Life lately has been on the more stressful side of the spectrum, as you might have guessed. Though I have been out of school for six years now, I still long for those endless summer days. I miss having the opportunity to do as I wish for eight weeks; I miss feeling the warm sun on my skin at three in the afternoon, as I go outside to do everything and nothing. Most of all, I miss the feeling of wanting to go back to work at summer’s end. I know it’s time for a break when my days off blur into the quagmire of the workweek. For me, the marker of a great vacation is when I can’t wait to leave and, somewhere along the line, I realize that I can’t wait to get back. This is how I was feeling when we finally departed for a long weekend at the beach.
Thankfully, our days were filled with sand, sun, and rest. We drove far enough away from home that we had nothing to do but simply exist. Without the hassle of cooking and cleaning, I was able to be more present than I have in a long while. I noticed that I had less anxiety and my physical aches and pains went away. I didn’t second-guess myself about every little thing. But when I did, I was mindful enough to notice and call it out for what it was: a saboteur. From there I was able to remind myself that I was right there in the physical arms of an ocean; I did not have to be in the worries of an anxious mind.
Yoga on the beach, my favorite!
Additionally, we ate meals in peace. After a quick run to the grocery store on Saturday morning, we enjoyed a breakfast of coffee, muffins, and strawberries on the beach. I’ve never had breakfast on the beach before, which added to the weekend’s novelty. We also grabbed deli sandwiches and sides from the store in order to maximize beach time. Each evening we enjoyed exploring the beach town, winding our way to whichever restaurant suited us best. One morning we explored a nearby city and found our way to the largest plate of French Toast ever (and I needed a nap to recover from that one!). As the day passed, I held myself over with crackers and cheese and White Claws at the beach, and wrapped it all up with an ice cream Sundae on Sunday. There’s something so mundane and marvelous about eating food slowly, and especially feeling satisfied and guiltless at the end of the meal. It’s a perfect experience that I want to turn into a habit.
There were many wonderful moments of the trip and I knew it was a true success for everyone when my husband said, “this was a good trip,” out of nowhere and to no one. Coming home, I was reminded of this: “Our memories of the ocean will linger on, long after our footprints in the sand are gone.” – Anonymous
I’d love to know: where are you headed this summer?