Sunday, August 17, 2014

Playing through the pain

This past week I had the opportunity to talk to a few young people about dealing with the inevitable hurts one encounters in life. One of the things every human being has in common is that we have all been hurt by someone in our lives. I wish it were not so, but being hurt by someone at some point in life is unavoidable.

What I was talking with these young folks about was how you deal with the hurt and live your life. We all change as a result of being hurt. However, I wanted them to understand that it is important to change for the better. It's too easy to change for the worst, and that is no way to live your life. For instance, when someone lies to us, it's to easy to decide to never trust anyone ever again. Now, let me be clear, I can completely understand when someone chooses to never trust again, but it is not a healthy way to live.

In professional sports, athletes often talk about playing through the pain; meaning, they have all been hurt at some point, but they make the effort to play at their best anyway. We will all be hurt at some point in life, but we must continue to do our best to live life to the fullest. If we do not, we risk becoming the hurt, angry, jaded version of ourselves who would rather shut the world out than risk being hurt again, and that's no way to live your life. We cannot completely avoid being hurt, but we can control how we react to the hurt. Never give anyone who has hurt you that much control over your life.

I often wonder how many opportunities we miss in life as a result of being hurt. I wonder how many dreams die for fear of being hurt again. I worry that far too many people choose to isolate themselves from the world rather than live, because they don't want to ever let anyone in. I'm not saying let people walk all over you; no, never do that, but you should make every effort to move forward and live the best life possible, even when you feel like you're not sure you can. We only get one shot at this thing called life, so live as full of one as possible.

Anyway, these are my thoughts this week. Take care, my friends. Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What a difference a day makes

This past week Hawaii braced for two major storms: Hurricane Iselle and Hurricane Julio. The Big Island took most of the impact. Many folks are still without electricity and basic supplies. I have many friends there, and so far each have said they are happy just to have made it through without any major issues. They are doing well for the most part. I thank God that they are all okay.

The rest of the islands fared considerably better. Over here on Oahu, there was some damage and flooding. A few folks lost their roofs in the winds. Many large trees and such were completely pulled out of the ground. But, overall, we are all okay. Moreover, we are incredibly fortunate that Hurricane Julio skirted over the islands this morning, so we are pretty much in the clear, as of the time of this writing.

For the past few days, I have witnessed nothing but damage, destruction, and terrifying weather. You can imagine my surprise when I awoke this morning to see perfect blue skies. My family and I decided to go to the beach, even though we heard a high surf advisory was issued. Every beach was so crowded today. I saw many old friends, some of whom I haven't seen years. There were many families enjoying the day. I saw nothing but beautiful skies, huge waves, and smiling faces as far my eyes could see.

Amazing how big of a difference one day can make. I think this is important to remember in life as well. In life, there are always some major storms. There are also many sunny days ahead. I know, in the middle of the storm, it's hard to see the silver lining, but if you can weather the storm, there is always another beautiful day ahead. Today, I got to enjoy the company of a bunch of folks who weathered the storm, and what a beautiful day it was.

Keep moving forward, my friends. Keep striving to reach those goals. Keep trying your best. Above all else, don't give up. Do everything you can to keep positivity in your life. We will all face bad days. We will all have to weather storms throughout our life. You can make it through. Find the silver lining and make the most of every moment. It will make a difference. Have a wonderful week, friends!

P.S. - Please keep everyone on the Big Island in your prayers. Many of them are still without power, water, and other basic necessities. Most of the folks I talk to are still keeping it positive, which is good. They are doing their best, but they still need help. Thanks everyone!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Preparing for disaster

Today, I have been spending time preparing for Hurricane Iselle. It's expected to hit the islands as nothing more than a tropical storm, but I feel the need to prepare accordingly. I have to admit, I have never put together an emergency kit in my life. Like many folks here in Hawaii, I have survived two of the biggest hurricanes to hit the islands, multiple tsunami threats, and various other weather phenomenon that have struck our homes. As a result, many of us often feel like everything is going to be fine, so we never prepare properly, and any preparations we do make is usually done at the last minute.

I think a lot of us are guilty of living our lives this way. Many of us walk through life figuring that everything is going to be okay. Then, when something bad does happen, it completely throws everything out of sync. The slightest change makes it feel like the world is ending. True of natural disasters, but also true in a lot of other areas in life. Many people are ill-equipped to handle the little problems that life offers. As in preparing for a natural disaster, if we are to be ready for the dangers or difficulties we will face in everyday life, we need to put in the work needed to prepare properly.

Need to pass a big test, you better study. Want to write a book, better start writing. As for me, I need to prepare for hurricane season. My perspective on life is much different than when I was a teen going out to surf during tropical storms - which created enormous waves. My life isn't the only one I need to take care of, so I need to grow up and do the things responsible adults are supposed to do. So, like anything in life I don't know a lot about, I am starting with the basics: water, canned goods, batteries, hand crank emergency radio/flashlight, and other essentials.

When in doubt, start with the basics first, and then work your way up. Thanks for letting me blabber on about this new event in my life. For those of you who are also preparing for the storm, I'm leaving a list of some of the recommended emergency essentials below. A little preparation can save us from a lot of trouble further down the road. If I'm missing anything, please leave a comment below and I will add it in. Have a blessed week, everyone!

FEMA recommends the following items be in your emergency supply kit:



First Aid Kit - $22.87  for a 205 piece kit on Amazon / $17.47 at Walmart

 Fire Extinguisher - $19.97 on Amazon / Walmart $20.67

Prescription Medication, prescription glasses, contact lenses, contact lens solution

Water – One gallon per day per person (5 to 7 day supply) / I got a clear plastic 5-gallon at Walmart for $8.18

Non-perishable food (5 to 7 day supply)

Hand crank or battery-powered radio ($15) and a NOAA Weather Radio ($27) with tone alert and extra batteries

Flashlight & extra batteries

Whistle to signal for help

Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Manual can opener for food

Local maps ($5 on Amazon)

Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Other supplies you may need


Baby essentials – formula, diapers, wipes, bottles, etc…

Pet essentials – food, water, medication

Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.

Matches in Waterproof Container or Waterproof Matches

Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items also suggests:

Emergency information – first aid reference material, pamphlets, print outs (free publications)

Cash or traveler’s checks and change – If the power is out, ATMs will not be operational. If stores are open but the power is out they may only take cash.

Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit – EFFAK (PDF – 977Kb) developed by Operation Hope, FEMA and Citizen Corps to help you organize your information.

Denture needs, extra eyeglasses

For more disaster preparedness information and to download a FEMA emergency supply kit list click HERE.