Our vacation is coming to a close. We’ve been at my in-laws for over a week now. We officially came down for Spring Break and for the annual family Passover celebration, but of course it is a lot more than that. For me, besides getting to see the family and relax with the kids, the trips down here are a chance for me to surf.
I’ve surfed most mornings, the exceptions being one day where my wife was at a conference, and some others where the waves were too small and my wife was a bit tired. We figured out last year that getting that morning surf makes it so it doesn’t matter so much what I do for the rest of the day. In the past, I would often feel frustrated that I hadn’t done anything during the day, or I would feel restless and stuck at the house and often feel a bit depressed. With surfing I feel that I accomplished something important and everything else is icing on the cake. I can enjoy playing with the kids and just lounging around the house. In addition to having “accomplished” something, I also enjoy the time to sit and just be. I tend to appreciate my kids a lot more. I reflect on my concerns and often find myself more open to different possibilities and ideas.
On my first day out during this trip conditions were a bit too big for me and I wasn’t able to catch a single wave and was initially a bit frustrated. But then I reminded myself that I hadn’t surfed for about 2 months. I ended up being okay with the fact that I made it out past the waves despite the hard paddle. Since then the conditions have been much more in line with my abilities and I’ve had a lot more fun.
The surfing highlight of the week was perhaps my second morning when the dolphins were in a particularly playful mood. One of the many great aspects of surfing here is that that dolphins are almost always present, and they come in close to shore. On that day, there was a pod of dolphins doing acrobatics, chasing fish, catching waves(It’s well documented) and just being a joy to watch. I find the animals so amazing, and I have the definite sense that they are very aware of the surfers out there, and while the don’t play with you, the seem to acknowledge you somehow. Especially when they surf waves, it seems to me a playful jab at humans for being so ungraceful in the water. I’m sure I’m personifying the dolphins, but they truly are a wonder to observe playing so close by.
Other than surfing. We had several family dinners, the kids got to spend time with their grandparents and cousins. I got to see come colleagues from grad school and got my fix of fish tacos (you can’t get decent ones where I live). I also watched a couple of movies that I’ve been meaning to catch up on, played with the kids in the hot tub, and I even had a meeting with a prospective employer! I don’t think it is something that I want to pursue, but I was practicing being open to opportunities and connections. I also sent in a cover letter and resume to a company near my home that is doing some rapid-prototyping and design work. Haven’t heard anything back, but I’m proud of following through a chance encounter(in this case with a job listing).
The one downside of going surfing early in the morning is that I tend to be a bit tired in the afternoons. However, the peace, clarity and joy I get from surfing (and the dolphins) more than make up for it. I just need to figure out how I could get more surfing in at home. So thanks to my in-laws for opening their home to use and giving us all such a wonderful week and me the chance to surf!