(**I’m a little rambly today… didn’t sleep well last night.)
I’m stuck at work today. I mostly work alone, and combined with the personal part of my life in which I am alone often, it just seems like I’m shut out from the world. My family rarely gets together except for (sometimes) Thanksgiving, Christmas, and maybe Mother’s Day. My friends all either have boyfriends or families they’re spending time with. However, I may visit some married friends later. But being the third wheel is no fun.
Weekends and holidays are a stark reminder that I’m a single middle-aged woman, and by societal standards, it can be tough. Sometimes I’m afraid that I’m alone so much and have been for so long that I’ll end up unable to have any sort of relationship, because maybe I just won’t know how. I go places and see couples and families together all of the time. Sometimes it makes me sad that I don’t have anyone I can share my time with. While I do like my space and freedom, it would be really nice to have a partner for these occasions and to do other fun things. But being alone nearly 24/7 doesn’t seem healthy.
The other day I was reminded in an article that people in relationships live longer, are healthier and happier, have a sense of purpose, and have a reduced risk for dementia. At this rate, I suppose I’ll be dead in 15 years (joking…). But then I started searching for other topics – positive ones – about how being single can be healthier. I suppose it’s all about who you choose to be with, because an unhealthy relationship can cause irreparable damage.
I’m not living the life that I’ve always dreamed about. Not only am I just single; I’m fucking broke. The two do not go hand in hand whatsoever. I’ve been working multiple jobs, some get canceled unexpectedly, and I’ve had some major expenses over the years that I’ve been unable to catch up with. Being broke makes me anxious, makes me worry, makes me lose sleep, increases pain, and obviously doesn’t enable me to travel and do the things I want to do. I know I have to get another job that pays me better and makes me happier… finding it is another story.
I’m not a pork eater, so the tradition of savoring Kalua pig roasted in an imu on Thanksgiving did not appeal to me. We brought our own tradition with us and cooked a meal with some family and friends for the day. One of the things we are used to on Thanksgiving is eating around 2pm, but in Hawaii it’s mostly done around dinnertime.
Christmas in Hawaii is much different than it is on the Mainland. I didn’t notice as many in-your-face “buy, buy, buy” ads, and no one was really in a hurry to buy anything. Black Friday happened, but nothing like everyone on the Mainland is used to. I didn’t experience the selfishness among the people in Hawaii as I was used to in the rest of the United States. It was a nice change of pace.
Where I come from, people begin decorating for Christmas on Thanksgiving weekend or right after that. We expected the entire island would be lit up with holiday lights. But that was not so. Except for large businesses in Waikiki and some churches and homes, there were very few places lit up. We realized quickly that it’s not because Hawaiians don’t celebrate Christmas; it’s that the price of electricity is so ridiculous in Hawaii that putting up a lot of lights or anything extra that requires power isn’t exactly cost efficient.
To give a price comparison, our home in Florida with running the air conditioning (and washer/dryer/etc.) all summer long, our electric bill averaged $175 at the highest month. In Hawaii, however, running the air conditioning a few nights in August for 23 days cost us $200. We learned quickly not to run the a/c – period. Still, every bill we received was $200 for the month. When we discussed decorating for Christmas, we decided to sell our pre-lit tree and outdoor lights and opt for something much wiser – a rosemary bush – because I could use it to cook with year-round.