In an effort to get out of the house today and away from the four walls of my living room, Joe & I spent a few hours at the beach. Little man was playing at daycare and it was a warm 60ish degrees here. I bundled up since I am constantly cold in between hot flashes and we drove to the jetties at our favorite local beach.
When we arrived, Joe started to setup our chairs and I went to find a bathroom. Typically there are porta-potties in this location but I think since the tide was just going out, they weren’t setup there yet. I started up a walkway that I have always seen but never explored. I asked a fisherman on the way up if there was a bathroom at the end and he advised that there was so I kept on.
Well, that was a rather long walk to the end! The walkway spread over the sand dunes and ended up next to the intracoastal waterway. You could see the local lighthouse in the distance the entire time. There were multiple walkouts to see the water on the inland side, including lots of areas to picnic and bring pets. About a 10 minute walk later, which happens to be the most I’ve moved about since surgery, I found the end. It was a cute little park that even had free sand toys for the little ones to borrow.
On my way back, I decided to checkout the lookout tower that I had passed along the way. The view from up top was incredible. I could see the waves crashing on the beach and a dolphin jumping in the intracoastal, with the lighthouse in between.
I saw dozens of birds, collected a few beautiful shells and saw a few sea urchins on my walk. I’ve been to the jetties dozens of times and never explored this area of the beach. Though I was a little out of breath and tired by the time I returned to Joe, it was a fun accidental adventure! I was able to relax on the beach while watching the waves afterwards. Such a wonderful way to spend the day with my husband.
I know I’ve said it before but the beach heals my body and soul. The salt water, the sound of the waves and the birds, the wind blowing lightly and the sun overhead…it’s exactly what I needed today.
Have you found yourself on an accidental adventure before?
When going through chemo treatments, the days following each session were relatively consistent. I knew about which day that I would feel my worst, which I would start to feel better, when the metal taste began to disappear, when my appetite started to come back, etc. Each treatment I would focus on the recovery days; the good days where I knew I would start to feel better again. Having these “end” dates in my head helped me to focus on them. They were my goal dates. I knew that if I could stay strong and get through the hardest days, that the good days were waiting for me at the end. Every treatment has helped me to stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel.
I wanted to take this same approach after surgery. I knew that surgery would be challenging and I knew the recovery would be long. But I also knew that I would eventually start to feel better, one day at a time. After chatting with a fellow survivor, who had surgery in December, I learned that she was at the beach within the first week after surgery. I don’t recall the exact day she went after her surgery but I knew that was the goal that I wanted to set for myself…a visit to my happy place.
I didn’t want to push myself too hard so I decided my goal was to be at the beach by Saturday. Even if it was for a few minutes and even if I didn’t get out of the car, my goal was to be there.
So today, that’s where we headed. It took some extra preparations but we made it!
The beach continues to cleanse my soul and clear my head. It is my happy place and being there with people I love makes the day even more special.
It was a short visit because the rain met us there soon after we arrived. I am tired and sore from the little bit of walking that we did. But it was worth it. To feel the wind blowing, smell the salt in the air, hear the waves crashing and see the waves moving as they rolled up the sand…made for a perfect day.
I hope you all are able to spend some time at your happy place this weekend with people you love! 💚
There was a day, after our son was born, that my husband and I escaped to the beach – just the two of us. We went to one of our favorite spots, where Ponce Inlet meets the open ocean.
The sun was out but it was overcast and the skies all around showed signs of rain. The wind was strong, blowing the sand against our legs as we walked. We set up next to the jetties, where the waves crashed against the rocks. I laid on a beach chair, wrapped in a towel, staring at the waves. My husband stood in the ocean, amongst the white caps, and cast his fishing line.
As the temperature dropped and the skies darkened, the misty rain began to fall. The nearby lighthouse lens shone brightly against the darkness, something I have not witnessed in person before that day. We stayed despite the rain and watched the rough surf as it fought against itself amidst the brewing storm. The day was wonderful.
As cliché as it may sound, the beach is my happy place. It washes away all the worries of the world, breathes new, clean life into my lungs and cleanses my soul. No matter what battle I face, what struggles lie ahead – the ocean grounds me. Even on a dreary, rainy day, it centers me. It allows me the opportunity to start fresh on this journey of life.
Where is your happy place?