As I was pushing through rush hour traffic this afternoon, on the way to pick up Jane at daycare and start the craziness that is my evening schedule, I started to think of where I would rather be. Right away, I thought of two places that instantly put me at peace: the bookstore and the beach.
I LOVE going to the bookstore. This past Sunday morning, I abandoned Jane and Greg at home for an hour and headed to Borders BY MYSELF. Prior to Jane, Greg and I would go every Saturday morning to read magazines and drink mochas. I don't know if it's the smell of the books or the coffee or a mixture of both, but the minute I walk in, I can feel myself physically calming down. Since having Jane, and especially now that she's older, it's not really easy to have a relaxing morning at the bookstore. Sure, I take her there all the time, but disassembling and reassembling the children's section isn't quite the same. And now that I don't get to go as often - at least not without a kid in tow - it's even more of a treat.
Even more so, I love going to the beach. Some of my favorite memories with my family, and especially my father, are from our family vacations that we took at the Connecticut shoreline every summer. I don't know whether I'm much of a spiritual person, but I know that I positively feel my dad when I'm at the beach. I just have to go down to the water, stand at the edge, and stare out - and all the memories come flooding back. On top of that, there is just nothing better than going to the beach alone, finding a perfect spot (preferably next to a group of college kids, so I can hear all the good gossip) and reading for the day in the sun.
So, in conclusion: sun + books = Zen Amanda. What's your formula?