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Giving thanks for - the luxury of a vacation. Safe travel for our daughter returning home after her week at the beach. Sunblock. Blue skies, clear water, amazing clouds, sandy beaches, the sound of gentle waves washing on shore, waking up to a beautiful day. FaceTime. 

Outside my window - the Gulf of Mexico, sandy beaches, couples walking along the beach together, a fishing boat just off shore, clear skies, grass and flowers native to this area, so different from what we’re used to at home.

Clothing myself in - still in my favorite pajamas :-) We’re on vacation time, don’t judge me LOL. I finally figured out how not to pack too much!! I did a good job - I’m giving myself a pat on the back for simplicity. Go me!! Keeping house - just picking up after myself and letting others do the same. Load of laundry here, a few dishes there, sweep a little sand, fold a few towels. Nice.

Keeping it simple - I can confidently say that our trip to Hawaii last year taught me a thing or two about keeping it simple when traveling. We are so spoiled with all our paraphernalia, we forget that we don’t really need a lot of stuff - we just think we do. The fact that we flew with whatever we could fit in a single bag, stayed in a hotel room without even so much as a microwave and discovered that we could be creative with what we had taught me that we really need very little even when we are driving and could bring more. We just don’t need to and choosing not to makes life easier at both ends of the trip. And can I just say that this mama has figured out how to relax and be a bit more spontaneous. We start each day with no plans really, and when someone suggests something they want to do, if we want to go along, we do, if not, we don’t. That seems like simplicity to me...

To be fit and healthy - unlike most years we come on vacation, we have not indulged in a lot of unhealthy fare. Meals are simple, eating out hasn’t ruined that for us, and sweets are not much of a temptation. I misplaced my FitBit at the beginning of the trip and have yet to locate it. I know it’s in our belongings somewhere, but I wouldn’t wear it in the heat and water anyway lest my skin rebel on me. 

I saw a group doing yoga on the beach one morning. I don’t subscribe to the religious aspect of yoga, but I do think that the physical benefits from it could help me. My thoughts are heading more and more towards a very intentional approach to losing weight and moving more, gaining more flexibility and strength. Aging will be more graceful with these better choices, and that’s my goal - aging with grace. Pondering - the purpose and direction of my writing. The ever present internal struggle with whether or not writing is meaningful and worthwhile if it never results in a monetary gain and remains strictly an outlet for my creative endeavors. I already know that answer to this, I don’t know why it keeps coming back around to bug me. Perhaps my membership in the writing group is the source of the struggle. I am going to ponder this a bit more today.

Listening to - so much quiet. Seagulls and waves when we’re at the beach. Just quiet when we’re in the condo. Dear husband and I have differences in taste for music and he rarely gets to enjoy his choices. So while I enjoy reading fiction, he sits beside me and enjoys his music. Much to our children’s dismay. LOL

Reading - I finished Cry of the Raven last week and started The Quilter’s Apprentice. I have hopes of finishing it and moving on to another before week’s end. My real hope is that when we return home I’ll continue to read rather than waste time watching too much tv.

Watching - people, boats, dolphins, waves, swimmers, fishermen, clouds, birds, lizards, and very little tv :-)

Loving the moments - the beaches are way more crowded than we are accustomed to when we are here, but we came earlier than usual. I don’t know if this is common for this time frame or not. What I did notice was how many people stood on the shore last night, waiting for sunset. All eyes were on the horizon, watching as the day slipped away. I realized that although there has always been and always will be, so much hurt, fear, anger, hate, despair, sickness, death, all the darkness that the enemy can hurle upon humankind, we are all still connected in some ways that we don’t even realize. I’m not suggesting that every person would enjoy watching the sunset on the beach. Such a suggestion, like any other comment uttered from any person could be fodder for arguments and judgement. But I am suggesting that people are drawn to something beyond themselves whether they want to be or not, whether they are even aware of it or not. It was a moment of visualizing the idea that we are all more alike than we are different. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.

Planning for the week ahead - all-you-can-eat-crab one more time. Our second team is here this week and they also want to enjoy that delight! It is pure indulgent luxury to be able to enjoy such a feast, I am very well aware. I don’t take it for granted, and am very grateful. More beach, more sun, more sand, more swimming and floating, more games, more rest, more reading. Probably a bit more shopping and seeing some places that we haven’t before. And then pack it all up and head home. I miss my friend and my daughter and her family. I hope to see them all soon after we return and get settled in a little.

Words worth sharing - rather than asking God, what is your will for my life, ask him simply, what is your will and what is my part in bringing that about? It’s a subtle change with a big shift in perspective. It’s not about me. 

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