Today was Beach Day with the family. We used to live 5 blocks from the beach in Southern California. I often enjoyed taking the beach road past LAX and the shit factory in order to avoid the smog and the 405 traffic. Crashing waves and marine layers were an every day sight. Those were the days, right? It's so easy to live in the past.
Today, it took us 45 minutes of curvy roads. The dog barfed, my son fell asleep, and my dedicated hubby and I had peaceful, intimate and UN-interrupted conversation about finances and security. That never happens! (Well, the dog barf, always, but the son napping accompanied with meaningful conversation...rarity indeed.) I guess if we still lived 5 blocks away, we would have missed out.
We set up day camp. Two blankets (already covered in sand), a basket of sand toys and a cooler of snacks.
I grab my book. "The Gifts of Imperfection--Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are" by Brene Brown. I have been carrying this book around for a couple of months now, but keep trying to find the perfect time to read it. I am determined to take time for me today, and I knew reading this book would give that to me.
I'm enjoying the author. She seems to be a science nerd like me. She writes about "wholehearted living"--something I find very foreign, but frantically anticipate discovering. I read the sentences, "No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough....Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn't change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging."
Wow. What statements. My eyes fill with tears. Seriously?! Have I ever told myself I am enough?!
I put the book down, wiping the tears away from my cheeks, and look over to see my husband and son building their sand castle. They decide to go and get a bucket of water. I watch as they walk away and I begin to wonder about being enough.
Does my son feel like he's enough? My husband? If I feel so inadequate, how do they feel? About me? About themselves? What does "enough" actually feel like?
I gaze, mindlessly, at the waves crashing onshore, the foggy haze of clouds and sun further behind. The sand in my toes starts to tickle.
I'm curious, if we took each grain of sand, the ones stuck on my jeans, or the ones all over my feet, how many moments I would be able to count. As if the number of them would make me more...worthy.
Meeting my husband, our first kiss.
Oh geez,dating "what's his name."
My grandmother's death.
Becoming an administrator.
Holding my son after a fall.
Quitting my job.
Dancing on the stage.
Nursing my toddler.
I am overwhelmed by the number of moments in my life, and I'm only on my big toe. I imagine all the moments in everyone's lives filling up the beach shores.
I'm surrounded by moments. How many have I been present for, living and embracing fully?
I wonder what this has to do with feeling like I'm enough.
They are returning with the full bucket, and I tell myself I have to pull myself together. I bolt from my stillness and my intimate thoughts...my mind starts to wander. About the what ifs. About the "awful-izing" I seem to be so accustomed to. I begin to feel the stress and anxiety. I do NOT want to do that today.
My husband, my son, and my dog, this beautiful beach, the crashing waves, the sand stuck to my jeans and in between my toes...this moment is definitely enough. I brush the sand off my toe, with gratitude.