Peeking through the holes in my wicker hat, as though peeking through a key hole, a dreamlike scene unfolds before me - white sand stretches out to meet turquoise waters.
My children are digging in the sand, happy as crabs, whom, they have discovered through observation, are very good diggers.
I'm working hard at converting the color of my skin from pastry white to mocha, and I'm pleased with the results so far, after several days at the beach.
Mentally, however, I'm discontented. Yes, I love the beach. Yes, I love being with my kids and watching them use their creativity with the raw materials of nature that surround us with intense beauty.
But all play and no work makes Rachel a dull girl.
I like to work. Especially when it's work that I enjoy. Like writing and photography, and sharing it with others. And I haven't done a lot of it for awhile.
First because of our 'stuck on the beach' saga; dysentery; and now with friends in town, internet time either hasn't been a possibility or a high priority. I haven't been able to do the work I love and want to do.
Purpose and fulfillment in life don't come from doing nothing in an incredible place. It comes from getting to do what you love to do, work that is significant to you, and brings passion and satisfaction to life.
So as much as I love the beach, I want to spend less time playing there, and more time working. Sounds crazy, doesn't it?
We've spent a couple of weeks in Tulum and it has been amazing. The ruins were fabulous, even if the long lines and roped-off pathways made it seem more like Disneyland than Mexico.
(The Mayans picked a great location, you can't deny that. Of all the ruins that we've been to, this one most closely follows the real estate mantra of location, location, location. I didn't get any pictures because my camera was stolen).
And the beaches are breathtaking. Some of the most beautiful we've seen, rivaling those in the Dominican Republic.
But beaches and ruins and lots of family time are fulfilling and fun when complimented by doing work that is meaningful.
That's what will bring more contentment.
But we're having a grand time nevertheless. Wouldn't you?
Here's the pictures I did get before my camera was swiped:
Learning to walk
Our swimsuit model
PLEASE come in the water dad!
I'm so disappointed it turned out blurry!
'Dinner' the kids made for me
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