The beach has never held my attention. I love to look at the water, but it just wasn’t for me. Today, I’m sitting alone in a new place near a beautiful creek, feeling a little out of place and listening to the Jimmy Buffett station on Pandora. The soft breeze blowing through the curtains and the lapping noise of the creek have me rethinking my previous judgement on beach living. Why not the beach? The warmer weather is definitely growing on me, I never miss the cold, ice and snow any longer.
The mountains completely changed me, but now I am a little uneasy….like another change is imminent. I have this strange and very strong urge to buy a pair of flip flops. I am thinking of trading my work boots in for a pair. So how does a girl who has hardly ever even worn a pair of shorts in public change her entire attitude toward a warmer lifestyle?
I’m digging the laid back vibes of Bob Marley, daydreaming about drinking a cold adult beverage (or two) while reading “Where is Joe Merchant” (by Jimmy Buffett) and feeling the sun’s rays envelope my skin like a cozy blanket fresh from the dryer!
One of my biggest problems is that I am totally dedicated to a life full of worry and anxiety. Those things have defined me for years. If I don’t have something real or imagined to worry about I actually get anxious and start to worry more. Hardly a day goes by that there isn’t a huge knot in my stomach. I stand constantly wringing my hands waiting for the next bad thing to happen. It is an exhausting way to live. Sleep is difficult as that is when the panic comes and the days bring no relief.
Can the beach help me with these feelings? Can I start a recovery program from my addiction to worry and trade the anxiety in for a life of sun and peacefulness? I have seen many pictures of friends and family vacationing at the beach. The common denominators are the smiles and the looks of joy. The places my be different and the people’s life situations are varied and complicated but joy always looks the same. There is something to the sand, water and the sun.
My journey has been about finding peace. I’ve tried different places and different lifestyles. The peace has come and gone. I’ve had brief periods of it and I really like it. I know now it’s not about things, it’s not about what others think of me, and it’s not about conforming. It’s about being comfortable in your own skin and trusting that God is opening new and exciting doors. I have to put the worry, the stomach knots and the wringing hands in a sealed box and throw it deep into the ocean never to be seen again.
Does the beach hold a place for me? Not right now but soon maybe. I really need to get my head right as well as my heart. Finally I’m starting to see that all the worry hasn’t gotten me anything but sick and tired. I’ve had nights I wished I would not wake up, just too tired from the constant drain of what little energy I had. That’s all about to change.
I don’t care where I’m at, but I’m going to live with that beach ideal. The beach may only be in my mind for now but I can sit by the river with a frosty pour while listening to beach music and pretend the sand is warming my toes. It’s not so much about location as it is attitude. You can choose to be miserable in the most beautiful place in the world or you can find peace wherever you are. I’m going to choose the latter.
I’m off to get those flip flops. It’s not much but it’s a start. Maybe one day I will wear a pair of shorts…..let’s not go too crazy. One step at a time.