I stand at the edge of the water looking out at the ocean. It looks like it goes on forever. The water appears endless. I’m at the beach for a week, at our annual family beach trip.
It feels like just yesterday we were all here together, and I marvel at the fact that time goes by so fast. This is our 7th annual beach trip.
A lot has happened in 7 years. Good and bad. Fortunately, mostly good. While some of us have had challenging experiences, we’ve persevered, gotten through the hard times and pressed on.
Our family has changed over the years, as we’ve all gotten older, and there are more members in our family. A true blessing I don’t take for granted. Over the years, we’ve replaced high chairs and cribs for toys, makeup and cell phones.
As my kids have gotten older, my time on the beach has gotten more relaxing. I can now sit on the beach and read my book while
my kids sit next to me reading their books. When we go into the ocean, we jump waves together, and instead of a solitary walk, I go with one of my daughters. The cousins laugh and giggle together, the grownups reminisce about years past and growing up. We all enjoy one another.
It is lovely to be at this place. This beach. This moment.
I like to think that I’ve gotten older but also wiser. I know the experiences of the past 7 years have changed me, and I hope for the better.
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I’ll never forget the year we came here and I didn’t have any hair. I was going through chemotherapy and miserable. I was tired, unhappy and needed the support from my family. It was a hard beach trip for me, that year, but one I’ll never forget. As a result, each trip after that year has become more special to me.
As I stand at the edge of the ocean, thinking about how I’ll feel 365 days from now, at our annual beach trip next year, I pray the year will bring us much joy and happiness. I think about what will change, wonder what will happen over the course of this year, and ponder how I will feel when I stand at the ocean again a year from now.
I know how lucky we all are to be here and I don’t take it for granted.
I’m not going to lie to you, sometimes when I think about all of the things that could go wrong in life, to any of us, it scares me. It makes me nervous. But, then I remind myself that worry is a wasted emotion, and I try to focus on all the wonderful things that could happen in the next year. The blessings. I focus on that.
I hope a year from now, when I stand on this beach and look out into the ocean, I’m able to feel the way I do today: grateful for being here with my family, blessed that we’re all happy and healthy, lucky to belong to this group of people.
Most of all, I hope you get to enjoy some time with your family over the next summer months, just being together, laughing, and having fun. If you do, count your blessings.
Find meaning each day,