Erin and I just returned from a weeklong vacation to Miami Beach. My body is relaxed, my mind is clear, and life seems just a little bit better…vacations have a funny way of doing that. Lying on a beach with nothing but your thoughts and a drink with a little umbrella can teach you a lot of things. Here are three very important lessons I learned while basking in the sun:
#1.) Sand is magical. It has a way of mysteriously appearing in the most unlikely of places. For instance, you’re sitting down to a romantic dinner at a five-star restaurant, you go to taste the soup of the day and crunch! Sand kernel. Or you go to give your wife a good morning kiss and abracadabra! A magical stream of sand slowly tumbles out of your left nostril. Or you discover that one grain of sand has incubated in a hidden crevice long enough to become a pearl. On a semi-related note, all of my loved ones will be receiving a piece of pearl jewelry for the holidays. A word of advice: don’t wear it.
#2.) Some things are best left to the imagination. For example, butts. I’m all for expressing yourself, and feminism, and being proud of your curves, blah, blah, blah. But for real. Thongs are tho dithgusthting. And just because your significant other is wearing a thong, doesn’t mean it’s okay. After all, two thongs don’t make a right (da-dum-ch.)
#3.) While lying on my back, with millions of grains of sand beneath me, miles of ocean beyond me, and endless skies above me, I realized how small I really am. I don’t mean to go all existential and hippie-dippie on you, my loyal readers, but this beach vacation truly reminded me that I am here on earth for a very brief period of time and I am just a “grain of sand” in this huge universe. I know my purpose while I’m here is important, and I was simply reminded how little time I actually have.
Several years ago, I accompanied a friend of mine to her grandmother’s 80th birthday party. At the party, one family member spoke about how we often wait until a person has passed away to “send flowers” with a kind note about how much that person has meant to us. She encouraged us to think about how the world might improve if we “gave flowers” to our loved ones while they were still with us. I remember at the time thinking that was a very cool idea, but not until I was making pearls this past week did it really hit me how seldom I tell important people how much they mean to me. And as much as I try to avoid clichés in this blog, tomorrow is not guaranteed to me or anyone else.
So here it is…my third blog issued challenge. Send some “flowers” in the coming days. Call someone. Write a letter. Send a text or a private message. Just tell someone how they have impacted your life.
In the interest of taking my own advice, I will begin here with just a few “flowers,” but I plan to give others throughout the summer.
Mom, you have taught me more about enjoying life and pursuing my dream than anyone else. People are drawn to your open, giving, and magnetic personality. You are the definition of “living life to the fullest” and as I age, I am proud that we have become such good friends. I love you.
Dad, you have taught me what being a man and husband looks like. You are kindness personified. You are the most forgiving, gentle, honest, and helpful person I know, and I could not have asked for a better father. I love you.
Erin, you are the bravest and sweetest spirit I have ever had the pleasure of encountering, and I am humbled that I get to spend my life loving and serving you. Your courage, discipline, and humility encourage me to be a better person. I love you.
Simple. Honest. Not a moment too soon and not a minute not too late.
The rest I plan to do privately. Now go out into the world and send some “flowers.” It is good for the soul. And it’s much better than giving pearls.