I’m sitting on the sofa in our beach condo. August, 2014 is the 20th anniversary of owning this condo in beautiful New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Our beach place has been a sanctuary for my husband and me, a place only 60 minutes from our full time residence but oceans away from problems and anxieties. The sea breezes manage to penetrate the schedules, to-do lists, and deadlines that live inside overworked brains. Concurrent with the joy, however, are the pangs of guilt over owning a place encroaching on the habitats of wildlife and contributing to beach erosion. (The joy has obviously trumped the guilt considering our longevity here.)
As I sit on this sofa I remember it once inhabited our Maitland house (permanent residence). That is what happens to the furniture in our lives- it transitions. When we bought our red leather sectional, this saffron sofa, festooned with foliage and blue piping, was hauled down the highway to our beach home. The former furniture here swapped geographies ending up in our son’s Winter Park art studio. It’s funny how furniture can tell the story of our lives, tangible mile markers. The rocking chair currently occupying our beach bedroom was bought when my son David fractured his kidney on a playground in the second grade. I spent so much time in one at his hospital bedside I wanted a rocker for home. My son just turned 31 and married last December, moving his own life to Chicago. Now, accompanied by the lulling sound of the ocean, the chair is used to rock my grandson to sleep- another mile marker in my life.
Living room at beach condo
I’d like to share a laboring technique that doesn’t feel quite so much like labor. I’m sitting under a tent on the beach, laptop in hand with my feet buried beneath soft, crumbly ivory colored sand. I really am working, I’m just doing it to the accompaniment of the rhythmic sounds of a summer ocean. I’m using technology in a way that is advantageous to me; I’m not allowing it to use me (at least not at the moment). My cell phone is near by, as are the sandpipers and ruddy turnstones with their punk rocker hairdos. (Seagull relatives)
Let’s face it, most of us have to work. Work can take the form of office labor or the labor intensive responsibilities of being a parent or other responsible adult. Whether we are filling out those endless beginning of school year forms for our children/grandchildren, paying bills or typing on our laptops, do one thing that makes it all more pleasurable. Our parents taught us work first, play second. I think we are capable of doing both. This is a photo of my business partner, Jackie
Jackie Sorensen and Liz Kitchens
Sorensen and me working at Nichols Surf Shop Cafe in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. This funky, bohemian café situated yards from the Atlantic Ocean provided a creative atmosphere for designing our series of Be Brave. Lose the Beige workshops. A Lady Boomer one table over snapped this photo saying how envious she was of our work environment.
If you can and when you can, perform your tasks/ work in an environment that is aesthetically pleasing. It will qualitatively improve your production. And besides, you might not mind doing it so much.
I’m a part of Vibrant Nation’s Influencer Network and on occasion receive free products to sample. I’m excited because I just received a pair of Dioptic Solar Shield sunglasses to evaluate. My excitement stems from the fact these sunglasses fit over my reading glasses. My husband and I have a beach place on the east coast of Florida. Many a summer day finds us camped by the water’s edge allowing the ocean breeze to penetrate the schedules, to-do lists and deadlines that live inside our overworked brains. One of my favorite leisure activities during these seaside retreats is reading good fiction (non-fiction not allowed at the beach). The sun, however, even with a beach umbrella can prove to be more than a little blinding sans sunglasses. I’ve not really wanted to invest the money in prescription sunglasses. These Solar Shield sunglasses are just the answer. At a cost of $25.00 they are a reasonable alternative to expensive prescription sunglasses. As you can see from the photo below, it is not really obvious I’m even wearing readers on underneath. And, they are surprisingly comfortable to boot. Check them out at www.solarshield.com. They are available at a number of retail stores including Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart.
Liz wearing Solar Shield sunglasses