Getting “Married” to Our Neighbors

BirdsTogether_8542What would you call a couple that lives in separate houses, doesn’t eat meals together, dates other people, and splits custody of their children? I would call this couple separated and if they aren’t already I’d say they will be divorced soon. We have this similar separation from our neighbors and our community and yet we don’t say we are divorced, we say this is normal and the way we are supposed to live.

I am twice married and both times our relationship changed significantly after we got married and lived together. In my dating experience there was often much time apart, and before we saw each other there was a discussion about where, how, and when we will be reunited. Then there was the parting of ways and saying goodbye for the night or maybe forever. For me that’s the real difference between dating and being married, we are uncertain where we stand and if this person is going to be in our life and for how long. Probably the real question we need answered is…

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Appreciating our home or home appreciation?

PoolSurfI’m sitting on the lanai in Maui enjoying breakfast after a really fun surf at the break we can see from the kitchen window. The enjoyment of the sound of the waves breaking and the birds singing is interrupted by the roar of leaf blowers and a sit down lawnmower. Cue the phrase “first world problems”, and that’s when it sank in how far from natural this development is.

The monthly Home Owners Association (HOA) dues at this gated community in Maui are around $800 and where I live in California are $380. Both grounds are beautiful and very well taken care of, and at the same time I’m wondering where are the crops, the orchard, and the fruit trees? Every Tuesday a full crew of people come and mow the lawns and blow the leaves for what is usually a full days work. What if instead of taking the mowed grass and tree trimmings to the landfill they left…

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The Real Reason to Buy Local

Village-FijiWhen my first wife left me I was living in her house, in her neighborhood, next door to her brother and his wife, and most of my social relations were with their friends. So the day she walked out I lost most of my community and to say I felt isolated, lonely, and terrified would be a massive understatement. Also I didn’t see us living in this higher crime neighborhood for very long so I didn’t invest much time making friends nor knowing my neighbors. Further I was also doing most of my shopping either online or at the big box stores, so I didn’t have any relationships with the people that worked there. For me the pain of divorce was a huge wake up call to take a look at all my relationships and how I want to live.

When our first impulse is to invest our time and money outside the community we are…

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Trusting Bike Thieves

BiruniMy electric bike was stolen out of our garage a few weeks ago. The feedback I heard was how brazen the thief was to come into the garage during the day while someone was home. This could be an easy chance to lose trust in our neighbors and neighborhood and to feel unsafe and in danger of losing more.

This is exactly what I did many years ago in my previous marriage when we lived in a higher crime area. My reaction was to get the weapons ready and install an alarm and camera system, and together with other neighbors, the mayor, and police chief we formed a sort of lynch mob. Even though the suspected thieves were now watched by everyone we felt more fearful, anxious, and unsafe. Our perception and thoughts about our neighborhood became narrowly focused on danger and the threat of crime and or violence…

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Relief from and Healing Back Pain

MonkeysUluwatuTempleI am laying down on a rug, because it’s to painful to stand or sit down, when my son crawls into the other room. Getting up has been sending sharp shooting pains through my lower back so I figure crawling after him might be easier and quicker. As I’m crawling I notice it doesn’t hurt as much when I move my legs. So we crawl around the room together and make our way back to the rug. It feels so good to be able to move my legs after several days of feeling constant agonizing pain. This is the most excruciating physical pain I have ever felt, my wife had sciatica pain last year and she said it is more painful than labor pains…

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Poopy Diapers

T-manI ran into a friend the other day and she asked me about teaching paddleboarding and specifically what happens when you fall in the water? I quickly responded with, “you get wet”. She shook this unsettling thought off and voiced her concern about the “dirty” water. I said there is more healing in being in the ocean and nature than not, and she agreed.

Later as I was on my way home a deeper answer came to me along with a feeling of calm and connectedness…

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