Thursday, October 29, 2009

recreating the beach

i haven't gotten all of the pictures from our vacation off of austin's laptop yet, but i do have some. this is just one of the 800 or so i need to look through eventually. lyra absolutely adored the ocean, and to my surprise didn't actually eat much of the sand.
despite half of our days being rainy and cold, and the unexpected few days of coughing, burning eyes and onslaught of dead fish (courtesy of the red tide), we had a wonderful time. sitting on the beach, my toes buried in the warm sand, watching my children play for hours, never getting bored, listening to the waves crash endlessly, i felt such calm and peace. with 3 little ones and a frequently out of town husband i tend to get overwhelmed and over stressed easily. i haven't reached that level of calm in a long time.

since coming home i've tried to think about the things that made life so much more peaceful there, and find small ways to bring it back.
one- less internet time. i really don't need to care what everyone else in the world is doing all the time. my kids are here, they're amazing and need me now.
two- less STUFF. the simplicity of the beach house kept a state of calm i want to recreate. i have begun to purge excess toys and junk. i was able to keep the beach house clean and organized, and it never felt like the mild hum of chaos that our lives here inevitably turn in to. i have to fight my own overwhelming desire for more and more stuff though. i am always fighting with two strong desires within myself. one, a life of self sustained simplicity, and the other for things- pretty things, shiny things, things i didn't get growing up. my goal is to find a way to live in harmony with a few nice things and lessen my desire for more. and i really hope i can help instill this in my children as i learn it myself.
three- less obligations and wasted time, time spent running around, filling our days with stuff that doesn't matter. doing more by doing less. just going outside and chilling, exploring and relaxing, versus planned activities that entail me loading up three kids, getting frustrated, griping because we're late. i'm tired of getting frustrated and angry at my babies, about stuff that in the end doesn't matter.

i am by nature, NOT an organized person. but i also shut down in chaos. so, in order for me to keep my house clean, and keep up with the children and their needs, and still be the kind of person and mother i want to be, i need to simplify. i need to recreate the beach, here at home.
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Samika Swift said...

I just read a book you would probably enjoy. It's called Gift from the Sea and was written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh (wife to Charles, yes THE Lindberghs). She spent time at a beach house and fell in love with the simple lessons she learned while there. Similar to what you discovered, she found simplicity and was captivated by the silence that comes from letting go of so many material things. She wrote the book to hold onto some of those lessons.
"I find I live quite happily without those things I think necessary in winter in the North.. . I love my sea-shell of a house. I wish I could live in it always. I wish I could transport it home. But I cannot. It will not hold a husband, five children and the necessities and trappings of daily life. I can only carry back my little channeled whelk. It will sit on my desk in Connecticut, to remind me of the ideal of a simplified life, to encourage me in the game I played on the beach. to say--is it necessary?--when I am tempted to add one more accumulation to my life, when I am pulled toward one more centrifugal activity."

mrsjackblack said...

oh that is awesome samika! how perfectly in line with what i experienced. i will definitely be looking for it.