We all need some Me Time – I find though that staying indoors means I find jobs that need doing – laundry to go in, dishes to put away, cookers to wipe down, socks to pair (well maybe not). Me Time becomes Mum/housewife time.
So when I need me time, I head to the beach. I am lucky enough to live within 15-20 min drive from a selection of beaches and my goal is to one day live at the beach so I can open my door and walk along the shore.
I am not one of those people who only loves the beach in Summer though, I am a beach for all seasons type of girl.
Me Time at the Beach
I love the beach on summer days, with the glare of the sun on the water, people shielding their eyes with their hands, the gentle lapping of the water against the sand, the sound of children playing and kites being flown, the smell of sun lotion and ice creams, the unmistakable aroma of fish and chips in the distance, burying your toes in the sand as you relax with a cold drink, feeling the sun warming your skin, then delighting in the taste of your home made sandwiches with the extra crunch of sand grains, constantly shaking your towel to remove sand before lying down, watching the sail boats in the distance gently bouncing on the water and the sight of older couples in deck chairs, with their cardigans on and their trousers rolled up.
I sit with my family, watching my children play. Not playing with an iPad or PS4 but really playing. Playing in the same way I played when I was younger. Racing to the sea, jumping over the waves, building sand castles with moats, carrying buckets of water from the sea to use in the moat, burying hands, feet, arms, legs and torsos in the sand, collecting shells to create doors and windows in the castles and reapplying lotion over sandy bodies.
Just watching them have fun brings solace to any stress. I walk away with a smile and a fresh vigour to get on and do.
I love the beach in the Spring, when the sun has arrived but the heat has yet to make any real effort to appear. When the beach is almost empty, the tide is miles out and there are just miles of beautiful uninhabited sand enticing you to run in circles leaving your footprints as evidence you were there. The days you grab small sticks and write your name in the sand, when you and your children pretend to be stranded on a desert island and laugh about how you will survive when two of them don’t like fish. The days when you lie in the sand and make sand angels with your body, taking pleasure in the feel of the slightly damp sand on your skin. The days when you walk down to the sea for a paddle but jump back in shock when the cold water touches your feet.
Just being at the beach feels like me time, even if I have the kids with me. The cobwebs are blown away, my brain seems more open to productivity and I say farewell to my good friend, Mr Procrastinator.
I love the beach on crisp, Autumn days. When the sun makes the occasional appearance and the breeze is fresh. The walks along the shore leave you with salt on your skin and sand in your hair. Your cheeks glow and you feel like an extra from a Diet Coke advert (without the modelling figure, of course)
These are the days when I take my journal and compose my thoughts about the world. The days when I walk for miles listening to a podcast or an audiobook, feeling my cheeks burn with the wind, avoiding the dog walkers and the joggers, the only other people at the beach.
I love the beach during the winter when the waves are crashing against the harbor. The days when you wrap up warm and walk along the promenade with the wind whipping your hair, feeling the spray from the sea and listening to dogs barking at the sea and yelping with pleasure as they run after sticks and balls. The days when the heavens open and you stay sitting in your warm car, with a hot coffee, listening to the rain bouncing off your roof, when you can’t even open the window by a cm without getting a soaking.
These are the days when audiobooks and podcasts are played through the car stereo, as I sit wrapped in a blanket drinking coffee but stopping occasionally to just stare out to sea.
The beach is my sanctuary, my place for all seasons. It gives me my much needed “me time”, my Vitamin Sea, one of the essential supplements for my emotional well being.
What about you? How do you spend any me time you have?