Saturday, May 2, 2015


     I've been feeling the need for rest recently and more importantly God's call to rest, so I did just that the other week by taking a half-hour afternoon nap after work one day and more significantly by not posting to my blog, even though I had a first draft essay done and entered in the computer.
     I'd been so habituated to posting once a week from between Monday to Wednesday that restraining was difficult. But restrain I did 'cause anxiety had been building and posting had come to feel more and more like burden than pleasure, and though ideas for essays came, I forced myself not to write, knowing that rest was necessary and would do me good, restoring balance to my life and rejuvenating my desire to write. 
     For by prioritizing weekly postings to maintain high search engine optimization over spending more time with the kids—Jaren and Pene in particular—I'd made suspect tradeoffs as my blog will always be there but my kids won't.
     Braden had selected and I'd purchased for us a 3000 piece jigsaw puzzle from Goodwill awhile ago and Jaren seemingly read my mind and hinted the other day, “ will be fun to work on...”
     So we did.
     He helped me hand-sort the straight side pieces and the whites, pinks, and yellows (it's a 100% nature photo of a gentle waterfall beside a field of wild flowers) and assemble the sub-sorted side pieces, while I continued to sub-sort. 
     And at the library the other day during a relaxed lunch break (no checking e-mails or blog stats or doing other have-to-do-chores) I chose another book to read to Pene: a love story—the first I've read to her—about love in the true sense of the word, not Hollywood's fake version. The memoir describes a female Asian American Californian living the fast life in Hong Kong as a successful columnist/reporter/editor who dates a rich snob, feels dissatisfied, and then meets a humble East Indian writer who shows her the simple beauties of life, love, and family—worlds away from her chaotic family upbringing and glam single life. She breaks up with her boyfriend, lives within budget, reevaluates her life, and marries the East Indian—a sequence that to her resembles a fairy tale. 
     Now Pene, at this point in my eyes, has unlimited career potential and like the author could achieve worldly success in globe-trotting fashion should she ever choose to do so. I hope she does see the world outside Hawaii, which is just sooo limiting and is one of the reasons why I hope to move to the East Coast after retiring in about 2020, so she and Jaren can go to a nearby university at more affordable in-state tuitions. 
     And like the author, Pene could find a wealthy shallow lover to live with who'll pick up her tab for everything except clothes and incidentals, something I pray will never ever happen.
     As I read to her, I add my personal observations and commentary and edit out the heavy topics (about psychological defects and the author's abusive dad who develops mental illness) and instead focus on the love story and scenes of beautiful India that remind me of Deanne and my own love story. For like the pair in the story, Deanne and I, after an initial introduction and hardly any time spent together, began a long-distance correspondence that grew (for us after another short meet up) into love. And like the couple in the story, we came from near opposite sides of the world, with distinct and disparate cultures, dialects, and values that we had to, or rather got to, combine into our own. Coincidentally, Deanne, like the author, suffered a difficult childhood (but not nearly as bad) and I, like the author's fiance, have deep roots in my rustic Hilo birthplace (his was in a century old faded glory mansion in the old part of Delhi).
     So as I read I hope Pene catches that there are unlimited possibilities as it relates to career, residence, marriage, and life, and that the everything-has-to-be-local-Hawaii mindset that afflicts so many locals ought to be avoided because beautiful as Hawaii and its people are, there's more to life than just here.
     Since starting my rest sabbath the kids and I have gone on more after-dinner walks—times of enjoying, winding down, and interacting, which we hadn't done much of lately. 
     And I've spent more time with Deanne in bed just before leaving for work and before bedtime, which can be sooo soothing.
     Our busy week prior to my sabbath would probably have seemed to many whose lives are jam-packed with activities like a lazy Sunday afternoon nap. Nonetheless even we (and I in particular) need these occasional rests in addition to our usual weekend afternoon naps and sleep-ins. And I assure you that after awakening from that late weekday afternoon nap before dinner, I felt more restored and centered, a feeling I hope everyone that needs it gets to experience some time soon.

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