Advice from a Mermaid

By: Peggy Willms

(4 min read)

My office is an eclectic hodge-podge. Sitting at my desk, to my left, are two Thomas Kinkade Disney paintings given to me by my guy as a Valentine’s Day gift. Disneyland and Disneyworld are two of my favorite places on planet Earth. I can escape, be irresponsible, and roar with laughter. I was serious for the first part of my life, so I suspect a place like Disney permits me to relive my childhood as it should have been – carefree, full of fantasy and laughter.

Next to the Kinkade’s is a large Elvis painting, a gift from my oldest son, and an Elvis clock. His legs dangle in blue-sued shoes and sway back and forth every few seconds.

In one corner of my office sits my infamous family heirloom suitcase full of antiques dating back to 1815, which I believe has earned a few TikTok’s and blogs. Above the conversation pieces, is a wall hanging of two 17th or 18th Century military-style jackets. The other wall is a turquoise shadow box housing a painting with the words Don’t Want for It, Work for It. There is also an acrylic oil painting of a giant sea turtle which is mounted just above the following words on yet another beautiful canvas with a mermaid, which reads:

Advice from a Mermaid: Get your tail to the beach. Be shore of yourself. Don’t get tide down. Make waves. Catch a sea breeze. Avoid pier pressure. Always sea life’s beauty. Come out of your shell. Take time to coast. Keep the beach clean. It’s my home sweet home.

Damn good advice.

The sea is home to me. Being landlocked brings an elevated level of anxiety that is hard to explain. I spent most of my life living in locations where the ocean view was not an option…the beautiful majestic mountainous region of Colorado. Eeeew.

Thursday, I re-read the words of wisdom from this flowing-haired mystical creature. I leaned back, took a few deep breaths, and gave myself a boastful nod, “You did it, girl.” Your dream was to live by the water, and you did it. At the beginning of this week, I had decided to block out a chunk of Friday to sit on the beach and stare, which is my form of meditation. At the time, I questioned whether I could make that self-commitment a reality.

But I did it.

By 10:30 AM Friday, I was planted firmly on my green and white striped towel. There was no one in sight. Far, far away on both sides of me, I could see specks of color which I assumed were umbrellas. But there were no humans to be found. It was me, a few seagulls, the intense sun, and the 90-degree Gulf of Mexico waves. No one complains when sitting at the end of the peninsula of Boca Grande.If you do, you are two years old and do not yet understand that seeking the ocean’s fun, frolic, and peace will likely only be but a dream when you become an adult. Two-year-olds do not realize that escaping the torment of a fast-paced calendar isn’t an easy task.

There I sat. Prepared to journal, read, and consume my fruit, protein bar, 64 ounces of water, and a huge dose of  Vitamin D. Slathered in sunscreen as the intense sun beat into me for five hours and forty-five minutes, I stared. The best design was to ‘force’ me to stay. Though it is one of my favorite places on Earth, if I had my own vehicle, I would likely be tugged back to my desk before I was ready. Therefore, I agreed to be dropped off, leaving me with no transportation. Brilliant design. There were shops within walking distance if I needed more water or to take a jaunt, but for now, it was me, the sea and a wise mermaid’s words looping in my mind.

For anyone who knows me, finding, nonetheless agreeing, to seek silence in my life doesn’t come naturally. Sometimes, I can become angry just discussing my need to stop, look and listen. Meditating and yoga bring on a sense of entrapment. They feel forced. Once I am on the other side of those experiences, I am never regretful. It is deciding to practice the silence that infuriates me. And, yes, I know there is an opportunity for much improvement. Discovering the deep-rooted cause of my PTSD of silence is and has been a life-long thorn. But that involves sitting still to figure it out – no thanks. Someday. For now, I relish the moments at my little oasis, toes covered in white nature’s morsels, screeching conversation between my feathered friends, and the vision of a mermaid whistling her kind words to me.

Get your tail to the beach. Be shore of yourself. Don’t get tide down. Make waves. Catch a sea breeze. Avoid pier pressure. Always sea life’s beauty. Come out of your shell. Take time to coast. Keep the beach clean. It’s my home sweet home.

I did it. Not once did I grab my journal, book, or phone. I stared, swam, and ate the fruit. And I promised her I would be back very soon. A promise I intend to keep.

Peggy Willms
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC

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