To everything, turn, turn, turn. There’s a time to work and a time to hang out.

Sometimes, you just have to go with your gut and let plans slide. Just because you spent a day clearing your plate so you could finally finish that writing project, doesn’t mean that you can’t look at a 90 degree day with an option for a day sitting on the beach, chatting with the girls and watching a lone surfer catch some pretty gnarly waves and say: “I choose door #2, Monty!”, grab the beach chair and sun screen and run, not walk to that stretch of sand where the cool breeze caresses your skin which, despite the sun screen, is turning rather pink.

This option could not have come at a better time, either. After nearly a week of avoiding Humanity like the plague, I was just about ready to come out of my self-imposed hidey hole. What better place to do it than a beautiful beach near the marina in the company of a couple of women who have no intention of spoiling the day with any kind of negativity? Better still, school is back in session, so the only children in sight were well-supervised toddlers. beach day 2

That’s exactly what we did, and as you can see, the day could not have been any more perfect! The sky was blue, the waves were crashing dramatically on the shore, dogs were romping, but far enough away that we could enjoy their antics without being splattered with sand or doused with sea water. Of course, my friend, Dezi and her high school friend looked like a couple of models right off of the runway, while I was my usual, comfortable self. The idea of moussing my hair or putting makeup on to go to the beach doesn’t even cross my mind! Not that my Mama didn’t raise me to look perfect when I walked out my front door. Her lessons just didn’t take as I will always prefer comfort over fashion. Dezi, on the other hand, even managed to look amazing hours after surgery!

It takes all kinds, and I’m the kind who likes going unnoticed

It occurs to me that we choose to use our time in completely different ways. Dezi, as well as a couple of other friends of mine, will get up an hour and a half to two hours before they leave the house so they can ensure that they look like a picture out of a magazine when they walk out the door. I’ll use that same time to feed the cats, eat a light breakfast, linger over a cup of coffee and check my email. And frankly, to look as good as they do after an hour or so of primping, I’d need at least three! My personal canvas doesn’t have the muscle memory theirs does! Years of looking perfect has given them the practice they need to accomplish a great deal more than I can in the same amount of time.

These are women who, even in their 40’s (and they will continue long into their 50’s and 60’s), turn heads wherever they go. They take a lot of pride in their appearance and it shows. I give them a great deal of credit for putting all of that effort in. It makes them feel good, so why shouldn’t they? Me? I couldn’t care less if I turn a head or not, and as long as I’m comfortable, clean and relatively neat when I leave the house, that’s quite enough for me! But you can bet your bippie I know who to go to for advice when I need to look good for a book signing tour or a walk on the red carpet when my books are made into movies! Until then, I’ll be their comfy friend who is happy to fade into the background while they soak up all of the attention. The Hermit in me is very grateful for friends who allow me to hide in the shadows and people watch! How else do I get inspiration for my characters?

Nothing like a little sunburn and blisters to let you know you had an amazing day!

As I slowly wind down from my day, surrounded by my cats who are quite happy that I spend my time as I do, I appreciate the light pink cast to my skin, the evidence that I didn’t apply the sun screen as evenly as I could have, and walk gingerly on the blisters gracing the balls of my feet from either hot I didn’t register or sand rubbing inside my shoes. These are my trophies for a day spent doing something I wanted to rather than following a rigid schedule and doing what I needed to today. I know that in between appointments and commitments over the next few days, I’ll get back to what I need to do, refreshed and inspired, and will likely do a better job than I might have had I just tied myself to the desk and plowed through.

I still feel like I need to take Humanity in small doses, but those doses are a great deal larger than they’ve been for the last week. Typically, the progress I make is in baby steps, but those baby steps continue to add up, and someday, I’ll realize that, along the way, I’ve taken a giant step, or at least one besides the giant leap of faith I took last December which led me to the career path I’m on today. Some may call it retired, but I see it as following the path I was meant to follow, but just took awhile before I was willing to take a few risks and try!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for a day of sunshine and relaxation.
2. I am grateful for friends who give me different examples of character and archetype.
3. I am grateful for new perspectives.
4. I am grateful for the large amount of alone time I have these days.
5. I am grateful for abundance: freedom, individuality, love, friendship, happiness, peace,health and prosperity.

Namaste

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