Grateful: Expansive beaches. A reprieve from the low-ebb of “car food” during vacation travel. 14 years. Coming home. Feeling alive.

I’ll explain the breakout moves in the photo above in a bit. Today, I am home with my family after nearly a week on the beach in South Carolina with good friends. I’ve had four hours of sleep and lots of work ahead of me, but I’m so grateful. Because I choose to be. I didn’t use to think that was how it worked.

Gratitude lists got some extra caché somewhere around the time Sarah Ban Breathnach published Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy (along with the journal) and Oprah gave it some wings, too (the books and the practice of actually writing out what one is grateful for each day). Here’s to being thankful for all things, people, moments, thoughts and ideas — great and small. Feel free to share your own in “comments” — I’d love to read them.

1) Yeah — I know — it’s me, again (in the same Blondie tee shirt, no less), but LOOK at the awesomeness of that beach. And it was a peaceful kind of awesome — not airplanes flying overhead to tell you where to buy cheap drinks and the sands weren’t crammed with people. Just handfuls of people. A family playing Bocce ball. Someone daring a dad/grandpa/uncle to do a cartwheel, and he sort of did. People riding bikes on the sand. Having a conversation with my husband in the ocean.

2) Getting to re-read Geneen Roth’s book Women, Food and God this week, right when I needed to truly hear and understand what she had to say. I am especially grateful for this because of how it will help me be a better teacher, listener and coach for the women in my coaching group that starts next week. I offer up special thanks to the new friend whose mention of that book a couple of weeks ago re-turned my attention to it.

3) I’ve been married for 14 years this week (7/11/12). I love being married — I can’t help it and I don’t want to. It’s a wildly imperfect, fun, annoying, exciting, chaotic, hilarious (downright slapstick sometimes), romantic, confounding and joyful journey. I’ve had some clients in my marriage and family therapy practice who have expressed that they thought I might have a “leg up” on this marriage / partnership / commitment stuff because I have counseling credentials. All I can say to that is that I’m not like an ASE Certified Car Technician — fixing what’s “under the hood” of a relationship is just not like that. Sometimes there’s no “fixing” — there’s other work to be done. I’m in this life with my husband just like a lot of other people who make those promises. We re-make them every day. Every girl (or guy, for that matter) should be so lucky.

4) I’m grateful to be in our home, sitting in the armchair, listening to Springsteen and writing instead of driving through The Great Smoky Mountains in the rain for 10 hours after a few hours of sleep. With an Arby’s Sauce wrapper sticking to the console. And sour gummy Lifesavers. My blender, greens and frozen fruit will be back in the mix tomorrow.

5) At around 7:08 p.m. tonight, in between songs in my Zumba class, I took a deep breath and a big gulp of water and stood in that moment of feeling electrically awake, alive and free (I’m not an instructor or paid spokesperson, just a happy ambassador). I know those feelings are my essence. And what a lucky gal I am to help people find that for themselves in their lives. The photo at the top of tonight’s post was taken while on vacation this week. I can just bust out a Zumba or freestyle move anywhere. That image may scare away some people who stop in here and wonder if I might be someone they’d like to work with on their “stuff.” Then again, one woman saw it and said, “you might be my soulmate.” Those are my people. Y’all know who you are.

All the best for a great weekend and upcoming week, “fellow babies.” Kudos to you if you know the legendary TV show & character that term of endearment comes from.

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2 thoughts on “Grateful: Expansive beaches. A reprieve from the low-ebb of “car food” during vacation travel. 14 years. Coming home. Feeling alive.

  1. Susan Ribar

    “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”
    I’m so very grateful for Richard, Beth and Matt and all the joys and sorrows that have made me who I am today. I have been blessed. Thanks for being part of the experience. 🙂

  2. Marcia Torpey

    Laura, your paragraph 3 reminded of this quote I read today from

    Daily Marriage Tip for July 9, 2012:

    (Reader’s Tip) “In each challenging situation I strive to remember that this man is God’s amazing gift to me, and that God trusts me to love him with the same love God has for us.

    Thanks for sharing that encouragement with others.