“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” ~Sydney J. Harris
I live on a beach, and I don’t mean in a box under the boardwalk. Rather, my home is just about 60 seconds away. People tell me I’m lucky when they find out that the beach is basically my backyard.
This implies that we all randomly end up living in places strictly by chance, and that my being here is purely accidental. I obviously chose to live here. But beyond that, the beach life can be a choice, even if you don’t live near one.
I was walking on the boardwalk the other day and realized that I felt as if I were on vacation. Not because I was at the beach, but because of the attitude behind my thoughts. Even though I have lived here for five years, there are always new people to meet and new things to do, so every day can be a vacation.
When was the last time you explored the town you live in or a neighboring town? That could be a fun journey and an escape from the everyday grind, couldn’t it?
“My life is like a stroll on the beach…as near to the edge as I can go.” ~Thoreau
Why is it that we can wait in line at Disney World for an up to an hour for a ride that will last (maybe) three minutes without complaining, but we cannot endure waiting five minutes at the bank or post office? What’s the difference?
Is it our first time in one of these waiting stations? Did we really expect to go right in and out of the bank? Or the doctor?
That’s unrealistic isn’t it? So why the impatience? It’s our attitude that makes the difference.
Yes, there were times when we have quickly gone in and out of the post office or bank, but that is not the norm. Instead it’s a pleasant surprise.
My thinking is this: If you don’t have enough time allotted to go on your errands or you can’t stand to wait for a few minutes, then don’t go.
Save yourself (and others) the aggravation. Now, it’s likely that you will eventually have to go, and there will be times you will have to wait, so it may be best to change your attitude and your thoughts. Let your dreams take you away.
It’s okay to daydream, and it’s quite healthy, so you can have a vacation any time you choose to, while waiting on line, sitting at your desk, or while riding on the train. Basically anywhere.
Well, maybe not while driving down the highway, since hopefully you’re concentrating on the road. But all you need to do is think as if you’re on vacation.
“Laughter is an instant vacation.” ~Unknown
A Mental Trick
The mind is capable of a very cool “trick” in that it cannot tell if an event is real or made up, meaning it can trigger the emotions either way.
To illustrate how powerful the mind is, think about this: Have you ever worried about someone or something, and created an entire (negative) scenario in your head and felt the emotions involved with it?
It could have been anxiety, fear, or worry, but you actually felt it as if it were real. Then, after you received a text message or a phone call letting you know that everything was okay, you instantly felt better.
How was it possible to create that chaos and actually feel those emotions if the event didn’t actually happen? It all started in your mind. So imagine what else could you create and how good you could feel if you chose the right scenarios.
A lot of people think of the beach when they think of a vacation spot, such as Florida, Cancun, or the Caribbean. You can picture the white sand and the clear blue ocean as an escape or a getaway.
If you can picture this in your mind then you’re creating a mini-vacation which you can visit as often as you like (in your mind) until you go on a real one.
Why not try it? Picture yourself on a beach, with your favorite drink in your hand, the sun on your face, the sound of the waves and a gentle breeze cooling you off. Close your eyes and picture it vividly.
Smell the sea breeze. Feel the gritty sand between your toes. Or if you can’t think of anywhere to go, choose somewhere you’ve already been that brought you the most joy.
Is it your honeymoon spot? The first family camping trip you ever took? A class trip? Go there in your thoughts right now.
Creating or enjoying these thoughts is no different than when you return from vacation and shared your experience with others. Haven’t you noticed that you relive the joy every time you talk about it? Even though you are not on vacation any longer, you still experience it again and again, in your mind and your memories.
“Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind.” ~Zen Proverb
Pack Your Bags!
One of the best things about my community is that if there is even a hint of sunshine, people flood the boardwalk and the beach. Does everyone do this? No. So where are the rest of them?
Many times people don’t take advantage of the very things they enjoy. They make other things a priority, or they make excuses as to why they “can’t” get away.
Maybe you don’t live near the beach, but are you anywhere near a park, or a lake, or even a pool? If so, enjoy a beautiful day when you can, even if it’s only your lunch break. Just get out there and have a mini-vacation in real life.
Why stay stuck in an office? Why run the rat race? Why not run at the park instead?
If you don’t like the outdoors, what do you enjoy? Do that. Refresh and recharge.
For those times when you can’t break free, or when the weather is not cooperative, all you have to do is have that mini-vacation in your mind. It’s a free trip so you may as often as you like!
“Thought is free.” ~William Shakespeare
Photo by mrlins