Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Today I did the smartest thing any woman with my moving To Do list could do...I went to the beach. It was exactly what I needed. I had spent two hours yesterday morning running errands and the afternoon at home trying to get organized (making a list on the computer of everything we need to do before we leave). And then the boyfriend was home from work and he was on the balcony making golf clubs...and the phone started ringing like crazy...and then we had dinner...and suddenly I was asleep in front of the TV. I woke feeling like I didn't get that much accomplished yesterday, but I felt well-rested and ready to continue tackling the To Do list today. I was up at 4, in fact. Drove the boyfriend to work at 6:30. When I got back, I lingered over my coffee while getting caught up on some overdue email replies and then read a few blogs. All the while, I kept thinking about walking at the beach. Then I thought, screw it, I'm just gonna spend the day at the beach. So I loaded up my sand chair (it has a large backpack pocket) with a towel, three books (two partially read, one yet-to-be-read), a yogurt, cereal bar and plum, sunscreen and lip gloss. I filled my insulated mug with Tazo's Zen tea and set off. I was on the beach by 8:45 (although it felt later, having been up for so many hours already.) There were very few people on the beach when I arrived and I enjoyed the early morning hours before the throngs of tourists arrived. The weather was perfect, the water fairly warm and I was able to be alone with my thoughts. I walked up and down the beach at least three different times, went for a couple of swims, had a fat slice of pizza for lunch, finished the partially read books and started the third, and took a nice little nap under my favorite tree. All in all, perfect.

But the best part was that I just got to BE. Just me. Alone. I spent several days at the beach with our visitor last week, but it wasn't the same--there was a lot of conversation during those days and I wasn't moving to my own rhythms. Today was the first day in weeks where I felt myself just go AHHHH. Everyone talks about their AHA! moment--this was an AH moment...a big giant psychic exhale. I knew I was in need of it, but didn't realize just how much until I got to experience it.

I basked in the sun, lounged in the shade, felt the weight of the water as I swam in the bay, smiled at all of the little kids having the time of their lives, greeted fellow walkers with a smile and quite simply enjoyed myself. I had gone with the intention of possibly trying to start to get a handle on what I might like to do once we hit the mainland. But truthfully, I didn't even think about it--I was too busy nurturing myself.

And as I saw the occasional lifeguard strolling the beach I began to think about that word: lifeguard. And it dawned on me how sometimes I don't stand guard over my own life...sometimes I choose instead to wander over and stand guard over someone else's. And that can be an honorable thing to do at times, but not to the exclusion of my needs and desires. Because after all, if I'm not going to guard my life, who will? So I made a vow to myself: from here on out, I'm not going to vacate my post. Posted by Hello


Anonymous lizardek said...

That is a really hard lesson to learn, and sometimes I think it needs repeat visits to the beach (or whatever one's stand-in for the beach is if one doesn't have a beach) throughout the course of your life. A lovely way of looking at it. :)

5:55 PM  

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