Sunday, May 6, 2018

#508 Write Your Name In The Sand

Ahhhh! The Beach. Some people love it. Some people hate it.

I'm not gonna lie, up until maybe 8 years ago, I could care less if I made it to a beach or not. I didn't hate the beach, not at all, but it wasn't something I seriously yearned for like so many others do. If I had an opportunity to visit the beach, of course I enjoyed it. I enjoy all opportunities afforded to me. However now, I do find myself craving some beach time every year.

So, let's get to the purpose of this story. Let's talk about how cathartic it is to write your name in the sand. To many, this may seem like a silly Bucket List goal to have. It is a very simple one. Why would I add something so mundane to my list? I will explain why I added something so mundane to my Bucket List.

I added this mundane thing to my list because it is not at all mundane to me. Like I mentioned above, up until 8 years ago I didn't crave quality beach time like I do now. My love affair with the beach came about unexpectedly. You see, I have actually done some hard time in my life. No, I am not talking about prison, I am talking about the things life throws at me. Some of those things are very trying. Sometimes life hits me so hard that it actually hurts physically, while leaving scars and bruises and fissures along my soul.

It's part of being human. We have all felt that kind of blow at least once in our life. We all have scars and sad stories.

There comes a time though, if we are so lucky, that we hit mid life. ( I hate calling it middle age. It reminds me of bad British history. ) And, a significant part of hitting mid life is becoming cognizant of the culmination of everything you have experienced thus far in life, both good and bad. This day of reckoning hits you out of nowhere and the thoughts become resident in your mind. The culmination of life experiences often takes a toll on many of us by mid life.

Life doesn't always turn out as planned. Some of it is a complete blessing, while some of it can be seriously depressing. We all feel it in some aspect or another. It's a normal part of the whole aging process. And through it all, many of us remain strong in life. We may be tired and exhausted but we are still strong and resilient. I think the thing that separates the warriors from the rest of the pack is being honest with oneself. Knowing your limits, realizing when you need to step away for a few and recognizing your outlets for restoring and recharging your batteries are things warriors take seriously.

There is no benefit to pushing yourself too hard all of the time. You must take time for yourself, even if it is for a few moments. You have too. Sure, it's better to burn out then fade away, but do you wanna burn out in your 30's, 40's and 50's? Doubt it. I don't want to burn out in my 60's or 70's either.

8 years ago I was 36. I had more than my fair share of blessings and curses in my 36 years. Pondering life and reflecting on what I accomplished, figuring out what goals were still important to me and accepting that some of my goals would not be attained was part of the mid life "process" I was going through. Again, most of us go through it in our own way.

This pondering can cause clarity, focus, and determination but on the flip side it can also cause stress, anxiety and depression. Everything has a price tag attached to it. Some of those price tags have a cash value. Some of them have a time value. Some of them require you to compromise a part of your life. You have to figure out what you can and can not afford. You have to figure out what your are willing to spend and what you are willing to do without. Time is ticking louder and louder by the minute and hour.

So, there I was, at the beach thinking of all this mid life stuff, yet again. This stuff consumes me sometimes. I can and will admit that. Most days my mid life haunting is minor but some days it eats me alive. I know the stress and anxiety from "thinking and living" has taken years off my life. It is what it is. I have no choice but to accept that. But, I can still try to get some of those years back.

Anyways, it was at the beach 8 years ago where I realized I was feeling alright while thinking about all these things. I felt contented and strong. Eventually I stopped thinking and focused on enjoying the beauty around me. It dawned on me that there was so much surrounding me that was revitalizing and recharging my being.

The salty air was doing wonders for my breathing, my skin and my hair. The warm, soft sand under my feet was soothing 36 years of walking this earth. The sound of the waves crashing against the beach, all frothy and wild, was like a grown up lullaby for my racing mind. Wadding in the salty waters, allowing the waves to roll up on my calves, relieved 36 years of tension. I had discovered the beach was an incredible outlet for my crazy soul.

So, I wrote my name in the sand. I left a part of me on that sandy beach to be washed away with the tide, just like my worries. It was a lot of fun too. Something so simple, like writing in the sand, made something so complex, like my brain, feel so much better. Now, every time I visit a beach, I try to leave my mark in some written form. Sometimes it is my name, sometimes it is a date, and sometimes it is just a word I am feeling. And whether my mark gets washed away with the salty water, dusted away by the summer wind, or trodden upon by the fellow beach lover, the therapy of it all does not change.

I am now one of those fellow beach lovers who yearns for some quality time with one of natures most healing miracles. And sometimes I graffiti it with a stick. Cuz, that's how I roll. I'm bad ass and relaxed!


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