HOLY FRICK HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
My family all came out to Maui for the holidays, which is truly adorable given the fact that I just planted down roots here this year. The holidays always feel a little edgy and intense for me, but with some reframe, some powerful conversations and mental decisions, I think we had a lovely, and maybe even transformative time.
Sprinkled below are some fun things, some simple things and some mindsets that have really been working for me...
1. Piñatas for no reason.
A few years ago, I decided to buy two piñatas, have my friends split into two teams and see who could bust the piñata faster while only using their bare fists. It was so rambunctious and fun and in that moment, it occurred to me that there never needs to be an occasion to have a piñata other than living.
So the other day, Sean and I bought two piñatas for my family to beat up and filled one with candy and one with (surprise!) wasabi peas, dried spicy cuttlefish, martini olives and baby pickles. We couldn't even stand up straight in the checkout line from laughing so hard. Was it worth picking every nasty, sticky wasabi pea off the ground after? Yes.
2. Little moths in the light.
Or flies. Or gnats. Or whatever. I know they're not fun to breathe in, but they're beautiful to witness in their glowy glow.
When was the last time you simply frolicked? On the beach? In a field? In the streets? It may feel impossible to drop into this playful, pointless-seeming act, but I dare you to do it. You gotta force yourself; The longer you do it, the lighter it feels. Frolicking is essential for mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. I've personally researched it.
4. Rainbow Christmas lights.
These are so Hawai'i to me. I love the look of a beach shack wrapped in bright colors. My neighbor has this going on pretty much year round and it brings me joy every single day.
5. The fact that goats smile.
My best friend who owns an animal sanctuary sent me this photo of her and a baby goat who is straight up SMILING on her lap. It is such an adorable photo I told my bf that I might replace the dreamy photo of us kissing under an oak tree at sunset with this one. In writing this, I looked up what it means when goats smile and found this: "Many animal behaviorists believe that animals' “smiles” are just involuntary muscle movements rather than physical indications of happiness." Why do I think that's even more hilarious?
6. Rainbow parrot fish.
The thing about living on Maui, is you really don't do the things you'd think people living on Maui would do often. I try to make the beach a daily ritual (even just for a gander), but the snorkeling supplies only made their first ocean debut when my family got into to town. We swam with lots of mesmerizing little creatures, but the one that really gets me is the rainbow parrot fish with all their fluorescent colors. What a beauty.
7. Oura ring.
A gift from my love that is/has and forever will change my health game. The Oura ring is a literal adorable ring (mine is gold) that monitors sleep, activity, your heart rate, overnight blood oxygen level and your stress levels all from your finger. I know people love their apple watches for the same reason, but I'm simply not and will never be a watch girl. It's been so insightful seeing the rest I'm getting, the steps I'm achieving and most radically, exactly where I am in my menstrual cycle (my natural birth control). It's so sick.
8. Mac nut lattes.
As someone who likes to watch the caffeine intake, I'm not a huge coffee girl. However, when I'm in Hawai'i, I can't help but get a weekly macadamia nut latte because for the most part, you can't get it anywhere else (though I implore you to pester your local coffee shop about it). It's sweet, nutty and buttery-rich. To clarify: there's mac nut milk and mac nut syrup. I'm mostly talking about the syrup (the same way you'd get a vanilla latte), but honestly, opt for both.
9. Post-holiday sales.
Have you noticed that everything you wanted for Christmas goes on sale right after Christmas? There were a few things (a good, versatile pair of shorts and my signature sunglasses I lost last year) that I held my little pretty horses over and got for at least 30% off. Just a tip. Patience isn't one of my strong suits, but this paid off.
10. Feeling myself.
I've spent a lot of my life beating myself up with self-deprecating humor and actual self-loathing. Not only do I protect myself from that, but now when I get a wave of feeling real good, real hot, real invigorated about being alive in my body, I ride the heck out of that wave. It feels weird, scary, and sometimes narcissistic, but I have to remember that that's exactly what society wants me to think. What's a human that feels whole and complete to a system that feeds off of not-enoughness to make the machine go round?
11. Letting everything be fun.
I ran errands with my brother and sister-in-law all day and when we got back, they just kept emphasizing what a great day they had. I had a good day, but I realized how much of a good day they allowed themselves to have. They decided it was fun and so they had fun. I realized how pigeon-holed my day's vision can get when I have tasks on the to-do list. I also realized I've categorized activities into "fun" or "not fun" buckets. I know I've written about this before, but I'm seeing again and again how much of a mindset it all is. Let today be fun. Decide it's fun.