Thursday, November 22, 2012

Three Little Thankfuls

It started six years ago with a little writing assignment. We were instructed to write about three little thankfuls. Not the obvious things like family, faith, health or wealth. We were required to think about the little things in life that we're thankful for and share them in our writing assignment. I've enjoyed reflecting on those little things each year and trying to identify a few to share, and I'll do the same this year.

1- This is embarrassing. But this is as real as it gets. This year I'm thankful for the insanely catchy, absolutely ridiculous, make-me-move song of the year... Gangnam Style. Apparently 790 MILLION of us can't get enough of this song according to the views count on You Tube. I've actually wanted to blog about this song for a couple of months but have felt silly every time I consider it. If this doesn't sound overly dramatic I don't know what will, but I honestly give credit to this crazy K-pop song for pulling me out of my depression. When it comes on I can't help but smile. When it comes on my kids and I dance. Every. Single. Time. Nothing else was able to pull me out of the funk I found myself in after leaving Hawaii and trying to find my center in this new home of ours. But when this song plays, I'm genuinely happy. The first time the kids and I heard it on the radio in the car we flipped out we were so excited! We pulled into the driveway, cranked up the car stereo, leapt from the car, and we danced and danced and laughed and danced. Happy memory. Happy song. Definitely one of my three little thankfuls this year. I dare you to watch this ridiculous video and try not to crack a smile.

2. This year I'm thankful to experience seasonal change once again without having to deal with hard-core winter temps and snow. I loved the year round moderate temperatures in Hawaii and the constant and consistent beautiful weather. But I forgot how good it feels to warm your body up in a nice hot shower, or how comforting it is to cuddle in a blanket. I like my new fuzzy socks that help me keep some feeling in my otherwise icy toes. I LOVE the feeling of running outdoors in the chilly air. I'm thankful for seasonal change.

3. I'm not sure if this really counts as "little" because it has felt pretty huge, but I'm really grateful for the way our move played out. I'm thankful that all of the boxes we shipped from Hawaii containing the things most important to us arrived more or less intact and safe. And I'm grateful for my dear Louisianian friend Karen who graciously accepted our mountains of boxes and stored them for us until we had a house to move them into. And I'm really grateful that despite having no furniture whatsoever when we arrived in Louisiana, we quickly had a fully furnished home thanks to the generosity and kindness of people here in our area. We put the word out at church that we'd moved here with basically nothing and we were completely provided for. The generosity was amazing and overwhelming. We have a mix-and-match assortment of furniture to be proud of. We felt the love and we recognize the enormous blessing. I'm so thankful!

What three little things are you thankful for this year?


Because I didn't want to repeat things I've shared in the past, I figured I better re-read some of my old writings. It was fun to take a little trip down memory lane. And I figured I may as well link 'em all here for kicks and easy reference next year when I need to be reminded again. Please ignore the weird color formatting on my old blog. I used to change it up a lot...

2006 Part One
2006 Part Two
2006 Part Three
2006 Part Four (I may have gotten a little carried away that first year LOL)
2010 Part One
2010 Part Two
2010 Part Three
2011 (That's the year I got a little over-enthusiastic and went for Thirty Days of Thankful, before doing a month full of "I'm thankful for..." posts was the cool thing to do.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hallelujah! Major milestone!

It finally happened. After four and a half months, I finally heard this song without bursting into tears. I only welled up a little and then sucked it up and kept my cool. It's a huge milestone for me.

If you listen to the words and you know anything about me and this year of change for our family you'll perhaps understand why it moves me so much. I secretly always imagined Willy singing it to me (y'know.. if he had a Phillip Phillips kind of voice.) I'm not sure if it's the increased air time that the song is getting on the radio these days, or if I'm actually adjusting and getting comfortable in my new home, but I'm grateful that the tears didn't fall today when I heard the song in the car because up until today tears were the natural consequence of hearing the tune.

Other sure fire ways to make Angie burst into tears these past few months include:

  • Having to change my shipping address for online orders and billing address with various financial accounts
  • Hearing the word "aloha", especially when friends in Hawaii say it to me as a farewell when we're hanging up the phone
  • Catching myself and writing "Thank you" at the end of my notes instead of "Mahalo"
  • Seeing a photo of a familiar Hawaiian place (Facebook has been fairly brutal since I have so many friends in Hawaii who post pics of their day-to-day... May I take this moment to apologize for sharing so many Hawaiian pictures in the past. Now I understand how it may have been perceived as rubbing paradise in your face. I promise it was never my intention, just like I know it's not my Hawaiian friends' intention to make me weep when they post a picture of Ko'Olina or a rainbow or a sunset over the Pacific.)
  • Watching Hawaii Five-0 and recognizing streets I've driven down, beaches I've played on, familiar landmarks and locations.
  • Having a Hawaiian business call me and listening to familiar Hawaiian hold music
  • Hearing about friends who are going on vacation to Hawaii and wondering if I'll ever get to go back
  • Getting email newsletters from Hawaiian businesses that I subscribed to for special deals and not being able to use them
  • Thinking I look kind of sickly and then realizing that I'm just paler because my tan is fading
  • Seeing my two best friends in Hawaii dancing hula together
  • Hearing fighter pilots at the air show we went to a couple weeks ago (The military presence on O'ahu is huge and we would have F-18s and F-22s fly over our home frequently. When we'd hear them roaring overhead we'd almost always run to a window to see if we could catch a glimpse of them and identify what kind of plane they were.)
  • Hearing "WHY would you leave Hawaii?!" for the gajillionth time in a day

The reality, thank goodness, is that the tears come less frequently now. For the first couple months I sunk into a pretty deep depression. I tried to cover it up and keep it bottled inside, but I think it's fair to say that I was miserable and holding myself down. I finally clawed my way out of the pit I was in, started exercising again, gave socializing with new people a half-hearted attempt, and faced the things that hurt me the deepest instead of avoiding them (like dancing hula... it took me almost two months after leaving Hawaii before I could emotionally handle turning on my hula music and letting it move me again.)

This particular move has been one of the biggest trials of my life. I suppose that probably sounds pretty dramatic, but it's my reality. It's been hard. Plain and simple. But I'm so grateful to be finally coming out of the funk I've been in for a good chunk of this year, and I'm grateful that my family didn't give up on me as I've gotten through this. They've all thrived here. I've felt like I'm barely surviving, let alone thriving. But I've been able to "hold on to [them] as we go. As we roll down this unfamiliar road."

And I know I'm not alone. We're finding a way to make this new place our home.