Every year my family spends a week together at the beach.  These last two years we rented a house in Ocean City.  Many times people tell me for what we spend to rent these houses we could have gone to a tropical island.  Yes, we could do that, but I wouldn’t trade these beach weeks for any tropical island.

As I ran early this morning, I reflected on this week.  Each year I feel the same.  Rested, relaxed and sad about leaving.  What is it about the beach that we all love so much?  I think it’s the lifestyle of no schedules and the predictableness of each day here.  Gone is the stress of rushing around trying to do everything yesterday.  Here, time just stands still with no frantic rushing to be somewhere.  For these reasons I rent a house at a beach we can drive too.  No stress over planes and packing, etc.

This all got me wondering why couldn’t our everyday life be more like beach life.  Why can’t we learn to relax more and not always feel the need to fill our days and calendars with endless stuff.  Why can’t life just be easy and more simplistic?

When I think of my life as it is now, the answer is it can be.  It’s about making the conscious choice to saying no to letting life get too hectic.  Saying yes to quiet evenings at home, rather than always seeking to “have fun”. Fun is more about the people you spend time with than the places you go, so stop filling your weekends with events.  Rather, fill them with people you love.  You can have fun at home with just family.  You don’t need to always be out having dinner and drinks.

This week when we get back, I’m going to consciously make note of what is causing stress in my life.  If I can remove these things I will. I’m also going to be sure I carve out time to do the things I want to do for me.  Like running, yoga, reading and writing.  The time is there and I should never feel stressed about doing things I enjoy.

Years ago when we were first married and raising our three children we didn’t have a lot of money.  Life seemed much simpler then.  Family dinners by candle light with restaraunt  like linens.  Camping sleep overs in the family room. Scrabble and puzzle building by the fire. I think I’d like to go back to those times.

As I watch the sunrise tomorrow morning on my last day here, I’ll think of these lovely words by Roxas Mendoza:

 Every time I stand before a beautiful beach, its waves seem to whisper to me: If you choose the simple things and find joy in nature’s simple treasures, life and living need not be so hard.   

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