Sometimes I forget that I live on an island.
I forget because it’s not your typical island, one that’s studded with palm trees and picture perfect weather. My island is Long Island, which is part of New York state. Both beautiful and unique, it has a completely different vibe. We have several beaches across the 118 mile stretch; some rocky and some smooth… some with billowing bluffs. You’ll find shrubby pines amongst the sea grass, and if you look close enough you might spot a deer. It may not be tropical, but it sure is wonderful.
In true local fashion, I didn’t go to the beach once this summer. We spent most of our days swimming in the pool and hanging out in the backyard. The month of September is a completely different story. This is my most favorite time of the year. The weather is warm and sunny, and the crowds have completely disappeared.
Just how I like it.
So last week, I took a day off. I excused myself from life duties to wind down.
I had a date with the boys and the beach. No interesting food accompanied us on our journey, as it was a last minute decision and I had nothing in the house. I did however, manage to smush some peanut butter and jelly into a hot dog roll (I know) and went on my merry little way. The seagulls don’t discriminate; they set up camp practically in my lap.
We built sandcastles and played ball. We splashed in the surf. A couple of giant clam shells made it home with us too.
It was a good day.
The plan is to incorporate the calm into my everyday life.
Making the conscious effort to take a break can be really difficult. It took me a good 30 minutes before I could actually relax in the sand (the beer helped too)! But when I finally reached that point, it felt good. It felt good to stare off into the distance muting the chatter that often wrestles my brain. It felt good to unplug. The sound of the waves and the clamor of seashells hit the reset button- instantly. Void of leafy palms and coconut-scented air, exploring my own natural surroundings provided the perfect backdrop to wind down.
And sometimes, that’s all you need.