My husband and I played hooky today. I left my cell phone on the kitchen table, packed the cooler, grabbed the towels and off we went to the beach. No text messages, Facebook, twitter or Instagram. No stopping every five minutes to take the perfect picture to share about my second, minute, hour or day. No emails or phone calls, no one to ask me forty questions about why ducks quack or anyone wondering how I can help them stop drinking today. It was just me and my best friend at the beach.
I ignored concern about who would be mad at me early in the day, and reminded myself that wasn’t my problem. I didn’t try to think about how many opportunities I was going to miss to be of service or grow the reach of my non-profit. I didn’t fret over how many women might not get connected to the help I provide because I was unavailable. I just sat in it.
It was amazing.
I wore an old bathing suit, and I didn’t worry about how other people might view me in it. I didn’t obsess about how close my thighs or saggy my boobs are. I just wore the shit out of that old bathing suit.
I didn’t take a picture of myself in the bathing suit and post it up on social media with a hashtag about body positivity; even though I thought about it.
When we got to the beach, there weren’t many people there. We laid down our towels, applied sunscreen, and basked in the sunshine; pausing occasionally to share a thought. I didn’t think more than once about what I could say or how to say it. I just spoke my mind. I didn’t have to translate any of my thoughts into less bitchy or judgmental versions out of fear they might be taken out of context. I just spoke from my heart, and enjoyed the opportunity to be heard — like, really heard.
Thirty minutes after we plopped squat, other couples and families began to surround us, even though there was a whole beach. I decided it was okay for us to move to avoid being crowded, and I did not feel badly as I dragged my towel to an open area to claim more space. I did not concern myself with what those other people might think about our move, and I didn’t obsess for one second about how it might have made them feel. I did not pretend that I’m so important they might be thinking about me at all.
I just owned my decision, and left other people to their right to feelings and my right to move.
So simple. So amazing. So bloody important.
I’m not sure why I struggle with this simplicity in every aspect of my online life, but what I do know is that I’m tired of it. I’m ready to own my space today and to care way less about how others feel about it. I’m ready to set some incredibly serious boundaries regarding my right to self-care, and I’m committing to work on caring less about my wording.
I deserve peace, yo. We all do.
Sometimes we just need a day at the beach to remember.