I love shopping. I love new clothes. I love getting dressed up. I love decorating our house. I love looking at new houses. I want. I want. I want.

At the beach I don’t want. I don’t care what I look like or how many days it’s been since I washed my hair. I don’t care what the person next to me looks like or find it interesting what brand of bathing suit they are wearing. I don’t people watch.

I just am. I am at peace. I love the waves. The sand. I don’t want to compete. I want to run to appreciate running. I want to walk simply because I can.

I wear clothes that have holes in them and love them. My nice clothes don’t even get unpacked. I wear a scarf not because it fits some sort of look that I like but because I don’t want my neck to get chilly on a walk. I throw on a t-shirt and don’t mind that my bathing suit dyes part of it hot pink – it’s only a shirt and I don’t care about material things at the beach.

Sitting on the beach I thought about my goals in life and how they have changed over the years. I realized that it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race in life – always doing – always trying to be better – wanting to be successful. But what is success and who defines it? If you are the richest woman on the planet does it make you the happiest when you die? If you are someone important in your specific field but you spent no time with your family making memories – does your so called importance matter?

I know I’ll always have goals in life but maybe they will become simplier? I don’t want to compete with others. I don’t want to feel a twinge of *oh I wish that had been me that got to do that* – I want to live a life where I am ALWAYS happy for others. Where I bite my tongue if I have nothing nice to say. A life where I forgive over and over even if I don’t feel like the person deserves it. A life where I don’t stress about how many people like me or how many friends I have. In the end as long as my three kids love me and I feel that I have lived as a good person – then I am happy. Just as I don’t need to be the fastest girl in a group – I don’t need to be the most popular. I want to enjoy my life a little more. Stress a little less. Spend more quality time making memories with my little people rather than just taking care of them. I want to dwell on what I do have rather than what I don’t have. I want to let things go in one ear and out the other. I want to forget about mean words slung at me and only remember the kind ones. I want people to remember me as someone who cared deeply and passionately about others.

I pray that in this journey I will know who are the people, places and the jobs I should hold on to and who are the ones who I should let go.

I have been home for 24 hours and I’m already missing life at the Outer Banks. The beach changes me….one day I will live near one….one day…..


Does the beach make you analyze your life? Is it the water? The sand? The way of life?


  1. NattieRuns says:

    There is something about the beach that always resets me. Thank you for posting this, it is so very true.

  2. Everyone needs a “reset” button. Mine just happens to be the mountains. Being a country girl from the plains of Oklahoma, there is just something awe-inspiring and mysterious about the Rockies to me.  When I am there I do not care that I smell like a campfire or that I have worn the same jeans and flannel shirt for two consecutive days.  I totally get where you are coming from with the beach.  It simply puts the small and petty things in our day to day lives into perspective and allows us to simply BE.

  3. Theodora says:

    Wish we had been able to meet up, but glad you had a great time!

  4. kristenlabarca says:

    I LOVE our annual trip to the Outer Banks. It makes me feel exactly like you described in your post. I wish I could bottle up that feeling so I could remind myself throughout the rest of the year.

    I ran the Newport (Oregon) marathon yesterday. It is along the coast. After my race, I ran and played in the sand with my three kids, husband, parents and dog. It was heaven. It made me realize that although I had worked hard for four months for the marathon, the time spent on the beach afterwards is the time I will remember and treasure.

  5. happyfitmama says:

    The beach is a wonderful place to get lost but to also find yourself. It’s my most favorite place in the whole world. The water, sand, smells…pure bliss!

  6. cisforcourtney says:

    the way you wrote this post is absolutely beautiful. love the pictures. i’m so glad you had such a wonderful time at the beach. 
    i feel the same way about the mountains. :) 

  7. lmcintire1104 says:

    Very good post!  Thanks for sharing =)  Love the peace I feel when I’m on vacation, especially at the Outer Banks.  I really wish I could also hold my tongue when I have nothing nice to say.  It’s very difficult and something I am working on because I don’t want to set that example for my daughters.

  8. LightsOutStout says:

    I’ve had so many similar thoughts lately. The pressure and competition we are in with ourselves and can get wrapped up in with others is maddening. This post is beautiful and totally makes me want to pack up my car and head to the beach as soon as possible. So happy you were able to find such peace and be able to reflect on all that really matters!

  9. SarahCanney says:

    Great Post Dorothy! So many times I look past all the blessings and provision in my life and skip right to the needing and wanting and inpatient and discontent and frustrated cause it all won’t work out the way I want it to and in my timeline. I forget to see what is really important. Luckily (thankfully) I am married to a man who is wise and often reminds me that if I’m living the life that God intended for me then there is no fear of “missing out.” I feel like I am constantly in the process of learning and relearning this lesson (almost daily). I hope to some day be in a greater state of peace and contentment, not lacking goals, but not constantly, obsessively striving for more. 

  10. I love love love the beach. I totally get what you are saying. There are some places that make me a lot happier and content and others where I always want more and am never good enough. NYC where I live is one of those always wanting places…makes me really think I should rethink where I live.My priorities have majorly changed since I first moved here.

  11. I am at home on the beach. I too, and at peace on the beach. There truly is something about the wind, and the waves, and the surf that just make me think about my life and appreciate it in ways I never have before.
    I’m trying my hardest to get to one this summer!
    Such a beautiful post!

  12. I always seem to relate perfectly to your posts.
    We all need to be reminded to step back and enjoy the little things in life more often. My family and I have been going to Corolla, NC twice a year now and I look forward to the trip more than anything else. It truly defines being at peace.

  13. I love everything about the beach, all of it! the way it makes me feel, the salty ocean air, the sand – there is something magically about the beach. I’m a Florida girl, and 6 years later, I still miss it every day! looks like you had a GREAT vacation! xo

  14. Barbara Brewton says:

    I am looking for a photograph of one of the mileposts on the outer banks highway. Though you might have one you’d be willing to share.


  1. […] My beach analyzing has lead me to decide this is one of those places I should let go of ….. [http://www.mile-posts.com/2012/06/03/less-is-more-at-the-beach-outer-banks-north-carolina/] […]

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