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Finding Beauty

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Well, 2013 has been a bumpy ride so far. My mood has been low. I wish I was the kind of person who didn't eat when she was depressed. Unfortunately, I am the kind of person who turns to food when she is feeling down. So, I've spent the past several weeks eating way too much junk. I've been withdrawing, not feeling like going anywhere, much of that made easier by the snowy weather. I've even been avoiding SP and instead have been caught up in bad eating and bad emotions. I would get back on track with eating right for a few days or a day, and then slide back into the unhealthy choices. The only thing I did right was exercise every day.

Not that it was the most fun exercise. Due to the weather, most of it was indoors, much of it on a treadmill for an hour a day. Plus shoveling. That was my outdoor time. I like the treadmill well enough. I finally settled on a 10% slope while I watch Gilmore Girls DVD's or listen to books. But I miss the sun. I miss walking outdoors without worrying about slipping on the ice and getting injured. But for whatever reason, I remained compulsive about daily exercise and stuck to that routine at least.

It was a nice surprise when one of my friends emailed yesterday and asked me what I thought about going to the beach. I immediately wrote back that I thought it sounded a bit insane and what time did she want to go? I have no ability to say no to the beach, apparently. Except maybe in a lightening storm. So we agreed to meet at noon today.

The beach looked very different than the last time we were there in early January. We've had a number of storms come through since then and the lake was frozen for quite a distance from the shore. There were mounds of sand, water and snow all along the beach. What my friend and I called Frozen Waves. It an entirely different landscape than we are used to and it was gorgeous. Without the water washing against the shore, it was so quiet except for the squeaking of our shoes in the snow and the panting of the dogs as they ran by. Also, the echo of my shouts for Quinn when he'd head for the hills or out over the frozen water.

Today we walked in a snowy canyon with the dunes on one side and the frozen waves rising on the other. We didn't walk as far as usual, stopping frequently to take photos but we still spent over two hours. As always, I feel rejuvenated after my beach time.

Even in the winter, in the cold, during the short days that often lack any sun, there is beauty and hope. Underneath those hills of frozen waves, there is a beautiful, great big lake that I will walk along in the spring and wade into in the summer. Taking care of myself now, making the right choices for what I eat and how much I eat, continuing to exercise every morning instead of sleeping in, will keep me healthy and strong for plenty of beach walks and plenty of good times all year long.

Here are some photos from today's walk:

The start of our walk

The beach looking very different from our last visit

Quinn and me posing by the same building that is behind us in my profile pic

The frozen lake

I know Lake Michigan is out there somewhere!

Curious Quinn discovers some water

Oh, THERE is Lake Michigan -- way out there!

Balto and Nanook atop the frozen waves

Hang in there SparkFriends, the days are getting longer and soon they will get warmer. Lots of good days are coming our way. In the meantime, I am going to try to see the beauty all around, even if it is while I am shoveling snow. :-)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Spring is on it's way. I swear! I'm not lying... ok, so maybe spring tripped over a rock and stopped to get a band-aid for it's boo-boo, but it will be here soon!
    2855 days ago
    What beautiful pictures - thank you for sharing. Glad to hear the positive attitude - yes the cold and sunless days will pass and spring will soon be here. We will both hang in there - maintenance is quite a process. Thank God He is there guiding and directing us. emoticon
    2878 days ago
  • STHOMAS1009
    Your blog reminds me of the long walks my DH and I took on Sandy Hook beach with our dogs. We were newly dating then. It was so much fun to walk along the beach with the dogs chasing each other. Stan would throw sticks in the water. Of course the water was too cold to entice the dogs to venture in! What fun! What memories.

    Thank you!
    2891 days ago
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    2891 days ago
    Good to see you here again! emoticon emoticon
    2892 days ago
  • RUDITUDI2000
    Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures. Very cool getting out & enjoying the beauty of today! emoticon
    2893 days ago
    Amazing photos of frozen waves at the beach! I've never seen such a thing. The Pacific Ocean in winter is beautiful here, though. Thanks for sharing the beauty you saw. Good for you that you've kept up the exercising. Welcome back to SP! I hope your depression lifts soon. The good weather is coming...
    2893 days ago
    Welcomje back to Spark -- what a great blog. The pictures are gorgeous of you, the landscape and your lovely dog!!

    Getting outside and active always works for me too: even if I have to persuade myself to do it!
    2893 days ago
    What beautiful pictures! I'm sorry you've been feeling down, but coming back here is a positive step. Hang in there.
    2893 days ago
  • 123ELAINE456
    Great Blog!!! Sorry that you are under the weather. But this soon shall past. Spring is around the corner with warm days and sunshine. You will be fine The photos are lovely. Glad to hear you have been exercising everyday. Keep Pushing Forward. God Blessings to You and Everyone. Have a Super Great Day. Take Care.
    2893 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/25/2013 11:28:03 AM
    Insane but fun (beach in winter) emoticon Winter is a really bad time for people I have issues during winter with depression as well But Spring is just around the corner it will get better emoticon
    2893 days ago
    "Even in the winter, in the cold, during the short days that often lack any sun, there is beauty and hope."

    What a beautiful thought... Your writing helps me to look forward to Spring. What a gorgeous environment for your walk!


    2893 days ago
    I know how you feel.......I was also feeling down.
    Tried to meditate about it a little and could only come up with an analogy of a gray cloud thinking instead of what I thought would be an antidote of brightness. But instead I thought.....
    There is beauty in the gray cloud. I looked out of the window and saw all the birds flying in what appears to be a black/gray/white world. I thought that a photographer could certainly see beauty in that and be able to capture it. After all, someone found something interesting in 50 shades of gray. I then saw a TV report about how the snow was making the farmers in Kansas happy. This kind of turned around my thinking and I started thinking that the beauty was in the beholder.
    Your photos are beautiful. Glad you could get out and enjoy the beauty of the season.
    2893 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/25/2013 8:03:12 AM
    What a fun thing to do..going to the beach in the winter. Your pictures are lovely. Good for you keeping up with your exercise. I think the last days of winter are hard. I have not been my happy motivated self either lately. Hope you feel better soon and that March is a good month for you.
    2893 days ago
    Sorry to hear that you're in a bit of a funk. I think the shorter days do that to a lot of us. Keep chugging along and eventually you'll get your spark back. Great pics too--thanks for sharing!
    2893 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3876543
    Beautiful blog and amazing photos!! How great that you got to the beach! You are in your way!
    You are beautiful inside and out, so be sure to take that in too!!
    2893 days ago
    It will get better. Spring will come and we will bask in a warm sun.
    2894 days ago
    Hang in there, Girl! This too shall pass! I can relate to the winter gloom! Have you tried a "happy light" yet? I do get some relief from that.

    Hopefully though, we'll both be feeling like doing our own zoomies!

    Hope springs eternal!

    emoticon emoticon
    2894 days ago
    You sound like me in the winter...cabin fever is a name for it. I love to go to the beach !!!!! emoticon
    2894 days ago
    What gorgeous pictures. Hang in there. Keep sparking! HUGS
    2894 days ago
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