Life is all about choices. And in certain circumstances, sacrifices. In the spirit of Easter I thought I would talk about the sacrifices that Chris and I have made together to create this new life and the breakdown I had last week. (Please do not think I am comparing us to Jesus. That is just crazy. But the word sacrifice has been laying heavy on my heart for a couple days so I thought I’d blog about it.)
For us, we gave up quite a bit in terms of material things, proximity to family, comfortable jobs, etc. to move here to Hawai`i. But you knew that. I’ve talked about it before. We ran into quite a few people who told us that living here was not going to be a vacation and it isn’t for everyone. Which is absolutely true. We have several friends that don’t like living here. In fact, they are counting down the days until they are off the island. The cost of living is super high, it only takes 3 hours to circle the entire island in a car (island fever), you still have to work, you forget to go to the beach, it is humid, the culture is very different, etc.
Then there is us. The sacrifices we made to get here were definitely substantial in our tiny world. We sold a 4 bedroom home and lived in a 2 bedroom apartment for a year. Which to be honest, was difficult for me at first. The house backed up to a soccer field… you can imagine my daydreams of little red headed children playing in the backyard. Then we sold everything in that 2 bedroom apartment and left it with only 4 suitcases worth of possessions. (I know you’ve heard that before but bear with me). Now that we are here, we share a 2 bedroom duplex with our friend, Mark. We didn’t even know Mark when we moved in… crazy, huh? Now brace yourself. In our island duplex we do not have a dishwasher, no air-conditioning and the walls are about as thin as cardboard. We have jalousie windows and our bedroom is above the carport. So when our neighbor fires up his Harley every morning at 9am we we think there is an earthquake. Hmm… what else do we have that is very “island lifestyle”… oh yes… Our washer and dryer is outside on the porch and Chris and I share a car.
Now, as crazy as this may seem, it is actually my favorite place we have lived. And it isn’t really like a grass hut (Molly I am looking at you). The tradewinds come off the ocean and sweep through our house so there is no need for air-conditioning. Chris and I do dishes together and usually end up with a wet kitchen floor and a lot of laughing and soap suds everywhere. Our walls are super thin but it makes it easier to harass Mark from another room. I actually do not mind do laundry outside as it is beautiful outside and reminds me of that Snuggle bear dancing around outside in a field of poppies (except we don’t have poppies but you get the picture). Chris and I both work from home so we don’t need two cars and we can walk anywhere we need to go. I love that I can call up my mom and head into town on foot to pick up a used book or grab a coconut iced tea at my favorite coffee shop.
But…I got a bit nostalgic the other night when visiting our friends’ apartment in Honolulu. It was a beautiful place and reminded me of the apartment we had back in Indiana. We had our own place, nice cars, tons of friends to hang out with, family… and then came the tears. I started to miss parts of our life in the Midwest. ”I want our own place. I want to decorate a home. I want an automatic car with Onstar. I want my shoe collection back. I want my mom. I want Jaime to come over. I want what this person on Facebook has. I want, I want, I want!” Chris let me cry it out and listened to every word I said. Then he reminded me that we always have options. We have choices we make everyday. If I want to hop a plane and move somewhere then we can make it happen. We make sacrifices for the things we want the most. If we still lived in Indiana there was about a one in a billion chance that we would have sold our cars to share one or downgrade our living situation so we could start a business. Just the social pressure alone would have been hard for me to give up X to do Y. We would be doing the corporate job circuit and yes, we would have been happy. But here, at this time in our lives, we can live in 2 bedroom duplex with the craziest guy on the planet (whom is like a brother to me) and work out of our home building a business that makes us truly happy. I get to run every morning alongside enormous mountains and plan my meals easier so I can control my insulin levels. Although we are missing some of the commodities that make life easier (like that blessed dishwasher), we are actually healthier both mentally and physically. Who would have thought that simpler living would translate to healthier living. Crazy talk. Chris said, “Someday we will look back on this and smile. We are really going to miss this place.” Then I started to think about red headed children playing on the beach and thought, maybe we won’t ever move from here. But this house and this crazy point in our life… we will miss. (Disclaimer: Mom and Donna… please do not start looking for real estate here. This blog is not a contract written in blood that we will be raising children here thus forcing you to move here. You know I don’t like blood.)
At some point we will probably make a different sacrifices to do what is best for our little family. Our family of two will someday grow to a family of… well, we don’t really know that part yet. But we will figure it out as we go. We may choose to move to a different city with affordable housing so we can get me that white, Lexus SUV I want. Okay, you are right. That isn’t the kind of sacrifice I was talking about. But nonetheless the sacrifices we make now are paving the way for the life we haven’t even dreamed of yet. Sort of exciting, huh?
So even though Chris and I worked through the entire Easter weekend, eating McDonald’s at our desk for our Easter meal, we knew that was just something we needed to do. But don’t worry… the Easter bunny made it to our home and surprised us with Easter baskets (You didn’t think I was going to let Chris and Mark not have baskets do you??) Chocolate bunnies aside, Easter is a reminder of the great Sacrifice. And I hope that this post reminds you that what may seem like a sacrifice you didn’t want to make…or later regret for one reason or another… could be allowing for something beautiful to happen in your life.
Someday I will look back on this time as I load up my dish washer and turn up my AC and say, “Chris, do you remember…” And he will say, “Yep. I really miss those days…”
Ok, so the police car in the background doesn’t set the right ambiance. We probably should have waited until it was silent to take the video. Dang cardboard walls.