Thursday, February 23, 2012


The water makes everything right in the world.

You are weightless.  There is no stress on your joints, your bones, your body.  You are just one with the water.  Oh and the fish, and the turtles.  My favorite fish is the "trumpet fish" - skinny and long.  Very strange looking, but beautiful.

With swimming you are alone with the water.  Alone with the world.  Yet, one.  There is no noise in the water.  You can hear the chains that are attached to the buoys.  They clink.  They sound likes bells under the water.  Nice deep bells.  Not annoying at all.

I understand how people can be scared of the water.  A few years back, while competing in a triathlon, I had a panic attack.   I started out too fast.  There were too many people and I panicked. I was able to recover by flipping over on my back and got my breathing under control.  For the first time in my life, I understood how people could be scared of the water.  Until that point, I never understood it.

Water is a powerful force.  You are completely NOT in control.  After my surfing accident last summer (read Ocean Water Rescue)  I was humbled.  I was never scared and no Nolan, I did not cry.  It made me aware.  Aware that I wasn't in charge.

I'm simply amazed at the number of adults whom don't know how to swim.  Everyone needs to learn to swim.  EVERYONE.  PERIOD.  This planet is made up of more water than land.

Swimming is amazing.  Water is incredible.  And it's calling my name.....

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Working hard or hardly working

Most times, when you look at another persons life - we are usually envious.  Envy.  Jealously.  I think those are sins.  Other peoples lives always look better - or worse. 

Although we don't always pay attention to the worse.  We might catch it.  It might become part of our lives.  But when someone is living better than us - we feel sorry for ourselves.  How come they get to live that life???  What about me???

A child with cancer.  We aren't envious of them.  If fact, most people think "Thank God, that isn't me".  Come on be honest.  I track two blogs from moms whose children have cancer.  Quite honestly, I LOVE their blogs.  No, I do not love the fact their child has cancer.  I love their RAW, HONEST and brutal comments.  Life is SO sugar-coated these days. 

Life can suck.  Life can be depressing.  When we look at another persons life, it's easy to look at all that is good in there life.  We don't look at the hard stuff.

I read a quote from Dylan McDermott one time and it said (and I'm paraphrasing) "you get 20 bad years in your life, I just got mine out of the way".  He was referring to his childhood.  If you look at it that way in life - take your 20 years.  Truly, as a child, what you think is bad, isn't really all that bad (most of the time) - so go ahead and get it out of the way.  Of course, these are rambling generalizations.

The point of the story is:  another persons life ALWAYS looks better/worse than ours. 

We forget about behind the scenes:
  • No, the actors didn't walk on stage and perform that - they practiced.  
  • The Ironman winner - training is 40 hours per week.
  • The single mom - yes she has her freedom, but she has her lonely nights too.  Or maybe she doesn't have her freedom.
  • That event you attended that everything worked out perfectly - what went into that?
  • The woman whom doesn't have to work, has a nanny, and her kids are almost grown - her husband is gone M-F and has a girlfriend.
  • You work remotely, and sometimes remotely is from Hawaii.  It's still work and conference calls happen at 3am.
It's always looks easy from others eyes.   The trick or I guess the pattern in life, is well, make it work for you.  Live fast. Be grateful. Make it look like you are hardly working. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A local whom doesn't live here

Are you here for business or pleasure?  Do you live here or work here?  Yes.  That is the answer.  It's both business and pleasure.  It's living here it's not living here, but knowing people and knowing where to go.  Yes, I also work here - only all my clients are on the East coast.

For years, I've claimed to be "A local whom doesn't live here"  in Vail.  I LOVE Vail.   Of course, I love to people watch.  There is no better place to people watch.  I know the great local places.  The great tourist places.  Where to go for the best specials, the best foods and where not to go.  A local - only I don't live there.

Back in Kona.  Ahhhhhhhh.  An avocado was $1.29 at the DRUG STORE today - AND it was the size of a grapefruit.  No, I didn't buy it - I get them for free on the tree around the corner.  Poke (pronounced Po - kay) - fresh tuna sashmi style - $2.00 for 4 ounces - caught fresh TODAY.  Yum.  Only eat out at Happy Hour.  Everything is cheaper then.  Yummmmmm.

The funny thing about being in a place where you live somewhere, but you really don't is really the people.   We all know bartenders and wait staff have seen it all.  When you are in a tourist town, they have really seen it all.  What happened to me last night is usually the opposite of what happens.

In Denver (and probably most towns), if you go to the same restaurants/bars - they recognize you.  You get a little better service, they know how you tip and to watch out for you.

In new city, people don't know you.  But what about the city you living in, but you don't live in?  Here is where the difference begins.  I knew the bartender and a couple at the end of the bar.  I remembered them from my summer adventure.  They didn't recognize me.  (Maybe it is the fact that I didn't have a black-eye this time.  ;-) )

Tourist towns - the people must all begin to look the same.  All the stories are different - in a way, but yet all the same.

Today, Timeshare Paul recognized me.  He even gave me a hug.  I had tea with the people whom live in "my house".  They recognize me.

I have friends here, but I don't.  I know people, but I don't really know people.  And I'm just here for a short time.  BONUS:  I haven't gotten lost once.   I know my way around.  I'm a local whom doesn't live here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Webster defines passion as "the state or capacity of being acted on by external forces.  Intense driving feeling or convection.

Many times in life we confuse love with passion. 

Love is defined as "strong affection"  Or as a verb, "an object of affection"

The difference being strong vs intense.  Passion being ruled by external forces. Most people LOVE lots of things.  LOVE lots of people. 

PASSION - now this is where the numbers dwindle.  How many people do you know whom have passion in their life?  Are passionate about something?  I LOVE watermelon.  Not passionate about watermelon.

And we confuse the two. 

If we are lucky, we know passion.

An acquaintance of mine from years ago was recently told she could no longer practice judo.  Several diginitive  discs in her neck and back.  She's devastated.  Not only does she LOVE this sport - it is her passion.  She feels like the doctors have told her they have to remove a part of her.  And in truth, they do.

Think of all the opera singers, the musicians, the athletes whom LOVE what they do.  Actually, some of them might not love it, but they are good at it.  Others, it helps them breathe.  What about the teachers - the instructors of anything (musical instruments, singing, 4th grade math) whom are truly PASSIONATE about their job.  What's the old saying?  "Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life" 

My youngest son was fortunate enough to make the 7th/8th grade boys basketball team at school.  He's the shortest player on the team.  He probably sees one minute of playing time every OTHER game.  BUT, he's very very lucky.

The head coach is a mom at the school.  She played women's basketball at Princeton.  Then she coached there for a bit.  Her husband is the men's basketball head coach at Denver University.  He has the opportunity to learn from someone whom is still very passionate about basketball.  So passionate in fact, she was ejected from a game for yelling the referee.  Yes, that's right - yelling at the referee at a 7th/8th grade basketball game.  She was ejected and suspended for a game. 

The entire scenario made me laugh as it unfolded.  First of all, she was right.  The ref was wrong.  And she knew it.  And she couldn't let it go.  It's not a matter of right and wrong at that point - it was the passion.

My son has this great opportunity to be coached by someone whom truly is passionate about what they are teaching.

What do you love from 10 years ago?  From when you were a child?  Those things are harder to remember.  We love lots of things in our life.  Only a few know true passion. 

Love comes and goes - passion is forever.  Go find your passion.....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fasinating Person #1 2012

Vanessa Antrobus Quinn  - this one is for you!

My theme for the year is about the people I meet along the way.  And I MEANT the people that I met along the way THIS YEAR, but as we know not everything works out the way we want it too.

I never met you.  Met, yes, past tense.  I was not fortunate enough to meet you.

5 years ago today someone decided to commit suicide by police and took you AND 5 others with him.  A random senseless act of violence.  (Google her name - you can read the story.  Or click here for a direct link).  This happens to OTHER people.

Although you are no longer with us - you have effected our lives.  My life.  My sons lives.  I want you to know what you have been doing, while you are not here.

One of my dearest friends was married to you.  He misses you every single day.  I have felt his hurt and pain and know that only you could help this.  To see someone hurt the way he hurts.  I feel helpless.  Not something I feel on a regular basis.  This instance, I can't "fix".  I can't make it better.  I can't make it go away.  Almost the feeling a mother has for her child - please, just make it better.  You have taught me that some pain will never go away.  It will lessen with time, but there will always be a scar.

You have INCREDIBLE friends.  INCREDIBLE.  There are no words for our mutual friends.  I now have the joy of your friends in my life.  The Russo and Streeter kids are growing like weeds.  There are some new additions too.  And Petey even has a girlfriend.

I somehow missed meeting you in life.  So did my sons. The year after your death we went to your house.  And after our trip I told them your story.  I want you to know every year on your birthday and the day you died,  my sons reach out to Rich to let them know they are thinking of him.  In fact, they ask me, if they have the date correct.  (I don't think they know MY birthday, but they know yours).    They are now 12 and 14 year old boys.  Not many boys know compassion like you have taught my sons.

For whatever reason, I got back in touch with your brother in-law after many a years - literally 6 months before you died.  He was out of shape, over-weight and I told him he had to do a half-marathon with me.  If you hadn't died, he wouldn't have done it.  Thank you.  (He should thank you too, but well, he's not good at those things).  Now I have a memory of a weekend on Catalina Island, that I would have never had, if it hadn't been for you.

Even though we never met - this is what I do know about you:

  • You lived life to the fullest
  • You have incredible friends
  • You liked music that is embarrassing to admit to like, but you liked it anyway  ( and I REALLY like that about you)
  • Strey Dog and Jackson Dog are lovable (you raised them well!)
  • And for you to have loved Richie, well, we know you are even more special.  ;-)
Thank you for enriching my life.  Thank you for making my sons even better gentlemen than I had hoped or dreamed.  

We are here celebrating you.  Thank you.  Rest In Peace

Vanessa Antrobus Quinn  February 8th, 1978 – February 12th, 2007  

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Catcher in the Rye

A 1951 novel.  A classic.  One of those books some people read sometime during 7th grade.

I never had to read the book.  (or at least if I was SUPPOSED to read the book, well, I didn't).

About 10 years ago - if not 12, I got this wild hair and thought I needed to read this book.  I don't really remember where it came from.  I THINK it was a suggestion from someone whom I worked with.

****SPOILER ALERT*****  I'm not going to tell you how the book ends, but I will discuss this book - so, if you don't want to know, you need to stop reading now. :-)

This book is very circular - in other words, it says the same thing over and over and over and over.  If you have boys or you are a boy, you understand this book better.  I'm a simple girl.  When I started this book, my sons were young.  I don't have brothers (unless you counts the ones I've claimed along the way) - I didn't grow up with boys around the house.  I couldn't relate.

I started this book when my sons were young.  It was okay.  HOWEVER, I felt it was a duty.  An obligation to read this book.  Not a very compelling reason to read a book!

We need to travel back in time.  I started this book.  I was married, I had two young sons and I was going to read The Catcher in the Rye.

I got divorced, I moved, I moved back into my house.

I started the book again.

I dated a fun guy once for a bit and we used to read bits of the book to each other.  He "got" the book - he had to read it earlier, and plus, well, he was a boy.

I moved to another house.

I moved the book with me...... And it was on my nightstand for YEARS. YEARS - literally, we are talking about a total of AT LEAST TEN.

For whatever reason, I couldn't get rid of the book.  I also knew, I would never finish the book.

I would try.  I would start reading and read a page or so.  Of course, I couldn't remember where I was in the book.  Truly, years had gone by......

Last summer, while packing up for the house swap, the book was on my night stand.  Of course, it was, it had never left. 

I'm taking this book with me.  And if it's the last thing I do, well, I'm finishing this book.  This is the summer.

Two other books to read, all these things I want to do.  And yeah, I'm supposed to not only finish a book I couldn't, but really I should start over.  Start at the beginning.  Start at the beginning of the book.

So, I did.

I started over.  3 weeks in - yes, you can guess it.  I think I'm on page 20....  Heck, I was further along than this when I started over....

Why do we always view starting over as a bad thing?  Do we think we will have the same outcome???

At the start of the 3rd week, the boys are with me, I've met new friends and life on the island is very busy.  Our new friends come for dinner (9 people total) - we grill out, we play games, we roast marshmallows - a perfect evening.

We are gathered around the campfire and my youngest son says "my mom reads the strangest books.  She read the Twilight Series". (we were talking about books).   Katy (a 16 year old) replies:  "You read the Twilight Series??? I read that in like 7th grade"  "Of course, it wasn't around when I was in 7th grade to read," I replied.  And Al (one of the friends) replies, "You know what's a really good book?  You need to read The Catcher in the Rye".  Seriously?  I met this man approx 72 hours before this moment, and he's telling me I need to read a book that has been on my nightstand for 12 years?

There were tears in my eyes. I said, "what did you say".  "Catcher in the Rye, now that's a good book."  WHAT?   And no, he hadn't seen the book on my nightstand.  (it's okay, you know you were thinking that).

I guess it was time to finish the book. 

I did finish the book - it took me until September - of the same year, but I finished.  And it was worth it.  I understand it much better having teenage boys.

Yes, it's a bit circular, but I now understand why you need to read it.

Yes, it's still on my nightstand.  Every time I look at it, it makes me smile.  It's up to us to decide, is the whole thing real?  made up?  or a little bit of both???

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I was supposed to..... Part II

It's funny how time changes things.

I have been home six months.  And now I'm mad at myself about summer. 

This WAS supposed to be a summer of change!  Reflection!! Yoga!!! Learning a new skill!  A new way of thinking!!! I WASN'T supposed to go back to the real world and not take with me the things I learned.

I'm mad.  I was supposed to learn something.  I was supposed to change my way of thinking.  If I could just have a month off, when I went back, everything would be ok.  My day to day life is wonderful and I would remember that - I just needed a break.

I wasn't supposed to come back the same person! 

Oh, that 's right.  I didn't.

And maybe that's why life seems a little more difficult than easier.  I changed, I grew, I learned and then I had to go back to my "real life".  - Not expecting pity - my life is great.  And for that, I will always be eternally grateful.  I have worked hard, and I am blessed with an incredible support system. 

I'm back and I do what we are supposed to do, but for a moment, the gypsy girl got to shine.  I'm over needing to be the #1 sales person in the company.  (I did that).  I'm over the shoes, the clothes, the cars, the "things" that "enrich" your life.  Truly, those things have always been things. 

My life is blessed and I am very fortunate that life has worked out for me so well.  I do give my self credit, I have worked hard to make it work out so well.

HOWEVER, the gypsy girl, whom I let out more and more each summer - is knocking at the door.  She wants more.  She is a drug that can't be fed.  She wants her flip flops, she wants her beach towel. She's having a temper tantrum.

Haven't I given enough???  That sounds SO selfish. 

Let the gypsy girl have her tantrum - then send her to her room.  She's pouting.  It's okay to pout.  Let the grown up worry about the bills, about the schedules, about, about, about.

And what feeds the gypsy girl best - no, it's not a trip.  It's planning the adventure. What she THINKS will happen....... That's all she really cares about.  Let her out to plan - to dream, to imagine and to remember.  Every day is a blessed day.  Every day is wonderful - just look for the "majic".  It happens in the most mysterious ways.....