Saturday, August 21, 2010

Taking Time to Breathe...

Without Breaking the Bank
One of the worst things about being in distress, financial or otherwise, is that we reach a point where we feel like we can't even breathe. Face it, even in good times, we need a break. When things are bad, we need it even more but don't think we can afford either the money or the time. We become exhausted and even depressed making it more difficult to to think clearly and make the good, rational decisions required to overcome our situation.
Today, my husband and I took just such a break. We spent the morning leisurely winding our way to the beach by way of every unfamiliar, seldom traveled road we could find. We wandered our way around neighborhoods, past farms and through absolutely beautiful, old-growth forests where the grandfather oaks stretched their giant, fern covered branches across the roadway with Spanish moss dripping overhead. Gradually, the growth began to change as deep within the shadows, palmettos made their appearance and the occasional pines were replaced with occasional palms and the shadows began to give way to open areas. Then there was the bridge to cross and the energizing smell of salt in the air and open sky with sea gulls gliding on the currents.
We arrived at the shore late in the morning, got refills of our coffee and sat in the car watching the waves for a while. Then we walked barefoot on the sand, along the water's edge, slow and easy, sometimes talking...mostly silent until an hour or so had passed and we agreed that we were both hungry. Our favorite place to eat has an open deck cafe where we were able to order at our leisure, linger over our meal and stay around to chat.
It tickles me to note that neither of us tried to "eat on the cheap". I never said to myself, "Oh, I can't have that. It costs too much." I wasn't actually thinking about price at all and hadn't intended to write this post. My intention for the day was simply to take time to breathe. Because of that, we started slow with a shared appetizer that was actually huge. We didn't order 'real food' until later and by that time, we were fairly well filled so we settled for hot, specialty sandwiches. Not counting gas, our total expense for the day, including drinks and tip was under $30.
As the clouds began to roll in for their usual afternoon thunderstorm, we headed for home, refreshed, relaxed and ready to face whatever tasks tomorrow or next week or the coming month places before us.

An available beach is not the key to giving yourself time to relax, refresh and breathe but, for me, spending some time close to nature is. I've found it while walking in the woods or along the bank of a creek or even spreading a blanket on the ground for a quiet picnic in a deserted park. Give it a try...and remember to take your shoes off.

You might also enjoy information on these links
No & low-cost ways to give yourself a boost
Tips on how to relax
5 ways to plan a low-cost retreat

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