Friday, July 31, 2009


Ok... I'm writing this as the thoughts come. It's raw. Unedited. Bear with me...

This week so much of my focus has been on the concept of time. I think I was letting my OCD play with that. Too much. I loved the idea of following a schedule, but then found that I only followed it loosely. That drove me crazy. I was feeling like I'd found the answer to "getting it all done" and then wasn't following my own advice.

This morning, I received a phone call with some distressing news. A special person in my world was told they had a cyst--and the possibility of cancer. Now cancer is not a new thing in my world. So many of the people that I love have had cancer. I know that's nothing unique. I would be willing to bet that most people's lives have been touched by cancer in one way or another. But I was sick to my stomach when I heard it. And then I kicked into gear. "Well, we'll deal with it if it comes to that," I heard myself saying.

By coincidence, I happened to pick up a book that I've been reading for a while, KŪ KANAKA, A SEARCH FOR HAWAIIAN VALUES. The pages opened to a section on the Hawaiian concept of QUALITY TIME. How fitting, I thought. Thatʻs what Iʻve been thinking about all week. Dr. George Huʻeu Sanford Kanahele goes on to say that the traditional Hawaiian way of thinking is to remain in the present moment, as thatʻs all that anyone really has. And itʻs not the quantity of time thatʻs important, but the quality of time. He goes on to say that the subjective value of time "lies in the quality and meaning of what we do with our time. Or, in other words, we should relax more, and live according to Hawaiian time." (Sorry, Dr. Kanahele, but I donʻt know how to do footnotes anymore!)

Now... I loved that. It made my whole body buzz. I get it! Itʻs not about getting 500 things done every day. Itʻs about doing something and doing it right. Using the time weʻre given to really concentrate on the task at hand.

Then the whole picture started coming together. Hereʻs this person in my world whoʻs confronted with the possibility of cancer. How should they live their life? In a state of stress because they werenʻt able to cross everything off of their checklist? Or concentrating on whatʻs right before them. Right at that moment. Isnʻt that what we ALL should be doing? Do we need to wait to have some sort of health crisis to understand that?

There is a happy ending to this story. This afternoon, my friend spoke to a good doctor. While they canʻt be sure until a biopsy is done, there is a very strong chance that the cyst will prove to be benign. All will most-likely be ok.

But this served as another powerful WAKE UP! call in my world. Ok... So I might make a list of things that I hope to accomplish every day. Ok... So I might give myself an outline of how long I hope to spend working on each task. But if the task takes longer, then it takes longer. Iʻm going to try to give it my REAL and FOCUSED attention. I want to do things until theyʻre done. And done well.

And that way, if Iʻm blessed to see the sunset and review the day, Iʻll be able to say that for that day, I lived as well as I could. And did as well as I could.

And that would be pretty great.



  1. Oh, this is such a wonderful reminder coming at a perfect time. I woke this morning already feeling a bit frantic and pulled in fifty directions. Permission to stop and focus is welcomed.

    Blessings and healthy vibes to your friend awaiting good news.
    Aloha, wh

  2. I like a sense of accomplishment each day and sometimes, I kid you not, flossing my teeth is enough.