Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cheap Thrills

For my birthday, I wanted to learn to surf. It is on the bucket list, and I have been planning to learn to surf on the Oregon Coast on my birthday since last year on my birthday. Time was scheduled off from work as soon as the new year rolled in. Picturing myself on  the surf board riding the waves has been getting me through many a day at my desk. What could be more glorious and satisfying than riding the perfect wave on my birthday.

Throughout my life I’ve been conducting a random survey with most people I meet; at their slightest mentioned of Hawaii, California, Mai Tais or the ocean I prod if they have ever been surfing. Although, I’ve done my best to hide my Iowa naivety, when people mention the ocean I morph into the land locked kid who dreamed of the seaside. However, often despite my efforts to project on them what fun I think they must have had, people tell me how hard surfing is. “It is fun, but only once you do it for a while.” In fact although I hated to admit it to myself, when interrogated, most people admit to how miserable it was for them.

Over the years, I’ve all but erased such warnings from my memory, and all I could think of was how sweet it would be to hang ten. Ready to surf, I looked up the cost of a lesson two weeks before my trip. 100 dollars. 100 more dollars if I didn’t want to make Alex watch me learn to surf. Of course I should have expected this cost, and of course I should have started saving last year on my birthday, but that’s just not the kind of gal I am.

Also, because I did not plan more than a few weeks in advance, all of the camp sites were booked on Friday. We had to cut our beach trip short by one day, and would only be able to spend 1 day at the beach.

In my previous life, most likely I would have stubbornly stuck to my plan. I would have been miserable because I didn’t allow myself enough time to be happy. I would have expected way too much of myself and of Alex. After remembering  many a botched, not so well laid out, stressful plans I had stubbornly proceeded with regardless of reason, I decided that instead of surfing, I could choose the quintessential surfer lifestyle, and enjoy a laid back day at the beach. I decided to let the waves crash in, and had a laid back cheap beach birthday.


Lessons learned while relaxing  and marveling at the ocean:

I’m ready to embrace the good stuff and get rid of the supposed to’s, the because I told myself I would, and I had to’s. Excited to make this year the most authentic and present year of my life. Ready to search for the things that cost less and satisfy more.

Suggestions? Would love to hear what that means to you! Surfs up.


  1. Dad read this to me, and we felt like we were with you. Small pleasures in life--a daughter who shares her joy!


  2. Loved this. I know what you mean about it being so tempting to stick to The Plan even if it makes you miserable--because "we had a plan, dammit!". I'm also trying to embrace being flexible and patient. Not easy. You inspire me. :)

  3. Ha ha "because I had a plan dammit" is almost exactly what I say to myself.

  4. I want a picture of you on a surfboard once you learn how to stand year maybe. Good luck with your other goals this year.