"We need to do this more." - Us.
We live a mile from the Pacific Coast, and we find ourselves rarely taking advantage of it, especially during the winter months. Just like everyone else, we get wrapped in our lives and the stresses each day can bring. We talk about stress as if most of it is out of our control. I feel we get set on auto-pilot-mode, letting others dictate our decisions. The emotional toll that stress brings allows us to get lazy. It is easy to sit on the couch after a day at work to watch something mind-numbing, order some food from whatever food-delivery app has the best deal of the day, and pass out. Our laziness can be a vicious cycle.
I had a rare Saturday night off, and instead of going to a happy hour somewhere, getting tired, and crashing on the couch, Jamie and I decided to do a beach picnic. I raced home from work and kicked off my shoes - exchanging them for my flip flops - and we rolled down the hill to the beach in our comfortably converted VW Vanagon. There was almost no one on the beach, so we picked a spot to spread out and enjoyed the sunset. The summer breeze was coming in from the sea, and the sounds of the ocean crashing down on the sand played softly in the background as we dug into our dinner.
It is nice to put the phones down and have a conversation. I love technology as much as anyone; however, unplugging can help clear your head and get back to the scenery around us. Beauty is everywhere; you don't need a beach picnic to realize it - not to say that it doesn't help. There is always something beautiful around if we take a second to notice it. As the sun set and disappeared behind the Santa Monica mountains, I almost wanted to clap as if a band had just finished their encore.
We stayed on the beach for an extra few minutes to finish our drinks and snap a few photos; not a bad little Saturday night. We both committed to doing this more often. If I could, I would eat every meal on the beach. Take a second to see if you can find something worth pausing and admiring today.
It might just change your mood.