One day at a time
"Every day is a new beginning.
Take a deep breath, smile and start again - and remember, one day at a time."
From the time I was little, I have always loved collecting seashells. Large, small, pretty, not so pretty, broken.....it didn't matter, I loved walking the beach and finding these amazing ocean treasurers. They elicited the "ooohs and aaahs" much like when I was observing fireworks. Maybe that is what they are - the fireworks of the ocean!
However, the beautiful sand dollar was never within my reach - until we first visited Tybee in 2009. On our very first walk on Tybee beach, I found sand dollars - not just one - but almost with every step I took! I was ecstatic! To the point that I told my husband that I was going to sell our shop, move to Tybee, and become a professional, official sand dollar hunter - POSH for short. Ever supportive, my husband gently redirected me - which is always good when I go off in some extreme direction.
I learned a lot about sand dollars that first year on Tybee. Did you know?
When they are alive - they aren't white? To become a POSH you need to know when they are alive and when they are not - and when they are alive leave them alone or gently help them back into the ocean. When alive, they are actually a purple color and covered in tiny flexible bristles.
When they die, their skeletons get bleached by the sun, turning them white, and the small spines fade away. Now you can pick them up and take them home!
During the eleven years we have been escaping to Tybee, I have seen such a huge decline in the number of sand dollars on the beach. Sadly, a lot of the decline in the numbers of these amazing creatures is due to people keeping the live ones.
It has made me somewhat sad to not find my beloved sand dollars more often, but that makes me appreciate them even more when I do come upon them during my beach walks. It kind of reminds me of the sage advice my mother has given me all my life - "take one day at a time." OUCH - how I hated hearing those words when I was younger .....yet how much I value those words now.
We miss out on a lot of things, like finding other beautiful shells on the beach, when we don't take one day at a time.....instead we try to focus on the end rather than on the next step. We need to enjoy each moment....to actually find joy....as we take each step.
Taking life "one day at a time" not only helps us find the joy, but it also helps us to deal with the pain. During times in my life that presented great challenges, like the fire that destroyed our business, I tried very hard to take things one hour at a time, sometimes one minute at a time.
Too often, we find ourselves living in the past, thinking about the "what if's" ....or looking ahead to the future with an entirely new set of "what if's" ....when what we should be doing is living in the present - and taking things "one day at a time."
I'll never stop looking for my sand dollars. With each step I take on my beach walks, I look for them but I also enjoy the beauty of the other shells I see....and the waves rushing in.....and the laughter of little children as they challenge the water swirling around their feet. I push myself every day.....to take "one day at a time".....sometimes I'm successful and sometimes I'm not. But I find that my life has more peace when I find the joy of taking life "one day at a time."