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26.1.12

Finding Spring

The Beauty of Vacation

I took several days O-F-F recently. Although Colorado has been having a relatively mild winter, winter is still winter.

I headed south for the Texas coast. It was still winter in Texas. But there’s winter and there’s winter. It was restorative to see some plants in bloom. One evening, it was foggy as wind whipped across the Gulf, turning the town ghostly.

I saw three dozen different species of birds. I sat on the beach, albeit with a jacket on! I took off my shoes and rolled up the hem of my trousers and waded in. Last August, the water had felt warm, like a bathtub, and I played for hours. The water this time of year was more like a cold shower! It was invigorating.

After taking some time totally away, walking on the beach, collecting a few shells, snapping over five hundred pictures, eating some fresh seafood, something amazing happened. My muse came looking for me.

I’d been ruthlessly stalking her, telling her about my book deadlines and demanding she perform on command every day. She’d gotten as barren as the trees lining the park where I walk.

But there, on the empty stretch of beach, she found me. I hurried back to the car to find pen and paper as ideas poured out.

With my personality, I don’t allow this type of thing to happen often. I work a demanding day job. It provides interaction with people, and I love real-time problem solving.

I am also pursuing a love of fifteen years—racquetball. I’m in training to play my first competitive matches this spring. I’m constantly playing, working out with my personal trainer, or spending hours with my racquetball coach. All that has left my body a bit tired, too. So, while I was in Texas, I walked for hours, but I didn’t swing a racquet or lift a weight.

And now, I’m ready to workout hard again, too.

I’m not unique. I bet you, too, have demands on your time and energy. And maybe we can’t always get away. But I learned a valuable lesson. I don’t have to go to the coast to get renewed, I should build it into my schedule, slow down a bit, get enough rest, know when to call a time out.

I will, for sure, though, save my pennies, maybe even cut into my summer vacation this year in order to take a few days off during winter, when I really need it.

Here’s to you taking time for you. I learned it’s possible to find spring, even in January.

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