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The Ocean Kayaking Experience I Almost Didn’t Have

About 2 months ago, my friend Carol, sent out a text to a few of us, asking if we’d like to go on a guided sunset ocean kayak cruise with her. For someone in a *normal* situation, that’s a very simple question to answer—yes or no. But this is what went through my head:

I’m in the throes of packing, sorting and culling ALL of my worldly belongings; we have to store all our stuff for at least a year ($$$), and we’re downsizing our house by half and our property by 2/3s—so we’re getting rid of most things. But! I’m a middle-aged, middle-class American, who has lived in her current home for 23 years; over the past 10 years, I’ve simplified my life significantly, purged quite a bit of chaff, but I still have SO👏MUCH👏STUFF👏.

And my baby is leaving for his first year of college at the end of the month, never to return again to his childhood home. 😞💔

When I read Carol’s invitation, I knew that on Aug 6, I’d definitely be in over my head on every level. So I said YES.

I told myself, this will be good for you—it’ll get you out of the chaos of your house and out of your head—your worry about the future and nostalgia about the past. I also told myself very sternly, remember these wise words, because you KNOW, when Aug 6 arrives, you’ll probably have a panic attack, thinking you don’t have time for a sunset kayak cruise.

And sure enough, on Aug 6, I had a panic attack. I was exhausted and didn’t have the time or the ENERGY for kayaking for three+ hours on the ocean; I almost bailed. But I spent some time calming myself down, packed up my dry bag, and met my friends.

None of us realized we were going to be in tandem kayaks—Carol and I had kayaked in a tandem only ONCE before, many, many years ago! But we found our rhythm and sure enough, I was solidly in the present moment for the next three+ hours. The temp was perfect, there was just enough breeze to keep the mosquitoes away, I couldn’t have asked for better company, and the sunset was EXPLOSIVE!

After we washed and put away our gear, the four of us tailgated for another hour in the dark, clear night, completely content in talking about nothing important, doing nothing important, thinking about nothing important—just being.

Thank you, my dear friends, Carol and Laura. Photo credit: Laura.

Ocean Kayaking in Brickyard Cove, Freeport, Maine

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