“Why are you going to Crystal Cove its full of lesbians and old people?”
“You should go to Newport it’s spring break, the beach will be packed with college girls.”
As I read those texts from my friend I realized that I forgot to pack a fucking beach towel. I was minutes away from Crystal Cove Beach and debated turning around and going home. In the past I would have let something that trivial stop me from enjoying my day. But I decided to say fuck it and go to the beach towel-less.
I parked in the parking lot on the opposite side of the street. From there its a long descent down a walking path and through a tunnel under Pacific Coast Highway to get to the beach entrance. The only thought I had in my head was “this is a giant pain in the ass to get to a beach.” After 10 minutes of walking I reached my destination and it was beautiful.
I went out on the the rocks in the ocean and checked out the little creatures living on them. Then I sat down in the sand, put my earpods in my phone and listened to music while I watched the waves break on the rocks.
After a few minutes I turned the music off and began reading the eBook on my phone. My whole body was coated with sand, but that didn’t bother me. As I read I thought about how children end up covered in sand at the beach. Part of their fun is getting sand all over themselves. But as an adult it seems like such a nuisance.
I moved and sat on a rock at the shoreline. The water barely reached my feet as the waves rolled in. I sat there reading and enjoying the sun shining down on me for the next two hours. When I got too hot or my mind started to wander I jumped in the cold water to shock my body. It revitalized me and got me back into what I was reading. I developed a sense of mindfulness about how amazing I felt and how passionate I was about my life and what I was reading.
I didn’t ruminate over the fact that the day prior I chose not to listen to my gut instinct and sell off some stock; which cost me 5k in profit. I didn’t worry about my business woes or my relationship issues. I was just grateful for my life at that moment. I was being present and experiencing real contentment and happiness.
It sounds ridiculous, but I had this preconceived notion that if I did not have a towel I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the beach. I realized it’s these types of ridiculous rules I create for myself that keep me from happiness all to often. Sometimes the old truths we hold about life need to be thrown out and rewritten. Changing my thought process and taking a different course of action from my normal inclination to turn around and go home produced a new set of positive results – Happiness and Gratitude.