when you chill out.
When we were in Clearwater, Florida on Sebastian’s Dream trip I bought a fridge magnet with this mantra overlaying a picture of white sand, blue skies, turquoise waters, and palm trees. It’s now on our fridge.
When we were at the beach, I was happy. The forecast was one big yellow sun and temps over 30C (80F). Every single day. The sand was white, cool beneath the surface, and hot to the touch by lunchtime. Our hotel restaurant had a patio facing the water where exotic Florida birds visited each meal. We walked along the Beachwalk every night after dinner to watch the sunset (which didn’t happen until after 8pm). Each night I asked Sebastian, just to make sure, whether he wanted to go for a walk and watch the sunset and it was always YES. I could tell he was tired from the days’ events of meeting dolphins, boat rides, swims in the hotel pool or in the ocean, a visit to the Tampa Zoo, etc. but it was always YES. And so we did.
Sometimes we left Seb’s chair on the pavement, near a tree, and walked onto the sand. Sometimes we walked to the pier. Sometimes we just sat and watched. Tallula didn’t want to leave. She wanted her body buried in sand and her toes wet on the shore. She wanted one more ice cream cone. We didn’t have to be up at a certain time the next morning. No one had to rush out the door to school or work or play group. We could sleep in, or like most families with toddlers, wake up with the body clock just like every other day. We were all happy.
I thought about how I could make this feeling last. How we could carry it back with us and into our daily routine. I thought about how we could move to the beach somewhere. I thought about how ali could work less and vacation more. I thought about days without appointments and meetings and classes. Then I thought about the reality of our lives and how we live them and what we need to do. The things we can’t change (hut on the beach? unlikely). The doctors we still have to visit. The meetings we must keep. I really wanted to do something to make us feel more like we did when we were at the beach and less like we do as we work to get through our lives day to day, oftentimes rushing to appointments and meetings. I thought about time and my reaction to all of these things. How the way you approach life is ultimately how you will live it and whether it will be enjoyed.
And so I choose to start here. Chilling out. Enjoying the sunshine at the park. Having desert first sometimes. Taking a walk at dusk instead of sunset. Going for bike rides. Find new places to adventure. Writing more. Stressing less. And figuring out how to make the meetings shorter and the appointments left often. Because as soon as we arrived back from our beach bliss, our week was jumbled with all of the things that make it difficult to chill out. But I just keep reminding myself.