I'm going mad. Me, attempting to pack everything I've convinced myself I'll need for the beach is the definition of insanity. You think I overpack for trips to Europe? That's nothing compared to the damage I can do packing for a simple beach trip to Hilton Head. How hard can it be? Bikini, towel, shorts, sunscreen, go!
The problem is that there is a huge discrepancy in how I hope, wish and dream my time at the beach will be spent, and what actually occurs.
The Dream: Each day I thoughtfully peruse the vegan/vegetarian cookbooks I packed and pick out healthy, low sugar, low carb, high protein, tasty meals comprised of dark leafy greens, bright vegetables, and fish that I grill on the stove top grill I've already hauled out to the car and hidden in the trunk before Blair could question where the hell I thought I was going with that thing. I ride my bike to the store in the early evening, buying only enough food for that night's meal, which I prepare while sipping wine and swaying in the kitchen to beach music.
The Reality: I will eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and most dinners.
The Dream: Each day I dress in one of the many cute, flirty sundresses I've packed with coordinating jewelry, scarves, hats, headbands, sunglasses and toenail polish.
The Reality: I will pull on the same pair of white cutoff shorts each day over my swimsuit, convincing myself that because I wear a different colored tank top each day with them, no one is the wiser.
The Dream: Each morning I rise with the sun, complete a brief mediation, then head out for a long run on the beach. I come in, shower, do a bit of work, move to the pool and do more work, move inside with the heat of the day and really crank out the work, then reward myself with another short workout and time spent reading on the beach before coming in to shower for dinner.
The Reality: I get up and eat a bowl of cereal while I contemplate valid reasons why it's way too freaking hot for me to run today. Finally convince myself to get outside and move. Run. Shower and pack beach bag full of work projects. Go to beach. Fall asleep for 3 hours and fry. Come inside, shower, sleep some more. Wake up, attempt to work, but find blistered skin too distracting. Spend the evening reading women's magazines that make me feel bad about myself and trying to figure out how to operate the beach home's DVD player before giving up and watching Seinfeld reruns on TV.
You get the idea. This is a working vacation for me. I've printed out all my notes and draft copies for the book I'm working on and the dream truly is to spend the greater portions of each day running, writing, and cooking, with breaks in between to get out on the sand and enjoy the beach.
My goals: Avoid cereal, pull on a dress, use the grill to avoid any unpleasant "I told you so's" and write, write, write.