I spent a weekend recently with close longtime friends (more like family) and their two girls at the beach in California. One morning, one of the girls and I headed out for a beach adventure. She’s eleven, brilliant and funny, so we walked, talked, hunted for shells, sea glass and the elusive sand dollars. I even learned how to skip rocks.
After a while of fruitless shell gathering, we came upon an abandoned sand castle. The tide was starting to come in, and we thought it would be fun to build the castle up and see if we could save it from ruin. Or, at least see how long we could try and save it from total ruin.
We reinforced walls, built higher towers, solidified the base, and with each new wave, we jumped out of the way, squealed with delight and then returned to the task, laughing and cheering each other on, helping each other out with tips and handfuls of sand.
Pretty soon, I found myself spouting platitudes:
“Gah – you can’t hold back the tide!”
“The ocean — it’s coming in waves!”
Of course, I couldn’t help but think about what a perfect metaphor for life that is, it’s inevitable that waves of stuff keep coming at you and the trick is how you roll with it. Believe me, I had a good laugh at myself and my coach-y mind still on while on holiday. BUT, platitudes exist for a reason–they’re true. Like waves, you can’t control the pace or stop so many of the complications of life that come your way. Knowing that, whether it’s fear, demands, anxiety, exhaustion, etc, what are you doing to learn to surf?
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