Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Adventures, Old Place

I've got a big New Years resolution this year. I'm scared, but optimistic. 

But a little background. 

I've lived in the fiftieth state for almost eight years now. This is an unimaginably long for me to be living in one place. I'm used to a couple of years here, then a major life change, then a few years there... A new degree, a new country, a new kid....So this long stretch of one life in one place has been wearing on me. 

The term is Island Fever.
I got the fever.
I got it bad.

But I realize, looking out of my front door at seventeen waterfalls after a thunderstorm on Waialeale, or being overwhelmed with citrus and star fruit from our farm, that the grass is not greener. The grass is the greenest, right here. Literally. 

But a big part of me doesn't care. I'm over it. I want out. Who even likes green grass, anyway? I'd like some fall colors and winter shadows. 

But that is not going to happen, because, "I'm over it," is not a reason that grown ups can use to quit their lives. 

Instead, I'm applying some marriage counseling to my relationship with Kauai. I saw a video, (I think it was about John Gottman's love lab. I donno, this is a blog. I'm accountable for none of the things.) Anyway. What stuck with me from this clip was that reports of marital satisfaction went up significantly when couples were asked to do completely new things-- like run an obstacle course through hula hoops. Basically novelty increases all those yummy oxitocins that feel like love. None of the problems actually changed, but novelty made the problems less imoortant, in balance.

Since I can't do a remodel or have a baby with Kauai, I'm going to attempt to save my relationship with this place through novelty.


A confession: I have my favorite places on the island. About four of them. That's where I go. The end. 

So I need some help finding New Great Stuff. Here's where I do the equivalent of call Dr. Laura, and consult a guidebook. Not just any guidebook. My arch-nemesis guidebook. So, more like Dr. Phil. "The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook" is bossy, rude, entitled and self-indulgent... And also very thorough.

So here's my resolution for 2014. I will work my way around this island. I will splash is waterfalls. I will scramble down cliffs. I will hike through jungles. I will grudgingly sun myself on white sand beaches. 

And I will drag my poor kids around with me.

Wish me luck!

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