Sunday, January 18, 2015

Finding Joy, One Shell at a time

Last year at this time, I was still feeling so sad at the loss of MM's mom.  It felt like over the previous two years I just hadn't had enough joy in my life and everything became about work and pleasing other people.  I know myself well enough by now that I know my emotions can swing like a pendulum but in the end, I usually come back to my center.  It was around this time last year that several of my facebook friends were posting about "gratitude jars".  The idea was that you would write on little slips of paper and drop your good memories or things you were grateful for into a jar and then the following year, you would all sit around and read the slips of paper and fun would be had by dee da! 

In theory it sounded like a nice idea, but knowing myself, as I do, I knew that I would never in a years worth of Sundays follow through with writing on the slips of paper.  So, I thought about this and came up with my own idea. 

One of the things I knew had been lacking in my life was time spent at the beach.  Here I in  Hawaii and yet, life in paradise can still get so busy that you forget to stop and smell the plumeria!  So I made a commitment to go to the beach more in 2014.  In fact I talked to MM and he agreed that we could do our weekly Sunday "coffee and crosswords" at the beach instead of at the coffee shop.  Each Sunday I would take my empty coffee cup and take a walk on the shoreline, filling it up with whatever caught my eye.  I did it almost as a "meditation".  It calms me and I feel more at peace there then anywhere else. I believed that everything I found was actually meant for me.  It didn't matter if there were many other people out combing the beach because I believed that I would find everything I was intended to have.  Not every day was filled with joy.  There were days I found myself at the beach with a heavy heart.  But the beach made it better! 

When I started collecting my "gifts from the sea" I knew that I would go through it at the end of the year and give back to the sea anything that I no longer "needed".  Today as I sat on the floor, sifting through my finds I felt a full heart as I realized how much joy I had experienced this year.  I am looking forward to continuing this tradition and I trust that next year, my jar will be filled up to the brim once again with the memories I made while at the beach with the sun on my back and my fist full of shells. 


Meredith said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate and reflect on a year!

Anonymous said...

I love that you collect little finds on the beach. I've been doing that wherever we travel. It makes me smile to look at the broken shells and beach glass. Thank you for this post. Hugs!