Swim with the Current

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Thomas Jefferson

American Founding Father, third President of the United States, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and VIRGINIAN, was born on this day in 1743. (died 1826)

One might think that after thirteen months of sheltering in place that I might have mastered the art of slowing down and relaxing without fidgeting.

One might be wrong.

I mean, I’ve had moments of TV bingeing from the comfy chair. But I also had with me my Moleskine, my sketchpad, the current book I was reading…and of course my phone.

I have a friend who calls it my Personal Stress Device.

So, I’m never really disconnected.

True, I did have a glorious week at the beach last August.

One a side note, we weren’t able to schedule a beach week this year. If you have room or an empty house, hit me up in the comments.

But I’ve always know it takes time to wind down. To stop multi-tasking. To stop going over every project in my head.

That’s why Sunday the wife and I decided to take a little day trip Jamestown Beach, located right on the James River next to Jamestown Festival Park and the on ramp for the ferry.

It’s a small beach, and it’s a river beach. But it was a good chance to get out and get away for a few hours.

Available in The Write Side Shop (click the pic).

It was the last day of my wife’s Spring Break. She’d been grading papers up until sometime on Saturday.

On another side note if you think that virtual teaching is a picnic for teachers, you are woefully misinformed.

So, at the beach, we set up our chairs and proceeded to relax.

Except I couldn’t. I was fidgety. I wanted to check my phone but the glare from the sun prevented that. I tried to read but could only do so much of that.

I know that this is an annual thing at the beach when it takes the first day for me to wind down.

I wasn’t planning on going full vacation mode on Sunday, but a couple of hours of mindless existence would have been nice.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a great afternoon. We ended up taking the ferry across the James with plans to go to a restaurant we remembered. Unfortunately that restaurant has been closed for at least three years.

I just wish that I had an off switch, or the ability to compartmentalize things so that I’m not thinking about them all the time.

That’s been particularly hard over these last 47 years of house arrest. Even when I could take some time to wind down, or watch mindless television. Even when I could sit on a beach at the ocean or the river. Even when all of my most pressing work was more or less done.

In all of those times, it was still hard to let go. I mean, you can’t just sit down and forget that we’re living through a world-wide pandemic.

And just like you, I’ve got a whole ‘nother list of things to worry about.

But I’m committed to finding those windows of time to disconnect. Even if it’s not a week at the beach (your offer to host us would still be considered). Even if it’s just an hour or two.

So that’s my plan for this spring and summer. Find times to go park my carcass on a sandy beach, or a grassy lawn.

I need to do this for my health, mental and physical. You do as well.

If insurance companies understood that, they’d finance it.




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Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 13:20-21

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