On my first beach vacation as an adult I got a little carried away and set out swimming over the waves. I was overwhelmed by the vastness of the ocean, the never-ending skyline. I was savoring the experience when I was interrupted by a shrill noise. It sounded like a whistle. I thought to look back at the shore and I noticed a commotion. Lifeguards were yelling out into the water. People were lining up along the shore to watch. I thought, “Uh oh. Someone behind me must be in serious danger.” I swung around to see the idiot causing the craziness.

There was no one there.

I squinted to make out figures on the shore waving and yelling. One of them kind of looked like my wife.

Oh wait.

It’s ME. I am the idiot causing this commotion.

******

I have been back at the beach this week and thinking about that afternoon close to a decade ago when I almost caused an entire section of landscape to close.

In actuality, the ocean is a very scary place.

It is fickle, dirty, unpredictable, full of creatures that most of us don’t understand.

Yet somehow, millions make a pilgrimage to some water-adjacent area on an annual basis, holding up the experience as the ultimate in relaxation.

(Give me the ocean’s PR team, please.)

Life can be a bit like this, too.

The day to day is uncomfortable. It roars. There is no way to truly know what will happen next.

Some days you get sunburned (Today for me.)

Some days you watch the sunset on one side of you as the moon rises on the other. (Also today for me.)

Some days you realize you are the idiot causing the craziness.

But we have to make ourselves jump in, day after day, and hope for the best.

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