Beach day 3: a lesson on staying Zen

ImageI have been working hard lately (is that a Zen oxymoron?) on “staying Zen” or being mindful or chilling out or whatever you want to call it. It is great. I feel more peaceful all the time, and I have an easier time dealing with anger when it bubbles up. It is also especially helpful for this trip because, well, who wants to be pissed over small things when you are taking a trip of a lifetime throughout some of the best iterations of paradise this earth has to offer?!

This was tested when we were chilling on the beach and a pack of loud tourists plunked down near us. There were three couples, all with 1-2 kids. Two of the dads went directly into the water with their kids. Great! Or…annoying. It was a windy day, and I would like to think that they were trying to be heard over the wind, but I think that is being generous. Folks, they were just LOUD. They didn’t have inside voices. They shouted their kids´ names. They shouted narration of everything they were doing. They shouted accolades and put-downs. They shouted so much I am surprised they had voices left, no seriously, but their vocal chords must have a lot of practice.

I found out more than I ever wanted to know about these people. Their names. What they had for dinner last night. What they had for breakfast. What they wanted to have for dinner that night. MMM how tasty that hotdog was last night, but damn, how expensive. I know the password to one of the dad´s phones. I know that they left their garage door open that morning. I know that they made a lot of money on an investment recently. I just…don’t understand the impulse to shout about that stuff!

At one point, the loudest dad shouted, “goal!” during their game of catch or whatever, and a group of Israelis next to us yelled “SHHHH!” It seems like we weren’t the only ones noticing the volume of our beach compatriots.

My first method of dealing with it was to try to justify their right to do what they wanted. It was their holiday too. At least they were shouting in the open air and not in a museum or something.

After the Israelis shushed them, though, I shifted. Nope, they were not being respectful to the other vacationers at the beach.

So I tried to just breathe. It worked ok. But when they were gone and it was quiet, peaceful, serene, and all the other qualities I had so enjoyed about that beach for the last days, I felt relief. And also, I have a long way to go on my Zen-ness, apparently, if all it takes is 10 loud people on a beach to break me!

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