I’m not bragging. Really I’m not.  However, I just have to say that today has been the kind of day that I dreamed about during the 40+ years that  I was a working gal. Yes, I know that all (or most) women work, so maybe I should rephrase. This has been the kind of day that I dreamed about when I worked outside of the home and then came home and began what sociologists call “the second shift,” the one involving cooking, cleaning, bathing children, folding clothes, and so forth. I could list them (I’m an expert on the second shift), but just thinking about it makes me tired.

So…back to today. For starters, I’m still in Myrtle Beach, and I purposely set my alarm for 7:00 o’clock this morning just so that I could have the experience of waking up at the time I used to leave for work. It was awesome! Then I read, interacted with my online classes, had a phone conference with someone I met at the South Carolina Writers (I know some of you want to put an apostrophe before that s in Writers, but there’s not one), and then went to the beach to walk for two hours.

The temps were in the 60’s, and the coolness itself put a little pep in my step. I ditched my shoes in the sea grass, thus enabling me to feel the cold water every few seconds as the waves splashed around my feet. Heaven! Strolling along and listening to music on my iPhone while watching birds, people, and the ocean was one of those peak experiences that Maslow referred to. At least that’s my take on it.

When I got back to our little duplex, I spied a picture that hung in my office(s) for decades. Called “Seawatch,” it’s of a red chair perched on the beach with a floppy hat on the sand beside it. Sea birds fly around the empty chair, and in the past whenever I’d get stressed (daily), I’d look at the picture and think, “Somewhere there’s a beach.” And there is.

Time to pack the car and head home after a marvelous few days of learning new things, meeting old and new friends, spending time with Elizabeth, and walking on the strand. Today’s experiences were just the kind I looked forward to all those years that I looked at the red chair in the sand. Don’t get me wrong. I loved teaching (still do), but I’m happy that my life has more of a work/play balance in it now.

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