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Do you relax at the beach? Is there anything on earth more relaxing than sitting on a beach, staring out at the water, hearing the waves crash in an unending rhythm?
Not to me. As a matter of fact, I wrote this post while sitting on the beach, in complete solitude, not another soul in sight. The song of the waves reminds me that we are all one, one people, on one planet, connected by one water. I am amazed. I feel totally blessed to have this time and place to just ‘BE.’ Today, I am sharing how I arrived at this place, why it is special to me, and why you need to create a special place of your own!
Let’s begin seven years ago when my dad called me up to say that a retired couple in their RV park had put their fifth up for sale and planned to retire in Mexico. The fifth wheel trailer is located on a leased spot in a campground at Nicola Lake. My parents camped there, and the park is only 20-25 minutes from their home in Merritt. I took down the details about the trailer to pass along to my husband, but honestly, we were not in the market for a travel trailer. At the time we three teenage daughters attending middle and high school who all planned on attending university, so purchasing a fifth wheel just wasn’t on our radar. However, my husband is thrifty and very good at budgeting. I wouldn’t say he is cheap but he does LOVE A GOOD DEAL
My hubby, let’s call him J, immediately began an online search for similar fifth wheels for sale. He printed out the floor plan, he researched the pros and cons, he redid our entire budget for the rest of the year to ensure we could swing the extra bill. He read reviews, he texted back and forth with the owner, he checked out similar models for sale on RV lots locally, and after he was satisfied with the information he had gathered, we took a little trip to go view the actual trailer. Did I mention he is thorough? When all was said and done, we bought the fifth wheel with all that was in it and on the site for half the price of anything like it that J could find for sale in Canada or the United States. The leased spot was also paid up for the year, so we could leave the trailer there, a good thing as we don’t own a truck! My hubby J did strike up a good bargain, I must admit.
The trailer came fully furnished with dishes, pots and pans, a crockpot and even a mini ironing board/iron. The sweet couple who sold the trailer to us lived in it for a few years so it had all the comforts of home. The day the couple left to DRIVE to Mazatlan and start their life in tropical paradise, they left with only their clothes, bedding, and a few other mementos that could fit in their mid-size car. They even left behind an antique chair which has since made its way to our home.
The country is so peaceful, and the sky is so blue. We can see a million stars at night, and the air is so fresh and clean. The place at the lake has been and a huge blessing to us. We have enjoyed spending many weekends at the campground with my parents. As well, the trailer is our little ‘hotel’ room, just 40 minutes away from Jim’s family, and 20 minutes from my parents home. This has been especially helpful over the past two years, both my mother and father-in-law were diagnosed with terminal cancer and the location of the campground allowed us to visit and spend time with both of our families on a weekend, but still, have a place to sleep and call our own.
This little home away from home became a place to have some downtime and space to process, which in turn enables us to be better equipped to navigate thru our parent’s battle with cancer. Sadly, my father in law and mother have both passed away, after a short battle with cancer. But truly, we were able to visit and see then more than would have otherwise been possible if we didn’t have the trailer. We are very grateful for that. We spent many weekends at the trailer so that we coud head into town to see my folks, lend them a hand, cook them a meal, and we brought mom out to get some fresh air when she felt up to it.
At the campground, we met and became friends with people we would not have otherwise met, and we have found a place where we totally relax and unwind. It’s not a five-star resort, (even though we did take the plunge and purchase a roomier fifth wheel last summer), the beach is rocky, the campground is far from fancy, but it’s our place. The campground is basic, but we love that the campsites are large, private, and the park is quiet. All the lots are leased with no openings for overnighters, we don’t have party animals showing up on the weekends (except me), and we all leave our belonging outside with no concern that anything will be missing upon our return.
‘No worries, be happy!’ Are you singing along?
That song makes me smile and dance :).
On any given weekend you might find the regular gang sitting around the campfire, listening to tunes, having great conversation and a glass of wine (or two), just chillin’ together. Do you have a getaway place? A picnic spot or beach you hang out at, do you have a place you long to return to?
The thing is, the minute we start driving to the lake, I can’t wait to get there. I am like a little kid asking every few minutes, “Are we there yet?” My smile gets bigger, my tight and sore muscles relax, and my soul sails. Do you intentionally make time to unwind and just ‘BE?’ At the lake, there are no constant demands, no distractions, and zero pressures. It’s a place where I can unwind, spend time alone, or spend a few days with my best friend. There is nothing like time spent with a girlfriend sharing the ups and downs of life, there is always much laughter and sometimes a few tears but we are connecting and that is wonderful for my soul.
Life at the lake means life slows down and you really enjoy every moment, remembering that each day is a gift. For me, I connect with nature and spend time in prayer and contemplation. I write in my gratitude journal, I read and escape, I color and even dance! We all live in this fast-paced world with chronic stressors and for many, stress has even become a habit, the norm.
I realize that not everyone’s place or method to relax is the same, for we are all unique and we all have different lives. But I do know that with the hectic pace of daily life in today’s society, the multitasking, the high-pressure jobs, the increased demands of getting by when wages but the cost of living sky rockets, and the constant bing of social media on phones, everyone needs a ‘quiet’ place to call their own. If you are the mother of young children, I get it, we raised three girls, and heading to the beach alone was rare. However, the days with the children when we packed up a picnic and headed to the beach were special, and the memories are indeed lifelong. Enjoy them, just remember to take a few minutes of solitude to nurture yourself too.
You don’t need an RV park, you can make a sanctuary in a corner of your bedroom, or even the bathroom by taking a long, hot bath. Your place does not have to cost a lot of money or impress anyone. Just make it your place, your special space. Tell your spouse and children ( if the kids are old enough to understand) that for to be the best wife and mom possible, you need time to unwind, relax, regroup, whatever it is you need. Take a breather, calm down, put your feet up, and let go. You can make a special sign and post it when you are taking some ‘ME’ time or just grab the one I made for you here >> Mommy’s Gone To The Beach.
You are important, and valued! Your family, your community, and the world needs you. We are all one. We need a whole and healthy you.
So please take care of yourself by taking back some time to rejuvenate and refresh at your beach, whatever and wherever that works for you!
Take back ‘Time 4 you,’ relax, nurture your soul, foster serenity, and live fully! Click the link or image below to grab your self-care checklist and take care of you today.
Update: After my mom passed away, my dad sold their trailer. A year later we sold our RV to a lady whose house had burned down and she needed a place to live. Happy she got a new home but I sure miss hanging out at the lake. My husband and I are exploring different areas of our beautiful province and searching for our next weekend getaway home!