Lessons on dread

This past weekend we were invited to take a cruise of San Diego Bay on a friends boat and of course we jumped at the chance.  The day of the cruise was perfect.  The sun was shining and a slight breeze was drifting off the water.  About 15 of us met up at the boat around lunchtime and brought appetizers and finger food to share.  Homemade ceviche, deli sandwiches, 7-layer bean dip and plenty to drink.  The air was filled with a sense of anticipation as we waited for the official cruise to begin.

Once the boat was underway, the world disappeared.  It was as if we were on a tropical island cruise… a million miles away from life and responsibilities.  It was pure relaxation.  It was great conversation and newly forming friendships.  It was delicious food with a heaping side of laughter and stories.

San Diego Skyline


A few months ago I would have viewed this boat trip as something fun to do but would have been overwhelmed by the fact that I didn’t know everyone and would have to think of conversation topics.  And with my recent gluten allergy,  was there going to be food for me?  And where is my hoodie because it’s getting breezy?  And we better get back before 5:00 so I can return those items to Costco!

For years I’ve dreaded almost everything I had to do… going to work, paying the bills, meal planning, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, maintaining our social calendar, keeping a budget.  And then it turned into dreading things that I wanted to do like going to the gym or painting or meeting a friend for coffee.  Dread was overtaking everything!  But this past March at a weekend retreat with my best friend, it finally hit me.  Right in the face.

I’m not dreading tasks and obligations… I’m dreading LIFE!

These small tasks add up to my life.  Why in the world am I dreading LIFE?!  And with that realization came the motivation that I always thought I lacked.  I didn’t need motivation to complete tasks, I just needed to change my mindset to not dread the things that make my life, well, a life.  Instead of dreading all the things I have to do during the day, I constantly remind myself that this is my life.  And I absolutely love my life.  I adore my life.  It’s not something to dread.  It’s something to celebrate.  I’m only going to get this one chance at it.

Nate and I still run our errands and do the normal stuff that everyone else does, but I try really hard to enjoy these moments instead of wishing them away.  I roll down the window of my car and let the wind mess up my hair while I breath deeply of fresh sea-air and tropical flowers.  I remember to be thankful that I’m wearing flip flops even if I have to wear a sweater to keep away the evening chill.  I take a moment to smell the fresh green pepper or juicy pineapple at the market instead of just marking it off my list.

The boat ride we went on could have easily been forgotten and left unappreciated but I made myself enjoy it and the moment we were all sharing.  So a pretty average cruise around the bay became an extraordinary escape.  And all because I decided to live my life.

Are you dreading life?

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Not with you around I’m not. :)

Yes, I dread every day. Even birthdays, Christmas. I haven’t taken a vacation in years from dread. I’ve started a nasty habit of spending an entire weekend in bed, simply because there’s nothing I can think of that wouldn’t fill me with dread. It’s odd, because I’m always inviting people to go do things, and no one ever accepts. So I just hide out at home, full of dread for life.

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