scored a “Pre-Check”…

Source: Work days in Hawaii can be so hard…

Work days in Hawaii can be so hard…

Yes, it’s a struggle to work in Hawaii, especially when your day is spent attending a training session on another island and the only place to eat lunch is on the waterfront watching the crui…

Source: Work days in Hawaii can be so hard…

Work days in Hawaii can be so hard…

Yes, it’s a struggle to work in Hawaii, especially when your day is spent attending a training session on another island and the only place to eat lunch is on the waterfront watching the cruise ships glide smoothly by as you enjoy your fresh salad.

I say this a bit tongue in cheek, as I know I am enormously blessed this week to be working in Hawaii while my family members on the mainland are in a real struggle, emotionally and physically to stay warm and safe from the ravages of winter storms they have been experiencing. As I snapped photos of Aloha Tower and coconut trees with my iPhone before my training session began, I felt some sense of guilt that my family may find my photos irritating, as if I have no empathy for their winter blues.

But all is not paradisaical in Paradise! The morning of this trip to Oahu, I set my alarm for 4:10 am., my back-up alarm for 4:15 am. and my true, throw- myself- off- the- bed time was 4:20 am. I am not a morning person and this proved irritatingly difficult. It was cold and dark; cold for Hawaii at about 62 degrees. I showered and scrambled to find my work outfit for the day in the dark, not wanting to wake up too completely. I threw a banana and bottle of water into my purse just in case, hoped for a hairdo, and headed out the door. After driving for 35 minutes to the airport and finding a parking stall under a tree to improve my ability to locate my car later that day, I was off to check in for departure.

Hawaiian Airlines is wonderfully Hawaiian. I can count on smiling customer service agents to indulge me in my half-witted attempts at humor at 5:30 in the morning. I scored a “Pre-Check” on my boarding pass so I enjoyed my “don’t have to remove your shoes” status as I moved quickly through security (laughing at the things we consider status symbols these days). My agent asked if I had a miles number since I might as well get the miles for the First Class ticket my company paid for which will give me double the miles. Friendly, smiling and thinking of me at 5:30 in the morning! That is Aloha.

Hilo, Hawaii is humid. Humidity and acres of carpet and “aloha print” fabric covered sofas create the fragrance of mildew; setting off my sneezing and asthma reactions I get every time I enter this airport. But it is home, and I am always grateful for it’s small size and ease of starting or ending my travel. My first time ever on a First Class flight proved to be entertaining. I was assigned row 1, a window seat. Lots of legroom and a long seat belt, one thing Hawaiian Airlines is wonderful at, taking into consideration the girth of some of our local citizens so we don’t have to “be shame” and have to ask for a seat belt extender. My neighbor seat was occupied by a jovial local male who promptly ordered a couple of Miller Lights, mind you this was a 6:30 a.m. flight. I ordered a diet-coke, and knowing it was only a couple swallows, hoped it would help me wake up. By our arrival 50 minutes later in Honolulu I was first to exit the plane, chuckling to myself at the antics of my seatmate and his buddies who were already “hanging loose” and commenting about being ready for a nap!

My day was full of learning about laws and best practices but the lunch hour of dining on a tasty Cobb salad at Gordon Biersch Brewery on the waterfront of Aloha Tower Marketplace filled me with relaxation and appreciation for the Hawaii life that I live. As I enjoyed my salad and gazed at the water and the cruise ship gliding past us on to an adventure I forgot for a moment that this was a work day and I was getting paid for this. As I returned to our little Hilo airport in the dark of evening and successfully located my car under the tree, I felt a sense of gratitude for where I live, what I do, and for my Ohana on the mainland that I hope are staying warm and safe while they await Spring.

Five ways to beat the Winter blues

Christmas is over, the New Year will soon be upon us and the season many dread begins; the season of Winter Blues. This is particularly true if you live in the Northern latitudes and have decreased sun light during Winter. Some may feel a little down after the holidays just because the excitement and activities are over, but for many, it is a real condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

SAD is thought to result from decreased sun light during Winter months but can also be brought on by too much indoor time and not enough natural light. It is not the heat from the sun that is missing, it is the amount of light entering the person’s eyes. Symptoms of SAD often include feeling better in the Summer months then having a noticeable shift in mood and or energy in Winter months. Many experience SAD as feelings of depressed mood, low energy, loss of motivation or desire to do activities once experienced as pleasurable. Others experience sleeping too much or not enough, and having food cravings, especially for carbs or a loss of appetite. Aches and pains are often more noticeable in SAD.

Fortunately there are steps you can take to beat the blues!
1. Check with your doctor or mental health professional about your symptoms. Tell him/her about your Winter cycle of symptoms. Rule out other causes of your low mood and discomfort. Anti-depressants may be considered if all other steps to improve mood are not enough. There is no reason to suffer needlessly for months each year with today’s medications or alternatives such as botanical products and essential oils that some find helpful.

2. Look into purchasing a Full Spectrum Light for home use. This light box imitates the natural light of the sun and can be used at your convenience. Many find sitting in front of a light box in the mornings for up to 30 minutes a day to be effective.

3. Open up the drapes! Try to increase natural light in your home and office. Spend time daily in the sunniest parts of your home.

4. Get Outside! Even if you are struggling to want to go out. If you want to feel better you will do what it takes. Bundle up if you live in a cold climate and get outside, especially on sunny days and allow the sun to work it’s magic. Some sufferers of SAD, including this writer, report that after as little as ten minutes in the sun they feel their “batteries have been recharged”. I often remark that I have solar batteries because the improvement in mood and energy is real for me. I live in Hawaii, but live in a rainy area with less days of sunlight than other areas. I also work in an office long hours daily so the possibility of aggravating my SAD is real, even in Hawaii!.

5. Get Support! There are others battling the same symptoms of SAD. There are online support groups and forums available to help you feel connected. Family and friends may not always understand SAD or even believe it is a real condition, but fellow sufferers understand and can offer support and hope.

I have empty nest syndrome…..

What does one do when they have Empty Nest Syndrome? They refill the nest. Healthy? Depends….

Source: I have empty nest syndrome…..

Chicago, here we come!

The big day arrived. The Subaru was packed; the ladder stuffed into the rear to ensure we could reach our suitcases piled on top of the car. The long awaited road trip with my daughter, my ex and I was about to begin!  Baby Boy in Chicago was about to get a most important visitor, his Grandma!  That is, if we make it in one piece, driving across four states in a compact car on a limited budget.

The Ex thoughtfully suggested we might camp along the way. I expected that suggestion long before the trip so I took a preemptive strike with a brand-spanking new credit card in tow, blue color with a chip, and with  a cash-back feature. Positively will only use this card on this trip, I told myself, as insurance against having to camp outside along the way. Ask anyone my age if they enjoy sleeping on the ground. There may be someone, but it’s not me! Ex does, and he is older than I am!

Just ten minutes into the trip, after settling into the back seat surrounded by purses, blueberries, trail mix, Diet Dr Pepper and piles of other “must-haves” my worst fear came true!  My daughter and her dad had conspired against me!  Blaring from the front  came  a slow talking southern drawl something like this: “y’all know he is real”. I am being forced against my will to endure days of BIG FOOT stories, I thought. My ex has, for many years, colluded with our five children to believe in Big Foot, UFO’s, Sasquatch, and conspiracy theories, all to my annoyance.

I am a nice person. I thoughtfully prepared for this trip, keeping in mind that Ex doesn’t like Hawaiian music, “Hawaiian yodeling” he calls it. I had planned to bring my stash of Hawaiian music for my enjoyment on this long car trip but thoughtfully left all my CDs at home, instead bringing only a few Hawaiian tunes on my iPhone. A lot of good it did me to be so thoughtful! I was being bombarded by the thing I hate most;  Big Foot stories being told for hours in a slow southern drawl, from a carefully prepared stash of nonsense directed from a tablet through the car speakers.  Being the nice person I am, I suffered through twangs, y’alls, fake fears and Sasquatch sightings for about two hours, until I could no longer take it, and finally burst out “please turn it off! I can’t take it anymore!”

Leaving Idaho and on to Jackson, Wyoming!….. to be continued……………