I have seen quotes that “the ocean fixes everything”, all I know is it sure fixes me..
Spending time at the beach brings me so much joy. It is really my happy place and I love nothing more in life than sitting on a beach relaxing and reading a book. But it also has a way of “fixing” me.
I have had a bit of stress in my life recently and while I know things always have a way of working out sometimes it just gets overwhelming. I get so mad at myself for not being able to just rise above it all and move on but it truly seems harder and harder to do that. I think when we are young we think we are invincible and that we have all the time in the world. We expect good things to happen and they do. As we age we are dealing with so many things we didn’t know we would be facing at this point in our lives so it just makes it a little harder to keep coming back time and time again. I am not one to feel sorry for myself and I always look at the glass as half full but sometimes it is hard to do that. So then on top of not coping with things the way I should, I feel guilty for feeling the way I do.
“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always our self we find in the sea.” ~ E.E.Cummings
Spending time at the beach last week reaffirmed just how much the ocean brings me back and soothes my soul. I have always loved the beach ever since my parents took me to Atlantic City, NJ when I was maybe 4 or 5 years old. And I have never missed a single year since that very first time. I need that ocean fix, I crave it and can always tell when it is time for me to go again. I just need to sit on a beach somewhere and just “be”.
Why does the ocean make me feel this way? What is it that comes over me and takes me out of myself, fills me with a sense of calm and gets me ready to face the world again? I have never figured it out. I am a fire sign, so it makes sense that the ocean would cool me down and soothe the fire so to speak. I don’t know how or why, I just know it does.
Having just left the quiet, quaint beach town of Chincoteague, VA. I am once again reminded of how much I enjoy the peace and calmness of that kind of place. What a difference from years ago when I had to have the glitz, glamour, stores and bars to enjoy the beach. I craved all the excitement. I loved going to the beach during the day, and even then felt the connection but afterwards I wanted to hang out in all the loud music, filled to the max with people places. No more. The beach and all it has to offer me is quite enough.
I don’t think I am imagining how much of an effect the ocean has on me. I can sit on the beach for hours just watching wave after wave crashing to the shore. I can be quite happy watching sea gulls flying around and maybe seeing an occasional dolphin swimming by. All of that is awesome and I enjoy seeing it, but it is the calmness and feeling of total peace that keeps bringing me back again and again. I feel like I am somehow cleansed and released from all the stresses and things that were bothering me at home. I can almost(yes, almost) forget them and feel like I am me again. The young me that believed that anything was possible and that everything would be ok. I never used to doubt that. But now it gets harder and harder to believe these things I once knew to be true.
Lately, I have had a few set backs trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I love fashion and jewelry and love being a part of that industry. I am not one to just sit and not do anything. Yes, I am retired, and I love it..but I’m not dead. I love people and being around them. However in the period of a year I have been laid off by one company, the second one dropped my hours to zero and the third one is closing the end of July. It is frustrating at my age to start over so many times. And to have the company you really loved working for to just close. I have started over so many times in my life I have lost count. And what was easy and fun to do at 30 isn’t as easy and sure isn’t fun when you are in your 60’s. So as I sat on the beach last week I pondered all of this. Then I silently asked, “what’s next?” As I looked straight ahead the clouds in front of me formed a little “U”. I guess I got my answer.
On the way home in the car I was feeling an increasing sense of dread that I was leaving my happy place and would be returning to reality. The stressful things will all still be there and I will have to deal with them again. So I wondered, if I lived at the beach would all these stresses magically just go away or would I still have the same ones I do now but I could walk on the beach every day and sort them out. I plan on being at the beach as much as I can to find out. And it’s way cheaper than therapy!
And so in closing I once again leave you with a question and a quote…Would you live at the beach if you could?
“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or watch – we are going back from whence we came.” ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy