The weekend is over. Emma has flown home and I’m sitting at the picnic table having my tea and watching the mussel boats drift from one bed to another. It’s a grey day although warm enough, there is no sun. It reflects how I’m feeling, the need to be a little quiet and to take the time to reflect after 4 days of intense girl chat and drinking.
I responded to a few emails this morning from friends who are going through some major life issues right now. 1 has a close aunt who is dying, the other is trying to recover and grieve from the death of her father and brother, fairly intense emails that until I was alone I couldn’t answer. In this beautiful place it becomes easy to slip into the false sense that everything is perfect, and since I am so removed from TO it’s easy to shut it out.
Sometimes we take for granted that we’ve taken the time to discover what we want out of life and where our priorities lie. What we don’t realize is that until you actually sit down to figure out what is important to you, you’re just going along with what every one else claims life should be. Here in this place, where you can hear the constant sound of the waves returning to the beach, the rhythm that will continue for a long time, you have no choice but to listen to that little voice inside your head that has been trying to speak to you.
As usual, when I hear that a friend is ill or a family member dies I begin to reassess my life. Am I doing the right things? What do I actually want from my life? Who do I want to spend my time with? What do I want to do more and less of? It always comes back to family and friends, spending time with the people you love and want to be around, getting away from the negative friends, people and situations that can make you ill.
My friends Aunt was the “change of life” baby for her grandmother, I think she’s only 20 years older than my friend. She’s lying in pain in a hospital, the doctors don’t know if there is additional complications with her current illness and the only thing they know is that the end will be sooner rather than later. For this woman who is just under retirement age there is no opportunity to do the things that people wait to do, traveling, reading that great book, seeing all the movies in alphabetical order that they’ve been putting off.
It’s hearing this that makes me want to jump up and visit every place I’ve wanted to go, to see my friends who live far away (like Nikki). To see the pyramids in Egypt, and visit Venice, Paris, London,Rome & Greece, to go back to Brazil and Hawaii to surf in the warm blue waters and sit on the sandy beach with a beer. To be at the cottage just staring at the bay and to notice how it changes every day. To spend time with the man I love, and the family and friends who are so important to me. To watch the falling stars at night and to know that there is nothing I’d rather be doing.
I know that you can’t do everything and I realize that you can’t live a life without regrets. Sometimes, the choices you make come with a built-in regret for the road not taken. It’s the act of not doing anything that creates regret, of opportunities and paths not explored. It’s hard to remember this on a daily basis, where life just chugs along the same as everyone elses, where you don’t even realize that your moments are being stolen by not being open to opportunities offered.
I’ve been trying to keep this in mind this summer taking the time to be quiet by the ocean but by opening myself to the experiences that have been offering themselves. And do you know what? I think it might be working, in this place everything is quiet and beautiful.
Dreaming Big from the East Coast,