Only Now

2 Jan

I awoke this morning knowing that the surf report predicted “flat.” When it says that, this usually means there are no waves whatsoever. Chances are, you’ll drive down to the beach and the parking lot will be virtually empty. Flat = “unsurfable.” Yet every now and then, you get lucky and “flat” isn’t completely “flat.” Every now and then, you can catch something.

I’ve been in a foul mood for days. And I haven’t been in the ocean for days either. (I wonder if there is a correlation). There was no way I was going to start my 2011 with not surfing and yet I wondered: “Do I really want to fuss with putting my board on the car, suiting up in the freezing cold and getting down there and being all by myself?” Yet I knew that I needed to do this because what was the alternative? Sitting at home picking my nose?

The thing about surfing is that you never know what you’re going to get. You never know how the waves will be or who you’ll meet. And in this, it’s a great metaphor for life. If you never get wet, you can’t learn to swim. If you never get out there, your life can pass you by.

I went. And yes, it was sort of flat. As I stood in the parking lot looking semi-dismayed, a cute guy looked at me and said, “It could be worse. At least the sun is out.” Another guy looked at me and said, “It’s always worth getting in.”

I got in. And it was glorious. It felt more warm outside than it did in my house and I had nice conversations with complete strangers. And it wasn’t completely flat. A number of us caught some waves. My neighbor showed up (see photo above) – I get out of my clothes immediately and dress for snow conditions, whereas Amanda doesn’t seem phased by being wet in the middle of winter), as did some other people I know.

And once again, I am reminded of two things: 1) You have to do whatever keeps you well and for me, getting in water keeps me from being completely over the edge half the time and 2) you can’t wait around for conditions to be known or perfect. Sometimes you just have to get in the car and gamble as to what you’ll find.

We only have now and I’ll be damned if I let 2011 go by with me sitting around waiting for my life to happen. We only have now and no one is going to make my life happen for me. I have to show up and suit up!!!!!!

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3 Responses to “Only Now”

  1. Amanda January 4, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    What a great way to start the new year, so glad we got to be in the water together.

  2. ken January 31, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    I say there are watchers and there are doers. I prefer to “do”. Many, many times I have watched people go the beach, and stand on the shore, just to criticize the surf. I always go in if possible and have had some of the best times ever when others choose not to surf. Good for you Lise.

  3. lisesletters January 31, 2011 at 4:00 am #

    Ken – There is a song I like. “And when you get the chance to sit it out or dance, hope you dance…”

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