Right after we graduated from college, my Mr. and I moved to Sarasota, Florida (for my job). Our little rental house was in a neighborhood connected to downtown Sarasota, and was about a mile from the beach. I was so excited to live near the beach for the first time ever. I grew up going to the beaches in Florida and California, but one week a year was never enough for me.
I’m one of those people who is always cold, so put me near the equator on a sandy beach — I’m golden.
My job that year was four long days a week with three days off. So I would literally go to the beach every chance I could. Even if it was just for an hour. I knew living there would be temporary (one year) so I wanted to take full advantage. I didn’t want to look back on that year and wish I’d spent more time at the beach since it was right there. I know people who grew up in a beach town but rarely went to the beach. Don’t. get. it.
I went to the beach mostly by myself. I bought one of those ’80s tube plastic folding chairs and would bring magazines, books, my phone, and a beverage of sorts (sometimes cider beer, sometimes water) and would entertain myself for hours. I did a lot of reading and thinking that year. That beach time was like my relaxation/meditation time. I could just sit on my tube chair or walk up and down the beach, enjoy the warm air, listen to the crashing waves, and think. Or not think.
Often I would call family or friends to catch up and just walk up and down the beach for hours talking to them. Even when it was cooler in the winter and I’d have to wear a long-sleeve tee, I’d still go. Even when there was a hurricane we went to see the “big” waves (and ruin an umbrella that flew inside out in the process).
Sure, I love a tan and the warm sun on my skin and all of your typical beach things — but what I really loved about it was the calming feeling it always gave me. Every time I went, I felt better when I left. I could breathe deeper, think clearer, and I felt as though it was a very creative time for me. That beach time would just wipe all of the stress away.
I really enjoyed my year on the beach and look forward to living on the beach again sometime in my life. January through March I usually get really antsy and sick of winter and obsess over beach vacations. Hello winter blues, I’m right in the middle of you. I mean, I literally looked at real estate in Palm Springs the other day, and I don’t even want to buy a house!
Moral of the story is, to me, the beach is much more than just fun in the sun — it’s a soothing place where I can let my mind wander and rejuvenate. It helps me destress, be creative, and really think.
Do you have a place that does this for you?
Photo taken on the seven mile beach when I was in Grand Cayman.