How easy is it for us to underestimate how important the little things are, the simple stuff that gives pleasure that makes us feel peaceful, happy, content.
It’s been 18 months since I have last felt the sand between my toes. I’ve loved the beach all my life so 18 months is a looong time. There and then I made a promise to not allow another 18 months pass before enjoying this simple act of kindness to my self. As soon as my feet hit the warm sand the relief was really instant, I didn’t think I was feeling particularly stressed but I was feeling bit blah in general and so clearly the beach was just what the blahness needed.
A couple of years ago a trip to the beach would mean a quick swim followed by a very long time lying perfectly still only to move to turn the pages of whatever book I was reading at the time. Two of my greatest pleasures woven together – the beach and books. These days the beach bag is now a nappy bag and the bucket and spade take up far too much room to fit a book in. I know I can be a little naïve but I’m not so silly to think that I could actually take a toddler AND a book to the beach. Books and toddlers are a bit of an oxymoron really. But that’s okay because instead of a blissful hour of reading, I spent a blissful hour collecting sticks and broken shells with Charlie. Who knew that collecting sticks could be such a tonic for the soul?
Lately my mind has been filled with just stuff and it’s only in hindsight that I can see the stuff I think about is really a bit irrelevant. My first thoughts of the day aren’t creative or reflective, they don’t give me energy or inspiration, I can’t even describe them as thoughts because they are more like a mental ‘things to do’ list. What do I need to do that day? What will I wear? What time Charlie will need a nap? What will I make for dinner? These thoughts are important of course but somehow I’d made them up to be crucial, so much so that they took up all of my thinking, leaving no room to think of the sort of thoughts that make me motivated and productive. When I’m like this I lose my sparkle.
Since I’m my best self when I sparkle I’m making a commitment to myself to get more sand beneath my toes even if that sand comes from Charlie’s sand pit. Never mind the washing that needs hanging out, there’s a sandpit calling out my name.