Welcome to my blog

Thoughts on ordinary and not so ordinary adventures in the life of one Mom

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My List

          I love to make lists.  It's the only way I can organize all the things I need to get done.  The lead up to our trip to Hawaii was list making heaven for me.  I had a list of what to pack of course, what to do to get the house ready, a list to prepare us for homeschooling and a wish list of all the cool things I wanted to do and see while we were here.  Take a look.  There's more on the back.

          It may not look like much, but it has been the driving force for all of our activities here in Hawaii. The culmination of hours of research in guidebooks, on tripadvisor.com and through personal recommendations.   If Steve asks what I want to do over the weekend, I always refer him to the list.  I can't be expected to remember what I want to do.  After all, I made a list for a reason.

          Some people, I've realized, don't document their thoughts the way I do (for instance, the server who takes your order without writing anything down).   I wonder how they can get on with life without having a list of action items.  Their minds must be full of thoughts they need to remember that could be easily cleared away with a pencil and paper.  I think Joseph  might be one of them.  In homeschooling, one of the biggest issues I've had with Joseph is in math.  When I  assign him problems, I always remind him to show his work.  When I watch him work, I can see what's coming.  He often looks off into space and I can tell he's calculating a problem  in his head that would be much easier done on paper.   I know that when I check his work, there will be answers, some right and some wrong, but without showing his work, there will be no guide as to where he might need help.   Joseph will probably not be a list maker, but I still have hope, because I know it will make his life a lot easier.

          While lists make my life easier by streamlining my thoughts and leaving some space in my brain for some other ideas, they also offer me a way to reflect on what I have done.  I sometimes keep old (usually completed) lists for years just because it reminds me of a specific time in my life.  After all, a

list is a record of intentions and when crossed out, a record of accomplishments.  We've accomplished so much on my list of things to do in Hawaii.  This week, I checked off two more.

          Today, Alex and I tried Stand-Up-Paddle. He had been asking to try this for a month now, and I went along.   It's like riding a large surfboard and using a paddle to steer.  Unlike surfing, it can be done in calm water, like bays and rivers, as well as surf.  Our experience was in the Koko Marina in Hawaii Kai, where the current made it hard to steer, but we managed to have fun practicing in the calm water surrounded by boats.  Alex stood up nearly immediately while I opted for Kneel-Paddle and eventually, when I realized I couldn't balance, Sit-on-my-Butt-Paddle.  Maybe next time I will work up enough courage to fully stand, but this was good enough for me to scratch it from my list.

Alex paddling

          This week, we also went kayaking in Kailua, on the windward (NE) side of Oahu.  This was one of the activities I had been looking forward to since we got here.  We rented two kayaks and headed for the beach.  There are several islands off the windward coast and we decided to paddle to the closest one, Flat Island, which is a bird sanctuary.

Nicki on Flat Island

We had only kayaked on a calm river in Kauai, so kayaking in the ocean was a new and invigorating experience.  Configured as before with me and Alex in one kayak and Nicki, Joseph and Steve in another, we ventured out into the surf and managed to bellyflop our way into the boats without falling in the water.  The waves were gentle but fun.  The distance to the island was short but the wind slowed us down.  When we landed on the island which is a mere 500 yards (about a third of a mile) from Oahu's shore, we felt a great sense of accomplishment.  After being at sea, we had made it to land.  After a walk around the island, we headed toward Lanikai beach in our kayaks and saw several honu popping their heads out of the water around us.

Joseph, Nicki and Steve
The beach had soft sand and gentle waves and lived up to its reputation as one of the best beaches in Hawaii.   It was the perfect place for a snack, burying Nicki in the sand, a little snorkeling, and a lot of playing.  After returning to Kailua and another relaxing drive home,  I checked off kayak to flat island.  While checking an item off one of my lists usually gives me a little thrill, I did not get the same satisfaction this time.  This time I was sad.

Joseph at Lanikai Beach

          As we continue our stay in Oahu, my list grows shorter.  We have had so much fun, but now my list has turned into something of a countdown of our time here and every check mark is one step closer to the end of our journey.  As the end approaches, I will be making more lists.  In fact, I've already started with lists of items I want to bring back home from Hawaii and a to-do list including cleaning and replacing broken household items. While these lists will surely help me get everything done, they won't satisfy me the way lists usually do.  They'll remind me that our little break from the ordinary, a chance to have adventures nearly every day, will be over.   But, luckily I have a way to cope with this sadness.  Yes, I'll make a list.  A list of family and  friends we get to see when we return.  A list of things to do with my brother, sister-in-law and niece, Darla, when they visit for Christmas and, of course, a list of places I want to go in 2011!  After 4 months here, you wouldn't think Hawaii would be on that list, but it is.

This blog is updated weekly


1 comment:

  1. I love making lists too! But most of all I love ticking off the things I've done! ;)