Eras of Life

Ten year ago I headed off on a grand adventure with my family, flying to Hawaii. At the time it was the furthest I’d traveled and I remember the exceedingly long plane ride then the welcoming embrace of the humid and warm Hawaiian air when we disembarked. It was a trip I had prepared for over many months. I’d bought books, researched the culture, read up on the history of Hawaii becoming a state, and delved deep into the world of Pearl Harbor, and WW2.

When we arrived I was able to nod sagely when things were pointed out, recognized landscapes, and could whisper added tidbits of information to my siblings when we were on tours – after all, I’d immersed myself in the Hawaiian world for countless hours and had a deep appreciation of seeing it in real life.

Well, life has an ebb and flow and seasons change. This Tuesday my roommates and I were sitting around waiting for our company to arrive when I said something about Hawaii. “Hawaii? What do you mean?” was the response, because apparently I’d forgotten to mention to them the upcoming trip.

I packed the day before leaving, and spent time cleaning and organizing my house and tracking my budget. At one point I downloaded one of my favorite fiction books that takes place in Hawaii, but returned it on the library app before I got a chance to read it.

After nineteen hours of travel I pulled our rental car into the parking lot of the condo where we’d be staying then unloaded the car and unpacked before falling into bed. My life looks completely different than it did ten years ago, and instead of anticipating this trip for months, it wasn’t until I was out walking along the beach and came upon a sea turtle that I remembered the joys of my last visit to Hawaii and I started settling into vacation mode.

My adopted parents (if you’ve been around this blog for long you know who I mean – a couple who I “adopted” as my second family many years ago) spent decades traveling around speaking and singing. In fact, the only state they’d never visited was Hawaii. This year is their 50th Anniversary, so as a way to celebrate we came to Hawaii together.

Life is different now than it was ten years ago. The pull and tug of responsibilities means I sometimes don’t leave room for preparation and anticipation. An adventure will be upon me before I’ve had time to clearly think through the fact that it’s approaching. Ten years ago I was deep in the throes of Lyme disease and trying to find my pathway to health. I had the endless hours of time to research because I spent a great portion of my life with little to no energy or ability to lead a “normal” life. And I thrived on the challenge of learning as much as I could about the places I was going to visit. Anticipation and countdowns added luster to the sometimes monotonous life of chronic illness.

Eras differ, but that doesn’t mean that one is better than another. Just because I didn’t get to read a dozen books about Hawaii or even spend time looking forward to the trip isn’t a negative. It’s simply where I am. And now that I’m here, I’m thankful for the pounding waves, misty air, green mountains, and laidback setting. The week in front of us promises a slow pace, lots of exploring, and plenty of chances to make memories. I am thankful.

One thought on “Eras of Life

  1. Sarah Howe says:

    Yes, I have also come to realize that “different than I’ve always known” does not equal bad. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this Lydia!



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