Each year, like many of you, my family takes an annual beach trip. This year, as I stand at the edge of the water looking out at the ocean, I think about a lot.
It doesn’t feel like it’s been 365 days since we were last here. It feels like just yesterday, and I marvel at the fact that time goes by so fast. Almost too fast. This is our 5th annual beach trip.
A lot has happened in 5 years. Good and bad. Fortunately, mostly good. While some of us have had hard experiences, we’ve persevered, gotten through the challenging times and pressed on.
Our family has changed over the years, as we’ve all gotten older, and now there are more members of 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. Dinner reservations don’t have to be made on the early side, and we can stay out on the beach as late as we want.
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 five years have changed me, and I hope for the better.
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, on 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, at our family beach trip, and I don’t take it for granted.
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: having gratitude for being here with my family, blessed that we’re all happy and healthy, lucky to belong to this group of people.
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,
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