I’m enjoying the silence of an empty house this afternoon.  I love my children, but it’s refreshing to reclaim my living room while they visit with their father.  The fish tank is bubbling and humming, and the normally uptight dog is resting peacefully.  No television.  No music.  Just quiet.

I need the quiet, too, because my head is not quiet.  My head is buzzing with all sorts of things, ranging from upcoming graduations and family visits to running, shopping, to-do lists and Spartacus.  That’s a lot of stuff rattling around up there.

I’m crazy happy, though, in the middle of all the thoughts.  And that can be trouble sometimes, for one who doesn’t think she deserves to be.  I feel that sense of fear trying to creep in and unnerve me.  I want to practice keeping my heart open wide, no matter how scared I might feel.  I can’t shut down now.  I just can’t. 

I need to come up with an off-season running schedule, and while I use the word “schedule” loosely, I definitely need some structure around my workouts.  Running keeps me centered and gets those endorphins dancing.  And it’s impossible for me to run with a closed heart.  So I think it’s imperative not to let this essential part of my lifestyle slip into a coma right now. 

Summer is such a mixed bag.  I love the relaxed feeling of not worrying about homework and getting everyone out the door on time.  But a part of me thrives on consistency and routine and it’s difficult to go with the flow sometimes.

When I was 23 years old, I bravely took a solo vacation to the Caribbean and spent my 24th birthday alone amidst the gorgeous turquoise waters of the Bahamas.  (I actually made the bathing suit myself.  I’m such a dork.)  I’ve done a lot of traveling since then, but I haven’t been alone in a while.  I think I’d like to take some time off and escape to a white-sand beach with sparkling waters, some good books, sunscreen, and my Garmin.   

I would rise with the sun, run barefoot on the beach until it got too hot, then plop my tired ass down in a lounge chair beside the sea or a pool and let the sun fill me with energy and Life.  I would eat fresh fruits and delicious meals, drink cold cocktails, and the pounding of the ocean waves against the shore would unravel me and renew my spirit. 

As evening came, I would shower the sand and sweat from my hot pink skin, don a flowing sundress, and walk the beach until the sky was black.  Exhausted and happy, I would fall into a delicious big bed with crisp, clean sheets, a smile and an open heart.  

And as lovely as this “I don’t need a man” soul-restoring adventure sounds, I would sneak Spartacus into my bag in a heartbeat if I could.

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