College already?

Wow, how did 17 years fly by so fast? Our eldest daughter, Emily, is a junior in high school and today she and I attended the local National College Fair. Among the 150 colleges and universities represented, she chose to talk to the representatives from the California schools.  She zoomed past the schools with cold winters, 12+ hour plane flights from here, too large or too small and military schools. Hmmmm, that does narrow it down some.

She walked past my father and in-laws’ alma mater, SMU. My alma mater, Texas A&M University was not represented, nor was Mark’s alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis. She said she didn’t want to go to Texas or Missouri, so that settled that!

When the attentive hosts asked her what does she want to major in,  she answered them clearly and directly. She looked everyone in the eyes, spoke confidently and asked great questions. I’m so proud of Emily!

I’m delighted with my daughters and love them more everyday. I love who they have become. Emily is a bright, talented, engaging young lady. She will do well where ever she chooses to continue her education. It’s already that time!

What are your thoughts about our kids growing up and moving out? I wish you a successful college journey!

Aloha,

Denise

Are you saying nice things to yourself?

“Positive self-talk is an integral part of confidence and success. Often, reaching that next level in sport is simply a matter of believing you can. More than 66,000 thoughts float through our minds on a daily basis. Imagine the energy you could harness by making most of those thoughts self-affirming and positive! Before a challenging run or race, create a powerful affirmation that you can focus on when you find yourself with fear, doubts or insecurities. “I can do this” or “I am strong on the hills” are phrases you can repeat to yourself throughout your key workouts to build confidence in your abilities….” Shape Magazine

You are terrific! I am terrific!

Are you telling yourself this daily!?

Aloha,

Denise

Who can you call today?

I have to tell you: the telephone is still a wonderful tool.

My phone rang last week and my longest friend from Dallas called to say hello. Then this morning my dear friend from So.  Cal called to say hello.  These calls are gifts!

To be thought of is warmth and love and bliss!!!

We love Facebook, Twitter etc…but  how about the telephone? It takes only a few minutes and makes a world of difference in someone’s day.

Who can you call today?

Aloha,

Denise

Who~What empowers you?

Yesterday we celebrated Earth Day. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day)…that’s a lot of Earth love!

I happily recycled our bottles, I re-used (as I  commonly do) my shopping bags at the grocery stores, I re-filled my coffee cups, I walked to my chosen destinations and I made abundantly clear my gratitude for Mother Earth. That really empowers me.

We live in a beautiful place (Oahu, Hawaii) : sunshine, cool breezes, ocean sounds, smells and sustenance. I  am empowered by this beauty. I am grateful to those who came before me and made this once kingdom into part of the USA around 1773 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oahu). This is truly a fascinating place. The forethought of our ancestors really empowers me.

My daughters really empower me. They make me smile, they teach me things and they represent the future. They are keenly aware of our earth’s greatness and sustainability.

My husband inspires and empowers me. He brought us here to improve our lives.  It’s beautiful here and we are making amazing progress on many fronts. He shares the riches of island life with us daily.

What shall we all do for the next days, months, years, centuries to continue our Earth’s greatness? We all need to commit to take care of our world. After all, it’s all we have!

What empowers you? Who empowers you?

Aloha,

Denise

What’s going on?

Where I live the gas prices hover over $4.50 a gallon;  new residents are moving into our building from Japan; and I’m aware of how fast my days fly by. What’s going on?

The gas prices are soaring with no end in sight. We need the gas to get around.  Is the price higher on this island than on the mainland? Will the oil companies still ship it to us? What happens when people cannot afford the gas to get to work or school?

I’m aware that new people are moving here to escape the tragedy in Japan. I met a nice man this morning on the elevator who moved here two weeks ago. I hope his family is safe. I hope he likes his new island home. I welcomed him here and he smiled.

Why is life flashing by me? I cooked and cleaned and prepared for Passover for over a week and our Seder Monday night was lovely and fleeting. The week of Pesach is almost over! My kids are already talking about what summer activities will fill the days. To top it all off, my eldest daughter has a college fair next week to begin that journey!

Not only is  every minute special and important and fleeting, but we must add up all the minutes and make every day count! We must outwardly appreciate our friends and families, learn as much as we can each day and enjoy the gifts from mother nature. We must enjoy our journey from point A to B.

What’s going on for you?

Aloha,

Denise

Are you truly happy?

This is a re-post from Michael Josephson, of the Josephson Institute of Ethics. I think it’s very relevant today. Please enjoy.

There is an ever-growing body of knowledge about the nature and causes of happiness.

For one thing, it’s clear that happiness is a feeling, not a circumstance. Happiness is more than just fun or pleasure. It’s a more durable sense of well-being.

Our happiness depends not on what happens to us, but what happens in us. In other words, it’s the way we choose to think about our lives. Abe Lincoln said, “People are generally about as happy as they’re willing to be.” A Buddhist proverb tells us that pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

So, what are the most common attributes of happy people? Well, it’s not money, fame, or good looks. It’s not even intelligence or talent. No, the two most important factors are gratitude and rewarding personal relationships.

The formula is simple: count your blessings and enjoy your family and friends.

Sadly, simple is not always easy.

People whose natural instincts produce a gloomy outlook and pessimism need to re-train their minds. It’s one thing to say happiness is not getting what you want but wanting what you get; it’s quite another to really be satisfied with what we have.

For many people, it takes discipline and practice to think positively.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing one’s perspective, choosing to see and appreciate the silver lining, the half-full glass. In other cases, what’s required is refusing to dwell on pain, disappointment, or envy, and instead force one’s mind toward good thoughts, including all the things we should be grateful for.

Interestingly, the ability to maintain a positive attitude is also important in forming and sustaining meaningful relationships – seeing and bringing out the best.

 

Mantra: never give up; never give in.

Well, as I’ve mentioned previously, I started surfing in the middle of March. I bought ten lessons from a surf shop, four of them one-on-one. Well, I completed those lessons. Now it’s time to PRACTICE.  Do you know the saying, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?…practice, practice, practice.” Well, that is true with everything, even surfing!

I went out yesterday and the waves and I had a different plan.  Every time I caught a wave, it was great, euphoric. The only way to catch another one is to paddle back to the break (the point where you turn around, get into position and surf again.) Well, I paddled and paddled and paddled. Each time I paddled into an oncoming wave, I got knocked back a few feet. So I was going a little forward and a lot back. The waves were winning. I was not reaching the break.  That ain’t happening with this girl! (said in my best Texan accent.)

I am not a quitter! I will not give up! I will not give in! I was very tired and spent. I told myself, “put your head down and paddle.” Well, I attempted a few more times but acquiesced to my fatigue. I was out there for an hour and a half!

When my friend and surf coach Karol told me, “Every day is different. You have to keep practicing…” I realized how right she is.  For a fleeting minute I thought, “maybe I should take up roller skating instead.”  NO!! I will NOT give up. I will NOT give in. These waves are my friends! I will surf. I will paddle. I will succeed.

Remember, keep your head down and go for it. Practice, practice, practice. Are you with me?

Aloha,

Denise

Ready for tax day?

Happy April 15th!

In the great USA we are obligated to file our taxes today. Here’s my thoughts on that:

I’m grateful I live in this country where we can work at our chosen field, earn money to feed our families and enjoy life the way we want. I’m grateful that there is a system in place to keep our borders safe. I wish our government was streamlined and run like a profitable business and not so much in the personal lives of its citizens….well, I’m still grateful.  I am proud to be an American and to earn money doing what I love. Therefore, on this day, I am proud to file my taxes and wave my flag high and proud <<waving flag>>.

Did you know that some post offices stay open really late so you can drop off your forms late in the day? How convenient. Procrastinators are rewarded! Let’s be grateful that we live in prosperity and remember to thank our forefathers for this wonderful country.

Wishing you a happy day.

 

Aloha,

Denise

 

What makes you grateful and happy?

You know when you’re driving around, and a great song comes on the radio? What do you do? I turn it up! I sing along at the top of my lungs! I dance in my seat! No worries: I am still a careful driver!!! I appreciate the words, melodies, stories and instruments.

I heard two of my favorite songs today, back-to-back. Imagine my glee!  When I reached my destination, Costco, I was relaxed, happy and ready to pump my $4.05/gallon gas. If I have to pay these high prices, I’d better be happy when I reach the pump. Simply choose happy.

The feeling of gratitude and happy engulfed me when I posted a photo of a meal I recently made for my family. Now, those of you long-time friends know I’m not the greatest cook. But lately, my motivation to make fun, healthy and delicious dinners has blossomed. I’m touched that so many friends commented on the photo.

Who you ALL are makes a difference! To me, you are the world. I am grateful and happy to have you in my life.

What makes you grateful and happy? As always, feel free to post your comments below.

Aloha,

Denise

Just had to share this one….

Listen, Learn…then Lead. I learned that phrase from a TED talk.  Four Star General Stanley McChrystal told his story and at the end enjoyed a standing ovation. http://www.ted.com/talks/stanley_mcchrystal.html

I walked to the grocery store today and passed several interesting things. People love their kids: there are church schools, blow up pools, a beautiful high school, flowers in every color, nice cars with fancy car seats in the back and people tending to the gardens, parking areas and toys.

I love my kids too. They go to a lovely school nestled under Diamond Head with an ocean view, huge trees and delightful breezes. They are nurtured by well-educated, caring teachers and administrators. They enjoy sports, theatre, the beach, great restaurants and their new friends. We have only a short time left with our kids at home because they will graduate and matriculate to college.

When I think of  my kids I smile. They are loving, smart, talented young ladies. They have grown into cool people whom I enjoy spending time with. While they are polar opposite on most fronts, they both have a joir de vivre. I really enjoy being their mom and having them in my life.

What are you present to?

Aloha,

Denise