300. That is the number of posts I have written as of last week on this blog. The frequency of posts I have completed has slowed down since November 2006 when I started this blog, but the posts, I am proud to say, have never stopped. I have a running list of blog post ideas that I keep updated and am constantly thinking of new topics to write on as I go through my daily life. Little by little, I have reached 300 posts in less than three and a half years. Given that most personal blogs go dormant after a short period of time, I am proud to have kept on going. I know that some posts are much better than others, but for me, continuing to post on what is important to me is enough.

Snowshoeing the Alps

To be honest, I wasn’t that excited when I first heard what I would be doing. But I had no choice. I had to go. Sure, it seems great at first glance; you would be excited too if someone offered you the chance to go snowshoeing in the Swiss Alps. But the reality for me was that I would have to coordinate schedules, at home and at work, would be forced to bring a lot of gear for such a short trip to Switzerland and would have to leave my family at home for a week.

But I’m glad I went. I stand by the comments I made while on the mountain last Wednesday that a U.S.-based company would unlikely take their employees, inexperienced and fragile, down the steep mountainous and snow-clogged terrain of the Alps with no sense of direction or training. But that is why I work for a great company. With snow lightly falling atop a 5000 foot ridge, the only instruction I received was to make it down the mountain. It was great. I fell, I laughed and I improved my snowshoeing technique on the way. And as I was trekking down, I realized that I was unlikely to be snowshoeing again in the Alps anytime soon. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that cost me nothing.  I’m glad I came prepared. I’m glad I had the right attitude. I’m glad I made the decision I did in August 2008 when contemplating what it meant to join a Swiss firm. And I’m glad they still like me.

Alone on the Shore

There were a few years in my life when February wasn’t cold. During the weeknight evenings I used to go on a walk in my sandals. I left my dorm room and would walk through the dark campus, across the Little Circle and down the main road past the PCC and the McDonald’s. I would enter the pass that cut between two beach houses because there is no such thing as private beach property in the state of Hawaii. A public easement exists for access to the beach at all times for all people. As I walked, I could hear the waves long before I could see them. I always was amazed at the waves, as they rolled their never ending push to the shore. No matter what day or time from before the beginning of time, the small waves of the Leeward side of Oahu came ashore, beckoning come to all who would hear. At night on my walks in Hawaii, I would sit and listen to the waves and look up at the most brilliant sky of stars I have ever seen. I would think, plan and remember. I listened to music. I sat in silence. I even shed a tear or two while there on the dark beach, alone, my feet buried in the fine sand. At times, I walked where the earth met the sea, but most of the time I sat or stood in the same general area and pondered. On the stretch of beach I frequented I could be free from the nighttime array of lovers and troublemakers further up the shore. I could be alone.

My life is different now, with a busy job and young family. February is always cold now and I have nowhere to walk, to be alone, to stare at the stars shining down across the eternal restless sea.