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Every time we go to the beach house my father left me in charge of when he died, I feel the pull of the ocean a half mile away. I have driven the three hours south at times and not ever walked over to see the big elephant in the room, the blue-green sea, just down the block. I’ve gone and done work on the house, getting lost in chores and in the satisfaction of accomplishments. But it isn’t enough to go there and never see the ocean. It isn’t enough to go there either, and not play the piano I had shipped down from my parent’s house once they were gone. It was nearly left behind but I claimed it last minute, and hired fly-by-night movers to drag it a few hundred miles south to our house at the beach.

It’s not enough to only work. The balance required in life, the balance required to be happy, dictates that I must at least go see the ocean every time I am within proximity. It dictates I sit at the piano and play at least one piece of music every day I am there. It dictates I not take for granted the joys staring at me, begging me to notice and feel them. It dictates that I consciously appreciate the great good fortune of such a house at all, one that can be shared and enjoyed in so many ways.

Growing up in isolation, with not-particularly social parents who regularly taught us the value of a hard day’s work, it has alluded me at times how folks appreciate the little joys of life. I am trying to be conscious of my opportunities. Trying to be conscious of my dwindling days to play with my children, teenagers and beyond now. So today I made a list of the great good fun we will have together, and with friends, in just a few weeks, at the house near the sea, just because I want to be sure I do.