Horizontal and No TV

1/1/10 A vacay that is mostly horizontal is very nice. I had planned yesterday to walk the length of the beach as I had with Joanna on that first (or was it second?) morning in Akumal. But inertia sets in.

Instead, I lay at the pool, arguing with my brother in law about why my little family could not blow up our TV, as he advised. When raising their boys, Jeff and E did not have a television.

I said, “Chris and I both work or worked in television. It’s disingenuous to give it up.”

“That’s like, if your mother worked in a brothel, you shouldn’t keep your kids from working in a brothel,” Jeff argued. I don’t think TV’s as bad as a brothel.

My kids sat on our lounge chairs piping in, “But what about Glee? If we gave up TV, we’d have to give up Glee and American Idol.” But the kids were much more on board with the idea of “No Television” than I would have thought. They’re more on board with it than I am.

Hayden listed all of his friends whom he plays sports with outdoors.

Catherine agreed with Jeff — we should take the television out to the field in front of Skenewood and simply shoot the TV. Charlotte just stared at the surf.

Apples to Apples: Who’s Competitive

I talked to Joanna, http://joannaparson.com/ her mom, and her sister about my four blogs, while we played Apples to Apples at the Snack Bar. Joanna and I agreed we’re going to do a 5K in 2010. The waves were still lapping (like at night, they don’t have to roll like that, no one is watching, but still, the waves do their thing.)

I played Apples to Apples, oh, about 10 times on this vacay. My advice is to throw down the Barbara Walters card for any category – Sophisticated, Scary, Funny. She’s really a great multi-purpose celebrity.

Last night, young Chris and I almost came to blows. We both thought we had the winning card. The adjective was American. So, Chris threw down Bald Eagle. I threw down watermelon. Unfortunately, someone else (Jeremy?) threw down John Glenn. And you can see where this is going. Ernestine picked John Glenn. Okay, he is American. It was E’s prerogative to pick the answer she thought was best. But Bald Eagle is not necessarily more American than watermelon, nor is John Glenn.

I simply cannot believe I am not the best player at Apples to Apples. I am so good with words and so good at reading people. I lost every single time I played. I am not as good as I think. Not really.

Snorkeling in Akumal

Big fish, little fish. Big coral, little coral. Brainy coral, waving fan coral.

The sound underwater. The tick tick tick of the fish eating, spitting out rocks. Silly fish.

The gift from the sea (to borrow Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s brilliant phrase) is the sheer existence of it all. The vast ‘what it is-ness’ of the reef on the Mayan coast. Like the turtle.

The turtle lives its life. It doesn’t ask, ‘Am I a good enough turtle? A hard enough worker? An excellent mother? A good writer? How come I haven’t won the Pulitzer? A Fulbright?’

No, the turtle asks, ‘Is that food? I will go to it.’ Or it says, ‘Is that danger? I will stay away from it.’

This is a lesson in simply existing. Being. Going towards the good. Staying away from the bad. If the turtles in the bay can do it, I can, at least try. Go to food. Stay away from danger.

While I worry about my husband’s health, my kids’ education, politics, the environment, my career, there are turtles – and I saw about five on each of my brief snorkeling forays in the Akumal Bay. The turtles are living in the wild, unaware of the new airline regulations between Mexico and Florida. They are citizens of the world. Love that.

And so long as there are turtles that are part of the incredible diversity of the Mayan coast reef, then all is still all right with the world. And I can just stop worrying.

Instead just ask Is that food? I will go to it. Is that danger? I will stay away from it.

Akumal Run

Running in Akumal

I tried to run. I did. I made it about five minutes. I couldn’t go longer because of the humid air and the fact that I forgot to pack my sports bra. Also, I was running with college athlete, nephew Chris and my Middle School cross country competitor, son Hayden.

The two of them flew ahead towards Half Moon. And there was Catherine behind me barefoot, running, tagging along. I want her to be physical. I remembered some South African Olympian who ran barefoot so I didn’t exclude her based on no shoes.

Of course, I kept turning around to check on her. Just as Hayden in front of me, kept turning around to check on me.

I had an epiphany then. Maybe I somehow – unconsciously – encourage my kids to tag along because I want them to hold me back. It’s possible that I use my kids as an excuse for not running faster, farther, reaching some potential.

And if I do that, it’s okay. I am surely not alone. And maybe that’s it too. I like being not alone. And I let my responsibility (over-responsibility?) to others hold me back.