On the Beach in a Hooded Sweatshirt

December 31, 2013, 10:09 CST, Navarre Beach, FL

I am currently enjoying the last day of a very long year by sitting on a 12th floor balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, while wearing long pants and a Hooded sweatshirt. And I don’t care that it is overcast and chilly. It’s the beach, the ocean, and I am not at work but instead at peace.

It’s amazing how many times we have been to the beach in the last nine years. It started with me, not an early bird, getting up at 5:00 am to go see the sunrise on South Beach (Miami), and we have been to over 55 beaches since. Amazing. Just amazing, seeing that I did not go to a beach for more than 25 years before that.

It is very overcast here, as it has been for the past two days. It’s supposed to rain on Thursday, but I actually like a good storm on the ocean. It seems to clear out the gunk in my head for some reason.

Sweetie and I were talking yesterday morning, sitting out here on the balcony, about how well one can see the stars when the sky is absolutely black. You don’t get that, really, anywhere other than the ocean, although the high desert outside of Phoenix is close. I remember being there and thinking that I had never seen as many stars, even though I grew up in the country eight miles away from a tiny town and about 45 miles away from a town that had enough ambient light to really man a difference.

On the ocean, if you are on a boat with no lights on, you can see the universe laid out in its magnificence before you, like a million tiny glittering diamonds just twinkling only for you. It’s like the heavens have decided to put on their very own Broadway show in your honor. Way cooler than anything you could ever see on TV or in the movies. Way cooler than most can see in their dreams, I imagine.

Sitting out here yesterday, I wondered how the ocean could change the attitudes of people who are hurt, suffering, angry, sad, or indifferent. I wondered if everyone lived by the ocean it the world would not be a better place. I wondered how anyone could not feel the calming presence of the waves and go to a different time a d place in there own minds. I wondered and I still have no answers.

I know for some people, the ocean is the last place they want to be.  I know they would rather be in the woods, on a mounts ski slope, or in the city. I guess the are those who love living in places like Detroit, but I cannot imagine living there. I cannot imagine the strife and scary places that exist in those areas. I am thankful for what I have, where I am, and the gifts I was given that all lead me to have a happy life. I am thankful to be able to use this gifts now to help others. It is the very best feeling in the world, although that was my dream long ago.

In my high school memory book from my senior year, I wanted to be a psychologist. I wanted to help traveled teens because I knew how hard it was to be a teenager. As I grew up, my career paths took me in a other direction, mainly because I had to support a family. I did not have the option to pursue my dreams, but now I do. And it is fabulous. Knowing that I am helping someone else overcome a problem or get through a very difficult time in his or her life is the best feeling in the world.

Almost as good as the feeling I have right here, right now, about to ring in the new year with a quiet evening on the ocean, with a lantern and a surprise for my Sweetie.

May all of you have a most fabulous New Year!

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