Sometimes it is hard to find the humor in a situation. Or even in life in general.
Which is what I’ve been struggling with recently.
Not at the micro-level. In that respect, things are humming along quite nicely at the moment. Airco is working (yay!). The work pipeline is full (double yay!). Wind is blowing (hell to the yeah, triple yay!).
But sometimes what is happening outside your little sphere of concern (a/k/a the rest of the world), has an insidious way of creeping into the periphery of your thoughts. And, as it turns out, it can have a negative impact even if you don’t realize it. Even when things are going down thousands of miles away. And those things don’t directly affect anyone you know or love. And you don’t really think the things are affecting you, either. But they are, apparently.
And that’s where I found myself last night. Slightly overworked (not complaining!), really tired (preparing to turn 50 next month is exhausting, apparently 🙂 ) and not really knowing why I was in a funk (but a funk it was, and not in a cool, smoky jazz blues kine of way). But then Island Boy came to my rescue.
He cajoled me into leaving my office and going to the beach for a sunset kiteboarding session. Not without protest on my part (I’m too tired, I’ve got too much work to do, the wind doesn’t seem that great, on and on…). But I went eventually. And once I got there I forced myself to focus on the tasks at hand. No sitting down for a quick chat with friends. No dawdling like I usually do. Just straight to it. I pumped up my kite. I ran my lines. I put on my harness. I launched my kite, grabbed my board and went straight on the water.
And there something amazing happened. But not really, because I know it to be true whenever I am troubled (just sometimes I forget). All the stress, worries and concerns permeating my head, body and soul slowly slipped away. Absorbed by the clean wind, flat water and setting sun. I had, in my world anyway, what I refer to as the perfect kite session. And after an hour I came back to the beach feeling refreshed and 100% like my old self again. Happy, smiling and believing there was still hope in the world. This may have had something to do with the really high jumps I landed. Or the cooler full of ice cold beer waiting in the back of our SUV. Or something else entirely. Who can really be sure?
But either way, it made me remember how important it is to follow your passion. Whatever that may be.
I don’t mean quit your job, buy a plane ticket and fly away someplace tropical on a permanent basis (although that’s what I did and it worked out pretty well for me…so who am I to tell you not to do it, too?!). What I mean is make time in your busy schedule to do the things that calm your soul. Hiking in the mountains? Knitting? Cooking? Taking a long, leisurely walk with your dog? Going out dancing? Whatever it is, don’t forget to do it. Regularly. Stop making excuses and just get on with it. Have fun. Schedule that shit in your calendar if you have to. But just be sure to do it. Did I mention regularly?
And don’t feel guilty about leaving work unfinished. Or your house messy. Or the laundry still hanging on the line (or in the dryer for those of you slightly more modern than those of us living on rocks with high electric bills). Because all that shit will still be there when you get back. Trust me on that one…never seen any of it disappear while I was away, unfortunately.
The only difference is that you’ll be in a much better frame of mind to tackle it with a smile and positive attitude. Because what happens when you skip the fun in your life and only focus on the hard stuff is that you become a less amazing version of yourself. And we are all amazing, by the way. So why hide your fabulousness?
Got questions? Want to know more about island life? Thinking about making a big life change (whether that includes an island or not)? I’d love to hear from you. Check out this post or send your thoughts to email@example.com and let’s connect.
I’m a writer living on the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire. Originally from the U.S., I followed my heart to the tropics in 2011 at the wizened age of 43. Since then, I’ve been blogging to inspire and entertain. I love kitesurfing, a good gin & tonic, and corgis.
Get to know me on social…