My daughter and I were invited to go on my boss’s boat and spend the day at the beach. They asked me a week ago and I kept hesitating because of my fear of pain. Then, I knew I had to go because although I do modify parts of my life I will never let pain dictate my life again. I agreed to go and I could not be more happy that I did. Yesterday, was one of the greatest days I have had in such a long time. The boat ride from the bay to the beach was something I have not done in years. Aside from my loved ones, nothing makes me happier than the ocean. The boat ride was my favorite part because the quails in the ocean were about 70 feet and the wind and water being thrown into the boat made me so excited and happy at the same time. I know I am crazy, many people would hate that or be afraid but I was in heaven. I can honestly say I was so present in that moment without a worry in the world. All I could feel was ocean, all I could taste was ocean, and all I could see was ocean. I was in my happy place.
Since I was Kayci’s age (2 yrs old) my all time favorite memories are at the beach. Its almost humanly impossible for me to be worried or sad at the beach. As a kid, it was where I went with my family for every vacation and my grandmother had a house for many years two blocks from the ocean. As a teenager my best friends and I would drive down there weekly and usually got a shore house for a couple of weeks in the summer. I honestly cannot remember ever being not okay at the beach. Following the Mayo Clinic’s Pain Rehab Center, where I learned to manage chronic pain naturally I found it really hard practicing the program on my own at home. It was so much easier being around twenty plus people who also had chronic pain and were on my journey to manage it naturally as well. I knew the hardest part of coming home was going to be scheduling the program into my daily life and practicing meditation without being told to do so. Therefore, I drove to the beach by myself almost every day. It is an hour away and was the end of the season so I had most of the beach to myself. I read, I wrote, I walked, I did meditation CD’s, and I swam. I did this for multiple weeks into late September when I took a job using my degree in Social Work. The beach and ocean heal me. I feel connected to the earth when I am listening to the ocean and sitting in the sand.
Why the hell have I stopped going?? It is only an hour away and I stress over the gas money and taking my little girl: lets be honest, it is obviously more difficult to take off to the beach today with a toddler than when you only have to worry about yourself. However, she was with me yesterday and I can honestly say it was the best day of my summer so far. Bonus, she loves it there. No, I cannot go like I used to as my life has dramatically changed since that summer following the Mayo Clinic. However, I can take a day a week and make the hour drive. I am so blessed to live one hour away from the ocean and I stopped going. I am making a commitment to go to my happy place and the one place in the world I am able to forget about my troubles one day a week. Everyone has a place where they can find peace and happiness: chronic pain or no chronic pain. We should all make a commitment to start going to “our place” more often.