I rose early and went out for a run along the beach, remembering the last time I was in Auckland. On the exact beach I had walked hand in hand with my Dad and taken photos in the bright morning sunshine. I fondly remembered his soft big hands holding mine, and the secure feeling he always gave me. This time, it was just me jogging along the shores, I said good morning to the friendlier faces and patted the wet sandy dogs. It was a sunny day in Auckland, and a day all to myself.
I came home and did all my washing, it’s the simple things like clean laundry that makes you feel good after travelling for over 10 days. By the time I had everything folded and organised again I was ready to head out for a mini explore.
I didn’t make it far into town, I am not too fussed with shops when I travel, as I don’t fancy buying too much, I travel light. I am conscious of not aquiring too many unnecessary things in my life. After an easy sushi lunch, I made my way down to the beach. There was a light cool breeze and the water looked a bit choppy but still very inviting. Kids were on school holidays, so there were a few people around. I stripped off quickly and made my way across the dark volcanic sand into the water, ever so keen to get into that salty sea again. With views of an inactive volcano across the bay, I frolicked around in the waves and counted my blessings. I really do have a good life. Not many people take the time out of their busy lives to enjoy the outdoors and nature. The beach, a sunny day, a good view, all simple yet so effective to bring feelings of well being.
By mid afternoon it was time to get ready for my reunion with my sisters children. I was very much looking forward to seeing them after 5 years. Sadly we don’t have a close relationship, as we live in different countries. We chatted about lots of different things going on in our own lives and about my sister and her passing at the time. I could see that her passing still was having a grave impact on her immediate family. She was an impressionable woman Marianna and a good mother to her children. I wish that we could all be closer, but this is not something that can be forced. The night finished just as it was beginning I felt, and everyone scattered again in different directions. Who knows when I will see them again?
I realised as I walked away with a tear in my eye, that my friends are now my family. My friends are now the ones I turn to for support and love. I know that friendship is not unconditional, like parental love is, but it is a close second. I am fortunate to have some really great friends, who are all over the world. I love you all dearly and really cherish the time we spend together and the connection that we have. One good thing about this blog is that I can reach all of you across the globe! And I want you to know how grateful I am for your support, encouragement and love as I continue on my journey in life. My parents taught me well, it really is the people around you that matter the most. You can have all the money in the world and still be unhappy, it is important to have what you need, but be sure to share your time and love and energy with the ones you care about.
As I walked back to my accommodation, I had strong feelings of my Mum. It’s all about how people make you feel in life. It’s not necessarily what people say, but how they make you feel. ‘Go by feel Merl’, she used to say. Which to translate basically means listen to your heart, listen to your instincts and listen to your intuition. This information is internal, this guiding force will tell you all you need to know. As I grow older this wisdom feels more and more the truth. My mum didn’t have a lot to show for herself financially, but she was the richest woman I knew. She showed me compassion, her care factor was extremely high, and she was so giving. Giving of her love, time, energy and attention and gifts. She loved to make things for people. This care factor and act of love, is worth more than money can ever buy.
It was good to see my sisters children, and I only hope we can continue to build our friendship into a more connected relationship over time.
I went to bed early that night and felt rested and calm on rising. On my morning beach run, I met a lady called Leah who I chatted with as we powered along the beach. She was very friendly and easy to talk to. Coincidently she had also given up drinking recently. We always draw like minded people to us I find. We talked a bit about sobriety and both remarked on how much better we felt. I hope she gets a chance to read this as I did share with her my blog address. Reaching out to strangers is one of my favourite things to do. I know it sounds strange but it really makes me realise how easily we can all connect, and how similar we all can be. All striving to better ourselves, to live a good life, find love, be happy and simply be better humans. I know we are all very different but there is a common thread that can be found in all of us.
I am so pleased that my sobriety has had such a positive impact on the people around me. For some I know it has made them reassess their relationship with alcohol, and make some changes. Others continue on as normal, not feeling like they want to change their patterns, and this is fine too. Like anything in life, you have to be ready to give something up, or see things from a new perspective. No one can tell you what to do. Giving up drugs, alcohol or other negative addictive behaviours is a decision that needs to come from within. Once your internal trigger flips, you know it is the right time. I hope my writing is continuing to help those who have lost a loved one, or maybe someone overcoming an addiction. Or hopefully I am inspiring you to live a life you love. Make some changes to enjoy your life more. This is what ‘living your truth’ is all about. We all work too much and continually strive to acquire more and more possessions. But honestly, you can’t take it with you. Watching my Mum walk out the door, or more aptly, be stretchered out the house, to never return again, she walked away from all her worldly possessions, and that’s it. You do not take them with you. Everything is on loan. Enjoy the beautiful things you have around you but don’t get too obsessed or attached to them. Nothing lasts forever.
As I sit here, drinking a morning coffee, listening to hypnotic upbeat music, I type with sunlight streaming in through the windows of my beachside caravan, my temporary abode for one more night. I think and appreciate everything I have in my life. Right now I am happy. Travelling brings me joy, I love to see and experience new things, meet new people and be inspired by my natural environment.
I hope my writing has also brought you some inspiration to live the life of your dreams.
Until next time,
“The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.”
– Charles Kuralt