Life’s (Not) a Beach

These past several days have been so busy, so ripe with tasks and opportunities, that I find myself wondering if I’m allowed to stop plucking for a moment and catch my breath. I steep a mug of green tea—a sneaky attempt to ease myself out of late afternoon coffee dependence—and simply sit. It feels strange, and not twenty seconds go by before I’m antsy. Do something! the motivational speaker in my brain urges. Write something! Clean something! Finish something! Be all you can be! I wish I could punch her.

I just want to be. Not to be all I can be, not to be productive or witty or any one of a thousand admirable adjectives, but just to exist. Memories have been weighty burdens lately; I could do without them for awhile. Responsibilities too. I imagine this is what drives normal people to take beach vacations, the prospect of lying under sun and salt spray and forgetting everything else. (When I go to the beach? I stay in the shade all day reading novels unless I’m there with offspring, in which case cleaning sand from crevices factors in significantly.)

Of course, instead of disassociating from the present, I’m writing about it. This defeats the point, I’m sure, but I always feel more settled when I can give sentence structure to my emotions. Plus, a little bit of introspection goes a long way toward reminding me that the present is worth sticking around for. I actually do like the heft of goals and the importance each minute takes on when I’m busy, and I even like needing a late afternoon caffeine boost to wrap up a day well-packed. If the motivational speaker in my head doesn’t shut up soon, however, I’m taking off for the beach and leaving both novels and green tea behind.

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  1. “substantial amounts of cleaning sand from crevices” is exactly why I prefer vacations in cities with lots of sightseeing, or mountains with pretty lakes or…yeah, just about anything BUT a beach 😀

    I have a very hard time just letting myself BE, too. I don’t think a beach getaway would help, though. Hmmm.

  2. you at the beach–exactly what i would do.
    yep, yep, yep.

    hah, i used to try for that tea thing instead of coffee…..riiiight. i didn’t keep that habit going. 😉 went straight to the coffee after a few tries.

    hmm. i like that last part. i wish we had a (somewhat warm) beach near us. 🙂

  3. I am with Liz on this one. Sand=ick. However, we DO go to the beach a lot in the summer. Now, the OCEAN, I love. Probably because I am not near one and it is such an awe-inspiring place. I need to BE too. Because even when I am not really doing anything, I am still THINKING of all that needs to be done. NOT relaxing. Want to meet up at the OCEAN? Sounds good to me.

  4. Liz – I’m a mountain-slash-city person myself. Maybe has something to do with the fact that I sunburn in less time it takes most people to pull out all their beach gear? At any rate, I think the beach threat in this post was more to scare myself than anyone else. 🙂

    Beka – The part I left out is that the “shade” I often use is the hotel room. It’s just such a luxury to stay in bed all day that all the aquatic activities outside fail to measure up. 🙂

    Megsie – I do love walking along the ocean, especially at night or early-early in the morning. Sound like a plan in the making?

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