Okay, so I took Monday off, bet you did too. Consider this new tune for Tuesday, or more accurately as I look at the clock, a wonder of the music world Wednesday!
There’s nothing like a week of relaxing beach days loaded with sunshine, fresh air, family, and a smattering of fun friends. The quiet, simple pleasures of a vacation can make all the difference in my outlook on life.
One of my favorite experiences, while at the beach, is witnessing the incredible sunrises over the ocean. My circadian rhythm had me waking up at 5:45 each morning in anticipation of the early beauty of the sunrise. What is crazy, is that I am a late night gal and even if I was turning out my lights at 1:00 am, I would still automatically wake at 5:45. In the quiet time, as I waited with anticipation of the first light on the horizon, a great deal of thinking occurred. Each sunrise proved to be distinctly different. The regularity of our earth spinning and the knowledge of the sun eventually peeping its head over the long, low horizon was satisfying and comforting. Watching the glistening, gilded edges of a morning sunrise can be somewhat life changing and transformative.
Discovery and awareness can happen in the oddest moments. I take note of it more and more, as I watch the calendar blow by so quickly. Some things that seemed so important at the time, fall away and reveal the truth that maybe they weren’t so important after all. Relationships and friendships are so simple with the right people. There is no worry or fear, it just breathes a simple inhale and exhale that doesn’t have to be thought out or forced. I know happy relationships take a bit of work, but sometimes I am too tired to work very hard. I think it should also be easy and feel right. That doesn’t mean it will always be that way, but surely it should fall gently and regularly into that easy pattern, more often than not.
Laughter, wit, honesty, self-awareness, passion, respect, and flexibility seem to rule my choices of the people I choose to be around. They work hard, play hard, are curious about the world, and their actions are often genuinely guided by empathy and understanding of all people and our world. You see, I seek all of those things out because that is what I want to be for others. I welcome different opinions in an intelligent conversation of listening and sharing, but the moment the other person stands head strong in an opinion that baffles my mind and shows no flexibility or understanding of another side to the coin, I have to move away.
During this amazing week of relaxation, I also shockingly got up off of my duff and set a goal to get in 100 miles on my bike. I am happy to report that my mission was accomplished!
I feel really, really good, and found my quiet long rides provided time for me to also think and contemplate my life, my wants, my goals, and my next move. Each ride wasn’t the least bit boring, despite the lack of rolling topography. When I felt brave enough to attack the bridges, the rides provided just enough fear, that I had to dig deep down to get through it, white knuckles and all. Traveling at breakneck speeds over several bridges while my wheels were almost blown out from under me (due to the intense wind) was incredibly thrilling.
Yep, I will do it again, and again.
In a beach town, people are happy and gracious to bikers. They appreciated the slower pace and didn’t mind waiting to pass and give extra room. When I ride long distances in Atlanta, I sometimes fear for my life. Instead of the exhilarating, adrenaline rush of the ride, I fear the next intersection or curve with a passing car. During my rides this week, I saw some truly beautiful, expansive sights, but I also noted the little eye-catching things, like a flag flying in the wind, a street corner of wildflowers, an egret stalking its breakfast, the sound of a bee thumping my helmet, as I accidentally crashed into his flight path, or even the joy, laughter, and music coming from multiple moving cars with rolled down windows. It was a welcome surprise to have a slower pace where I could take note of all of the lovely details.
The last day as I biked, to make my 100 mile goal, I realized it wasn’t accomplishing my goal at all that was responsible for my happiness. I had an epiphany that life really isn’t controlled by what is happening right now, at this very moment. It is controlled by the deep light from within. The outer surroundings are not the key at all. Sure bad things can happen, but to focus on a detail of beauty can make all of the difference in creating a foundation to satisfying personal growth. I really didn’t need a beach vacation, I just needed time to myself to quietly think and once again, find something lovely in whatever place I choose to direct my focus. This is so hard to put into words, but just know, I was overwhelmed with emotion and a new-found understanding in what truly makes me tick.
So perhaps my happiness isn’t contingent on things or wishes or wants… Joy comes from deep within me.
“Justice, where are you?
I think I’m lookin’ for you in all the wrong places, baby….”