Noho’ana Hau’ole: Life Is Good

(photo credit:Dustin Belt/Unsplash)

Some of you reading this may recognize the title of this post! It was the name of an old blog that I segued into as we moved from paying off our debt to getting ready to move to Hawaii in 2014. It rolled over to another blog, The View From the Treehouse, which eventually became The Occasional Nomads in 2015.

You know what though? Life is still very good. It’s definitely not perfect, nor do we expect it to be, and things go wrong from time to time, but mostly things go right or we’re able to figure out another path to reach our goals. I have always been a “glass half full” kind of girl, and these days we look at life through a lens of positivity, and try to find joy every day.

Over the past few years, Brett and I have been able to pare down many of the things we thought we needed to live a quality life. We are living more simply these days, with fewer needs and a lot less stuff. Doing so has not only helped us reach our travel goals, but left us happier and with more time to pursue the things we enjoy. We consider ourselves a work in progress – we still have a ways to go to reach true minimalism.

Below are a few more reasons life is good these days:

We’re in good health and in good shape for our ages. Brett is 71; I’m 69, and all things considered we’re doing very well, health wise. Neither of us is without aches and pains and other issues of aging, but in the grand scheme of things these things are minor. We have been blessed with good health insurance (Tricare and Medicare), dental insurance, and vision insurance that will go with us anywhere in the world. We are vaccinated against COVID which opens up most of the world to us, and between mask wearing and social distancing we have avoided getting sick (with our fingers are crossed for the future). The (mostly) good weather in Hawaii allows us to exercise almost daily, and we can afford to eat a healthy diet.

Our income is sufficient. We have never made much money. When I look back and remember how little we had when we were raising our kids I’m frankly stumped by how we did it. Life is financially easier now because it’s just the two of us, but we are still not what anyone would call rich or wealthy by any means. We’re . . . comfortable. We’ve developed strategies for coping with high prices over the years, and those strategies have meant we haven’t felt inflation’s effects too much. We’re still able to put money away into savings each month, and help out with college expenses, and between our savings and income we can afford to travel and cover our Christmas expenses this year.

We live in an amazing place. The beauty of Kaua’i inspires us every day, even if we’re only walking at the park, looking out into the yard, or watching the sun set from our living room. We experience the beauty and grace of aloha every day as well in a myriad of ways. The experience of living here has been life-changing, and moving here one of the best choices we ever made.

Our children are doing well. We finally are on the cusp of having a truly empty nest. We always felt our goal as parents was to help our children develop the skills to fly and succeed with their own wings while still feeling grounded and rooted in our family, and as our youngest gets ready to graduate from college in a few months we feel as if we have succeeded beyond our wildest expectations.

We have something to look forward to every day. We are excited and full of anticipation over our upcoming travel schedule, but we always look forward to each day, and even the small things we do each day. We still have much to do to get ready for next year’s adventure, but every day we do at least one thing that brings us closer to our goal.

We have everything we need. We have what we need and more, actually, something we’re discovering almost daily as we downsize and get ready to go. Choices we have made along the way, the things we have bought, have served us well and brought us happiness, but it’s time for most of them to be passed on to others. We don’t want for anything.

A long time ago, when I became pregnant, a wise friend, a psychologist, told me I could experience my pregnancy in one of two ways: I could decide to be miserable, or I could decide it was the most wonderful experience ever no matter what happened. I chose wonderful, and in spite of being separated from Brett for most of the time (we were stationed in different places), plus having a physically difficult pregnancy followed by a difficult delivery, it still remains a completely wonderful experience to this day. Brett and I decided would enjoy retirement in the same way, that no matter what came our way we would enjoy this time of our lives to the fullest. Our lives and situation are not perfect nor will they ever be, but for now we are not only surviving but thriving, and looking forward to getting to do what we love most in the near future: travel! We are living the good life in a way that fits us perfectly, and each day is a blessing. Noho’ana hau’ole!


8 thoughts on “Noho’ana Hau’ole: Life Is Good

  1. I remember the “Life is Good” blog! I think that your friend was very wise to always look for the wonderful things in every situation. I am a naturally optimistic person but I think it important to look for the good things in your life, even (especially) when things are tough. I have so much to be thankful for and your blog post made me take a minute to stop and appreciate the good things. A very timely post with Thanksgiving next week.


    1. Life Is Good was a good transitional blog. I remember that I had all sorts of trouble though with WordPress after we moved here and so I discontinued it. Of course when I closed the blog that came after I lost all of those posts. Anyway, life continues to be good. Not perfect, but then what life is? But life is still very good these days, better than we imagined.


  2. I enjoy your blog.You and Brett have a more adventurous spirit as far as travel and relocation than do my husband and I.. and your adventures are fun to follow! I appreciate your view of life and living to the max on a budget.I also look back on those early years of marriage and parenthood and wonder how we did it,too, but we did!! Retirement is easy in comparison! A simpler life is definitely rewarding. Spending time on cooking home cooked meals,volunteering, some travels, hiking, biking, lots of time in nature, visiting with friends and family—that’s what it’s all about,right?!


    1. Thanks, Madeline!

      I remember when our son was born, after paying our bills (rent, utilities, and a $25/month payment for a washer and dryer), we had exactly $36 left over for food . . . and we had to buy baby formula out of that! Still, we are pretty well and survived. Just a year later we tried to spend just $36 one payday and couldn’t do it. Talk about wondering how we did it!

      But, we learned how to live on with a budget and make the most of what we have. We’ve had a good life that’s turned out better than we ever imagined.


    1. Thank you! The friend I mentioned in the post had such a big influence on how I see life now – my time spent with her was life-changing and she helped me understand that bad times don’t last, but good times don’t either, so make the most of them. And, always choose wonderful. My grandmother was also a huge influence even though I didn’t realize it at the time – she never had an unkind word about anything (she truly lived “if you don’t have anything nice to say about something, then don’t say anything at all”). I’ve never been as good as she was, but I try!


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