Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Power of Unimportance

Max saw the ocean for the first time on vacation.

We stayed at a cottage on an island without cars or businesses. Our double glass doors opened just steps from the beach, with a view of the Gulf.

After a water taxi ride in a steady gray drizzle, and unloading enough stuff to tide 4 people and a dog over for 8 days, I put the leash on Max for a walk on the beach. As soon as we mounted the small dune that separated us from the sand, I could sense his excitement as he strained at the leash with a wild abandon, racing to the water.

Once we reached the shore, he stared smiling out at the expanse of ocean, radiating happiness.

A lot like this.

That's exactly how I feel when I see the ocean; an exhilarated swelling inside followed by feeling momentarily paralyzed with gratitude.

There are days when I just need that -- my feet in the sand and my breath matching the beat of the waves. I look out at the endless horizon and revel in feeling small; finding relief in my insignificance.

Sometimes I need to zoom out.

I'm always so zoomed in; to parenting, to work, to relationships, to finances, to housework. Everything that is going wrong is so easily magnified and seems urgent and imperative, constantly compounding into even more problems for me to solve.

But when I look out at infinity and focus on the sound of the ocean and my breath, it's all fine. Zoomed out, I'm doing great and I am exactly where I should be, doing what I need to in every area of life. None of it is a big deal compared to forever.

I read three books, collected shark teeth, walked for miles, drank wine early and coffee late, played Uno and refused to play Uno, ate too much dessert, saw an armadillo, and helped two baby turtles beat the odds. I stared out at the ocean and up at the night sky and felt wonderfully, deliciously unimportant.

In the grand scheme of things, everything is awesome.

A perfectly imperfect day.

Now I just need to remember that.

3 comments:

Megan said...

I love this post. Thank you for giving me perspective.

Jamie McGinnis said...

Max looks like he might get caught in a gust of wind and fly away with those amazing ears <3

Suzanne Holt said...

Zooming out - love that thought. My to-do list can definitely be long, and I appreciate the thought of being able to zone out rather than always having to hyper focus. Beautiful post.