Sometime in 2011 spending the day in Galveston and the night in a hotel on the beach became my favorite way to put my life on pause and recharge my psyche. Lately I’ve been feeling extremely tense and tired, and it occurred to me that it had been a while since I’d given myself time off for myself. Hanley, editing, taking care of dogs and houses, day after day, night after night. It was getting to be too much. So I marked a weekend–last weekend–in my calendar as Tim’s Weekend in Galveston. Unfortunately, it had been so long since I’d had one of my getaways that I’d forgotten I usually scheduled them on a weekday. During the week you can find a hotel room on the beach for a reasonable rate. During the weekend they wanted up to three times as much. I couldn’t allow myself to unload as much money as I spend on a weekend in New Orleans last month for one night in Galveston.
Frustrated, I checked my calendar for the next time I had a free weekday. I found one, but it was in August. That wouldn’t do much for my psyche in the here and now. Becky suggested I check in to a hotel in Houston with a good pool and a decent gym and get away from it all closer to home. I entertained the idea, and even found such a hotel with a good rate, but eventually nixed it. The whole point was to be as close to the ocean as possible. The Gulf isn’t an ocean (as Cousin Ron is wont to remind us), but it’s as close as I can get and fills in quite nicely for all intents and purposes. Being from midcoast Maine, I like being near the water. It calms me. Which is odd since I’m an air sign.
Tim’s Weekend in Galveston quickly turned into Tim’s Day in Galveston. I finally decided it would be better to hang out on the beach for the day, drive around and take photographs, and maybe take myself out to dinner somewhere nice than do nothing at all. Unfortunately, on Saturday, the day I decided to go, I woke up late. It was one of those days where I was tired and found it nearly impossible to get motivated. Plus, whatever I’m allergic to–Ragweed, in childhood; I think it’s making a comeback–was out in full force, because my chest hurt, my eyes were burning and I was coughing a lot. I nearly talked myself out of going, but then I took the dogs outside. It was a nice day. Who knew what tomorrow would bring? Rain, most likely, and then I’d have to wait until August, and there was no way in hell I was going to wait that long to take care of myself. It was then or nothing. Which seemed extreme, but for some reason I felt nothing but urgency.
Which, of course, meant that traffic going outbound was going nowhere fast when I finally got on the road. Every lane was packed with cars driven by morons and every road I took seemed to be under construction. When I finally reached the beach I was relieved. The sand burned my feet, but I didn’t care. I found a spot, spread out my towel, removed my shirt and inhaled the salty air. I could breathe again! There was little clarity in my head, though, because my mind started working, as I thought about why I had to be where I was, and I realized I hadn’t been to Galveston in a year. The last time I’d made that journey was the day that Rex died. It was kind of a relief to finally understand why I’d been so frazzled lately.
I had a good day at the beach. I read a book. I relaxed. I took pictures with a new camera lens. I watched the sun set. I talked to Rex and told him everybody is okay, and everybody still loves him. Psyche sated, I went home.