Thursday, July 31, 2014

Go under.

When you love the ocean so much, it's hard to imagine that it could scare you. But there I was yesterday, standing on the shoreline mulling whether or not to go in.

The waves were rough, and (for the Jersey Shore) a tad high. I thought of wiping out on my paddleboard last week...a wave crashed on me and my board went flying. Paddle whacked me in the face, and I had a fat lip for an afternoon. So not sexy.

But I went for it yesterday, because how many more days and weeks will I be able to immerse myself in salt water. To feel free and relaxed and engulfed in calm? Not too much longer. That's why I always try to go in the water, even though it hasn't hit 70 this summer yet.

I wish I was in when we saw two pods of dolphins go by. They were so close to shore, and so majestic. Still, I am glad I got in. Once I was in, the fear crept up when a big wave would roll in, similar to obstacles in life. They look intimidating and strong and you're sure they're going to pummel you.

The secret: Go under.

When a wave comes, you have a few choices. Ride it if you're in the right position, whether that's on a board or body-surfing. You can also bob up with it so long as it's not breaking yet. But when you're right in the position where you know you don't have time to get out more and go with the flow...when you know it's going to break hard, you can just GO UNDER.

What a metaphor! There I was, scared shitless of a wave in the gorgeous ocean. I just held my nose and ducked down, and the once-strong wave felt like a passing current going overhead. It wasn't so strong after all. And when I emerged from the water, I was fine.

I know, not all of life's waves can be avoided by going under. Some can, though. Sometimes there's no need to get wrapped up in a wave crashing on us. Sometimes, we can avoid pain and stress.

We simply have to outsmart the wave...and in doing so, find the peace and lesson underneath it, where the water is still calm.

Listening to: Matt Kearney--Crashing Down (irony?)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lazy summer.

Busy with the summer of things.
Beach days, paddleboarding. All blissful.

Also, in thought about my career--where it's headed, what's right and what's wrong. And what sucks.
Returning to faith, because ultimately, it will all be okay.
Still working, but not as much on the whole.

Not ready for summer to be over, but eager for the fall at the same time.
Still, a month to go of more lazy summer. That's kind of what I'm having.
And I'm okay with that. Kind of the first time ever that I've been able to kick back for a summer.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Healing music: "In Your Shoes" by Sarah McLachlan

In Your Shoes
by Sarah McLachlan

You turn the radio on play your favorite song and cry… cry
You let it all disappear push back the doubt and fear they try… try

To hold your head under the waves but you’re breathing all the same
You are stronger than their hate

Time for you to walk out walk in your own shoes
Lay down your footprints wherever you choose
Leave it all behind and move on you are your own woman

You never asked for trouble but you’ve got fire that burns so bright… bright
You turn and face the struggle when all the others turn and hide… hide

You hold your head above the waves above the war they try to wage
You are stronger than their hate

Time for you to walk out walk in your own shoes
Lay down your footprints wherever you choose
Leave it all behind and move on ’cause you are your own woman

Time for you to walk out walk in your own shoes
Lay down your footprints wherever you choose
Leave it all behind and move on you are your own woman move on yeah
Time for you to walk out walk in your own shoes
Lay down your footprints wherever you choose
Say what’s on your mind with pride ‘cause you are your own woman

You’ve got a light that always guides you
You speak of hope and change as something good
Live your truth and know you’re not alone

You turn the radio on play your favorite song and sing out so loud

Monday, July 14, 2014

The party.

Thunderstorm coming in here at the Jersey Shore. Oh, how I love them. Especially during the summer. Correction: Especially during the summer on days when I can't make it to the beach.

This weekend was busy, busy, busy. Tim's 40th birthday was great, and I was surrounded by so many people I love it was almost hard to take it all in. We had a blast.

I realized though, that the party prep wasn't just about the BBQ and the party--for the months leading up, I was busting my butt getting our basement ready for our after-party. We managed to finish most of it, get the skeeball and air hockey and basketball down there. Everyone came back from the park and went nuts playing and having fun. But it's been an exhausting three months...I also redid the mudroom leading to the basement. It was so many Fridays and Saturdays of working nonstop in a coffee coma. Thank God I have SiriusXM on my phone.

So many details, paint, hardware, drying between coats, new curtains, faux finishing, organizing, dehumidifying. Now I'm coming down from all of it. I'm exhausted. I slept all day yesterday like I used to after I drank heavily in my 20s. I haven't had a drop of booze all weekend.

It was all worth it because we've got this great basement gameroom. But I'm pooped. Need to unwind. It was a lot on my sensitive system.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lessons from Bogie.

Spent all weekend at the beach, which was blissful.

I was a little nervous paddling out for the first time this season into the ocean. It was rather cold and when I got out past the breaking waves, I looked back at the shore. Dang, I was out really far!

Bogie is my paddleboard, something I was blessed to win online last year. I named it, the same way I name everything. (My Jeep is named Randy Moss, after the Patriots' football star!)

I tried to take it all in out on the ocean, and I did. Which is good, because us anxious peeps are always worried about the future. Forget it all, I told myself as I inhaled and exhaled salt air. I realize doing this would make most people anxious. Most people couldn't do paddleboarding. But I found it wonderful.

That just goes to show how we're all different, and how we can't beat ourselves up for our fears. Up ahead, planes were flying. Someone in it may have saw the speck of a girl in Sea Girt, N.J., paddleboarding on a gorgeous Sunday. Perhaps flying was easy for that person, looking down on me, but they'd never think of getting in the water. I looked up at the planes passing by, realizing that I still have some fears. Some things that are majorly hard for me.

There were so many analogies to anxiety and healing that hit me as I paddled along, taking breaks to go on my knees, strike a downward-facing dog or just lay there with my tummy against the board. Even when the surge made me a little seasick, I stayed out there. Sometimes the bliss of doing something isn't realized until we push past fear and uncomfortableness. And not that I was super-scared to paddleboard, but it's just another analogy for ya.

It was weird being in the ocean, and I had to remind myself much like I do with my panic disorder that I can always do something to make it easier. If I was nervous (or saw a Jaws-like fin pop up!) I was just a quick paddle away to shore. I can always get to a safe place.

In many ways, the ocean is my safe place. Sure, sharks and huge fish are in the water. Sure, I hate the way rocks feel under my feet. And there are a ton of slimy and questionable things (especially at the Jersey Shore). But when you take in the salt air and the sunlight's twinkle on the water, and when you feel like you're walking on it as you paddle on it, life feels blissful. All is safe. One is present...if only for a little while.

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.
-Mary Shelley, English novelist