I wrote a piece for SpouseBuzz last year about reasons why Hawaii isn’t always paradise and many, many readers either didn’t read the article or didn’t understand the point of it. Whatever the reason the comments were less than nice and showed me that people will say just about anything even if they don’t know the person (I also learned to never read the comments except on my own blog). Since then I think about that piece often and wonder if I still have the same feelings and the honest truth is, I do.
Hawaii is so beautiful. I mean like every sunset and beach could be a magazine photo beautiful. In fact, the photos in magazines don’t even come close to how beautiful this place is. When I go on a hike or trail run and get to the summit and look out over the island I stand in amazement that I get to live here. I live in paradise! The weather is so awesome (even on the rainy days and when the vog blankets the sky) that I haven’t stepped into a gym since a month or so after I got here. Who wants to be with sweaty people when you can listen to the birds or smell the flowers and the ocean? Not me!
But, I live here and I’m not on a three year vacation. That’s right I live the same life I did in Norfolk and Japan and New Orleans. Each morning I get up, get kids ready for school, do housework, send emails, grocery shop, run kids to practices, doctor appointments, and so on. You get it because you live a life, too, it just might not be in paradise.
Well, when you live life and are not on vacation the daily stressors are still there and just because you live in a much desired vacation spot doesn’t mean life becomes perfect like the pictures. We still have really bad days when we miss our deployed spouse so much you can actually feel your heart hurt. The finical burdens of student loans don’t disappear because we get to see rainbows on a regular basis. Kids still struggle with transition even though they can go to the beach because guess what? They want the friends from the previous duty station to be with them (and so do their parents’).
So, while we get to live in a really cool place don’t forget that it’s our life, a military life and sometimes we struggle. And sometimes we just need to complain about it. Living in Hawaii doesn’t magically make it all go away; life still happens. The good, the bad and the ugly.