Happy places

Why the beach theme for my blog? Because it’s my happy place. We all have one (or a few) that serve as a refuge from all of life’s chaos. It’s where I go to escape, quiet my mind, and rejuvenate.

Unfortunately, the ones closest to me aren’t the sand and shell type that we associate with the word “beach.” They’re the dirt and rock type that line freshwater rivers and lakes.  As if that’s not sad enough, the local beaches are currently buried in dirty snow and ice. I live too far from the coast and don’t get to my happy place nearly enough.

So, the escape must be to my blog, of which has been sorely neglected since I published my first post a couple of months ago. Two deaths in the family and preparations for, as well as a trip to, Washington D.C. have derailed my commitment to regular writing sessions. One of the hardest parts of writing (and dieting, exercising, etc.) is doing it on a regular basis.

“Why is it hard to find time to do the things that are good for us?”

However, I’m going to focus on the positives: I’ve kept up with it all, met the deadlines, and filed my taxes. I’m now sitting at the computer to write, so I’m feeling hopeful once again!

Before I sat down to create the blog, I knew it would have a beach/ocean theme. I had been contemplating a name, because I believe that’s a very important aspect. When I visited the local library as a youngster, I used to meander up and down the shelves, searching for a title that piqued my interest. I do the same thing when I’m perusing the WordPress blogs. Of course, I search for topics of interest, but then narrow down the choices by titles; interesting titles. I first heard the term following sea in the Crosby, Stills & Nash song “Southern Cross.” In boating, a following sea refers to a wave direction that matches the heading of the boat. For example, if the waves are heading in the same direction as the sailor, then the water is “following” the sailor’s boat (courtesy of Wikipedia.) This makes sailing much smoother and is one half of the expression “fair winds and following seas.” This is often used in toasts and to commemorate a new voyage, among other things. I liked the analogy between how the circumstances and people who make up one’s life, can often help create either calm or rough waters. Life is a voyage, full of choices that either encourage or discourage a following sea.

I then wanted to follow-up the title with a tag line; something to complement the purpose of the blog. I’m a middle-aged woman, divorced, newly graduated and facing choices about how I want to spend the rest of my life. I want to share my experiences and write about things that other folks my age are dealing with: aging parents, career changes, relocation, menopause, relationships, and a host of other issues. Maybe I can offer something that will be helpful or resonate with someone else. At the very least, I can purge all my emotions and thoughts on paper (or, in this case, a computer monitor!) So, I found a quote that fit the purpose of my blog and complemented the title:  “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” Sweat comes from physical and/or mental intensity, usually the result of one’s efforts to achieve something. Tears, which can be happy, sad or some combination of both, are the result of emotional intensity. They are the hallmarks of either celebration or healing, which occur throughout an entire lifetime.

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Lastly, I chose one of my own photos for the blog. For me it’s a visual analogy. Like the changes in our daily lives, the rise and fall of the tides bring daily changes to the beach. The seashells, unique in their differences, signify the people in our lives. Various types of objects and debris wash ashore each day, some beautiful and others not so much.

All of these components set the tone for my blog and make it a place I enjoy coming back to again and again, just like I enjoy returning to the beach!

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