Better living through slacking off.

Clifford beach California, bevy of books
Best seat in the house.

I went to the beach yesterday.

All by myself.

It’s not really warm, but nice enough that capris and a sweatshirt will let you stare at the ocean as long as you like. I saw a sea lion fishing in the waves, the sun peaking through the clouds and a surfer practicing in the tiny waves.

I wrote a bit in my journal, I read some of my book (Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley) and took 133 pictures in about 1.5 hours.

And it was amazing. And it was enough. And today I can do that all over again. Or I can stay ‘home’ and read all day, or color, or binge-watch Gilmore Girls.

I’m house-sitting for a friend on the southern Oregon coast for more than a week. House is empty except for a cat that hides most of the day. No one around to give a shit what time I wake up or how I want to waste my day. I really can do WHATEVER I want.

It wasn’t until recently that I had really asked myself that question – what do I want to do? – without some heavy modifier, like ‘that doesn’t cost more than $50?’ or ‘that isn’t more than 100 miles away?’

Rocky Mountains Montana, pileated woodpecker, bevy of books
I bet this bird has it all figured out.

It took months to train myself to think about days on my own terms, rather than those determined by permanent residency and limited time. You can’t just dump a 30-year mindset like an old pair of shoes that hurt your feet. It’s more like learning a new language, or moving to a brand new city. You still have to eat and sleep and wash your clothes, but you have to figure out how to do that all over again.

I’m hoping to kick-start that process by staring at the ocean a lot. Then I’m off on a driving tour of the southern USA, highlights to include the Grand Canyon and New Orleans. Maybe I’ll see you?

 

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