Midlife Reflections #8

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Time heals all wounds” they say but a lot of us cling to the past which makes it quite difficult to move forward in life.  Memories of the past is like a double edged sword.  Many of the experiences we hold so dearly are often ones of joy, love or laughter that was shared with family, friends and loved ones which can never be replicated.  Others are of fractured memories that bring sadness, pain and loss that we try so hard to forget but to no avail.  Often times when we’re in a different setting, we encounter a similar situation or experience and expect it to follow what had happened in the past.  When it doesn’t live up to the hype, to our expectations, the end feelings leave us disappointed, discouraged and depressed.  Or when it brings about the same feelings of sorrow it just fuels our doomed outlook on life.

It’s truly hard to move past these things and I for one can admit that I find it challenging to do so.  But everything that we experience makes us into who we are and really does help us to become stronger.  Time really doesn’t fix things, it just add more to our already full plate and lessens the degree of our greatest or most horrible past memory.  It really just finds a way of taking us out of our comfort zone and pushing us beyond our limits.  Whether we bend or break is all up to us.  I for one take it by its horn and wrestle it aside.

So if you find it hard to find happiness in life or just trying to make it day by day, take solace in knowing that you’re not alone.   We’re all grinding it out the best way we can.  There’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for all of us, it’s out there waiting for us to discover it.  If things are not going your way or your ready to throw in the towel, take stock in where you are right now in life.  You’ve made it this far, just think how much further you can go.  It hard to stay positive but if you just have a tiny spark, it’s all you need to start that fire in you to go out and take action!

When It Feels Scary To Jump…

While channel surfing couple years ago, I happened upon a channel that featured a 2014 movie called “A Most Violent Year”.  Although I consider myself a movie buff, I’ve never really heard of this movie until that one fateful day.  I won’t tell you what the plot was because I stumbled upon it and really didn’t watch it till the end.  But I did happen upon a scene where a man by the name of Abel Morales said “When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump, otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life.”

This one line totally resonated with me and I just had to write it down.  I turned off the TV and soaked in those words.  I took it to heart and it quickly became etched within my subconscious.  You could almost say that I had an epiphany of some sorts.

This one quote, this one line from a movie I have never seen told me that in life, you need to take chances regardless of the outcome.  There are times when you’ll succeed and there are times when you’ll fail, but you must learn from it in order to grow into the person that you were meant to be.  Life is too short to play is safe, it needs to be explored with eyes wide open.  Life if full of endless possibilities with the potential to be great.

I took this to heart and felt that I needed to try anything even if it took me out of my comfort zone.  I lived by the code of being open to different things; doing so would broaden my horizons both mentally and physically.  Living by this way of thinking helped me to try different things; just facing the impossible or the uncomfortable with complete abandonment.  Living this way made me realize that to do these things require both strength and faith; the will to pursue what your heart desires with the self-confidence to know that you’ll achieve something positive from it regardless of the results.

Ever since then, I’ve been bestowed with nothing but great outcomes.  I dared to take a chance and came out a winner so to speak; I count my blessings everyday for doing so.  So if you are faced with doing something that takes you out of your comfort zone, go all in and bet on yourself.  The first step will be scary, terrifying even…but the end results will be much more rewarding.  Take that leap and dare to be great!

A Taste of Hawaii

I have never written anything food related in my life but decided that I wanted to do so now to give people a “taste” of life here in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Rather than talking about some fancy dish, I’ll talk about this particular food that we all know and have tried once in our lives…”POPCORN”.

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Most people when they hear the word popcorn, associate it with the movies.  It’s a staple snack that we all like to munch on while we’re watching our favorite flick.   Some are purists that like to eat it plain, while others sprinkle on that cheese or garlic flavored seasoning; the rest just mix it with their favorite candy snack.

Here in Hawaii, what we like to do is to mix MOCHI CRUNCH (KAKIMOCHI) and FURIKAKE or LI HING seasoning with our popcorn.

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Mochi crunch, or kakimochi (kah-kee-moe-chee) as we commonly call it, is a snack originally created in Japan; it’s a type of bite-sized Japanese cracker made from rice and coated with soy sauce.  In Japan it’s normally called arare (ah-rah-ray) or senbei (sen-bay) and it usually comes in different shapes.  It was introduced to Hawaii in the 1900’s by the Japanese plantation workers and has been a staple snack amongst the locals since then.

Furikake (foo-ree-kah-kay) is seaweed diced into tiny flakes mixed with sesame seeds, salt, sugar and seafood flavoring.  It’s usually sprinkled on top of cooked rice for flavoring.

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Li Hing was brought over to Hawaii by the Chinese plantation workers.  Li Hing is dried, pickled plums seasoned in food coloring, licorice, salt and sugar and has also been a life-long snack here in Hawaii.  It’s truly an acquired taste; the best way to describe it is it’s a combination of salty, sweet, sour, tart and tangy.

The coating on the plums is what most of us like the best about eating this snack, so much so, someone had the bright idea to just sell it in powder form.  We usually sprinkle it on fruits, candy and shaved ice to give it added zest; others even concocted drinks with it.

I don’t know who started the trend or when it originated but someone in our lovely state decided to mix the two ingredients with popcorn and voila…it deliciously worked!  The soft crunch of the popcorn, the hard crunch of the kakimochi, the scintillating taste of the li hing powder and the earthy flavor of the furikake…mmm…delicious!  We even have ready made packets so that we don’t have to buy the ingredients separately.

For those who have a sweet tooth, this might not be for you because it’s more on the salty side.  When I say salty, I mean more like when you eat a regular potato chip kind of salty.  But this way of eating popcorn is commonplace in Hawaii when we’re at the movies or even chillin’ on the couch at home watching our favorite TV show.

It might not look too appealing but if you’re ever in Hawaii, give it a try.  I always say, “Try first, complain later.”  You might like it, you might not, either way you can at least tell your friends and family members that you got a little taste of Hawaii.

 

 

It’s Showtime!

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As an avid movie goer and struggling screenwriter, I constantly look forward to upcoming new movies; in my case it’s action, thrillers, animation and comedies.  Let’s face it, I’m a guy and those are the things that keep me most interested in my love of movies.

 At the start of each year, I look at the release dates of all the prospective movies that I must see and jot them down on my “Must See” movie list.  After that’s done, I make another list called my “Must Get DVD” list; it’s mainly for movies that I want to see but feel that I could wait until the DVD comes out.   

 Now…back to my “Must See” list; I post it in my cubicle at work and look at the release date of the movie and the current date.  I was never good in math but my mind quickly calculates the countdown clock in my head as to how long before I’m sitting in that theater watching that movie with mouth agape and eyes wide open in pure awe.

 In the days leading up to the release, I constantly peruse my favorite movie sites anxiously waiting to get a glimpse of that first trailer. 

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Viewing it once is never enough, I need to see it three, four…heck ten times just to soak in and absorb what I missed the first time around. 

 Months turn to weeks and then to days as I wait in baited breath for that second trailer and a final trailer of that “Must See” movie on my list.  Seeing it several times over and over again is the process that I have to go through to catch all the nuances of what I’ll be seeing once I get into that theater.

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 Tick, tock, tick, tock…the countdown in my head starts as I wait in feverish anticipation to all the amazing things I’ll be seeing.  I look at my favorite sites to see who got the chance to preview the movie early and see if they divulged any small spoilers about what to expect.  I’m the kind of person that like hearing these things; it never ruins the movie for me.  If it’s on my “Must See”, nothing will detract me from going to see it. 

 The only thing in the build up to seeing a movie on my “Must See” list that I don’t thoroughly enjoy are the early reviews.  If it’s a good one, I’ll read it; guess it’s a way of validating what I knew all along about why I chose this movie. 

 If it’s a bad one, I’ll read it quickly and completely ignore it; sometimes critics over analyze a movie to the point of exhaustion.  If a movie entertained me and made me forget about all my problems for two and a half hours, then it did its job!  End of story!

 On movie day, I purchase my ticket, get the necessities and choose a seat all the way at the back of the auditorium so that I can view this movie in grand spectacular fashion.  It can’t get here any quicker; I constantly look at my watch and watch the minutes wind down.  When the lights dim, I lean back in my chair and sigh in utter relief that that time has come; it’s finally…SHOWTIME!