Before & After

This blog’s “About” page narrates a bit about my life before and after making the decisions that led me to life on an island. That’s the big picture. But all kinds of minutiae really drive home how my life has changed – for the better – from BEFORE to NOW. For example:

Before – The alarm clock would jolt me rudely awake in the morning.
Now – I never use an alarm. Instead, I awaken naturally around 6:30 a.m. – give or take 15 minutes – as the light filters in. If I’m really drowsy, my back-up “alarm” is the sound of the 6:30 a.m. boat passing by with people from a neighboring island heading to work on my island and others nearby.

Before – I paid oodles of money to a City salon every few months to add blonde highlights to my dark blonde hair.
Now – No salon. Although still dark blonde at the roots as it’s growing in, my hair overall is super-bleached out by the sun and salt. For free.

Before – I almost always wore heels of some sort when I went out in the evening.
Now – I almost always wear flip-flops when I go out in the evening. And, umm, that would be my nice flip-flops, as opposed to my kick-around daytime flip-flops! 🙂

Before – I didn’t pay much attention to the night sky, and didn’t see many stars when I did.
Now – Every night is a dazzling show of wonder.

Before – My lunch was usually a store-bought sandwich eaten at my desk as I worked. Dinner was either a restaurant meal or bag of  hips/dip in front of the tv at home.
Now – Although I occasionally enjoy a dinner out on the town (you know, at one of the two restaurants), lunches and dinners are usually home-cooked and healthy. Yes, Mom, even fruits and vegetables!

Before – I rarely to never exercised. I even paid someone to walk my dog while I was at work.
Now – I walk my dog several times a day, and enjoy getting together with friends for outdoor yoga or brisk walks through the island.

Before – I saw my family in Florida for a week at Christmas and a couple other quick trips each year.
Now – I spend time with my family almost every month when I pop over to Florida for island errands, doc appointments, etc.

Before – Despite plenty of friends in the City, we were all busy in our lives, and there were plenty of times that I was simply lonely.
Now – I am surrounded by loved ones and interact with friends on a daily basis. Just walking out the front door, I’ll bump into a handful of friends while walking the dog or running to the store for an onion.

Before – Dinner with friends was a fun night out at a trendy restaurant.
Now – Dinner with friends is a fun night in – a more laid-back, intimate gathering, taking turns hosting in our own homes.

Before – I loved my downtown condo, but my view was a very urban one: looking at other condos from the front and overlooking a not-so-glamorous alley from the back!
Now – Water, water, water is my peaceful view from most living areas of my home.

Before – I was fairly addicted to taking taxicabs everywhere.
Now – Addiction cured; no taxis exist on the island!

Before – Although I recycled, I didn’t think much more about waste or garbage.
Now – I try not to waste food, and I compost scraps since I don’t have a food disposal. I’m also acutely aware that any waste I create goes to the local dump, which we try to contain since it’s a tiny island and there’s nowhere else for garbage to go!

Before – I went to work in the dark and came home in the dark. Fresh air and I interacted very little.
Now – I am outside frequently throughout the day and eve, and, even when I’m inside, I usually have the windows and doors thrown open to the ocean breeze.

Before – On occasion, I would feel happy immediately upon waking. But most mornings, I felt either ambivalence or actual dread of the day.
Now – Most days, I wake up happy, content, rested, peaceful and looking forward to the day.

8 Responses to Before & After

  • Joe D says:

    Such a cool blog… Even if we cant all live on an island, we should take the time to enjoy life's many blessings! They are all around. Thanks for the reminder, Dawn — keep up the good work. Thoughtful and appreciative – two excellent qualities!

  • tagal says:

    All great life changes/improvements! I am very happy for you.

  • Sarah says:

    Wonderful synopsis, Dawn, of how one's day to day routine changes when one chooses the better life. Our tiny island is not for everyone. It might be a little too slow for some, and lack amenities they consider "essential". As for me, I think it's as close to perfect as one can get in this life. Can't wait to come back Home.

  • tagal says:

    Although I have never worn heels, I can relate to some degree with everything else. The "NOWs" are so much better!Very happy for you!!!

  • Dawn says:

    Thanks, Joe! I'm glad you're enjoying the blog, and thanks for taking time to make a comment. As you clearly know, appreciating the good in our lives keeps bringing more of it our way!

  • Dawn says:

    Thanks so very much, tagal. (And no worries, I'm guessing you commented twice because you wondered what happened to the first one! I was offline this weekend so there was greater delay in the comments being published.)

  • Dawn says:

    Sarah, thank you so much! You can certainly appreciate it all, having chosen the better life for yourself! See you home soon.

  • Dawn says:

    Tagal, I love your humor! Also love that you're following along and taking the time to comment, thank you. Enjoys your "NOWs" as well!

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