Summer Vacations Are For Discovering What Matters


Well, I am back from a two-week respite with my family. It was the 30th anniversary of discovering the sleepy beach town in Maine where I have spent many of my last 30 birthdays. I was introduced to Ogunquit, Maine by an old friend and fell in love with it immediately. It was 1982, 3 years after my mother’s sudden death from a heart attack. I was 18, going on 19 and the quaint village was peaceful, beautiful and kind to my injured soul. There is quite a lot of history in Ogunquit. This year marked the infamous Ogunquit Playhouse’s 80th season.  The equally traditional Ogunquit Lobster Pound is in its 81st season.

The beach is a 3.5 mile stretch of vast sand and waves. During low tide, you can walk forever and not run out of beach. High tide by the ‘river side” is cozy and bustling with families and locals. There is a landmark called the Marginal Way that is a windy path that lines the rocky shoreline between the Main beach and Perkins Cove. Trailed with memorials, flowers, and stunning seascapes, it makes my heart happy. It is on the Marginal Way that I found solace in 1982 regarding the loss of my mom. 

I am a Cancer astrologically, and the water is an important element in my existence, yet I have only lived there seasonally while in college.

I worked at Valerie’s Restaurant back in the day. It is no longer there, but anyone that had traveled or lived there knows it was a high end eatery run by Mrs. G and the Captain, opened in 1947 and was famous for serving seafood and Greek specialties, and a fabulous Piano Bar led by the talented Lou. Everyone knew Mrs. G and she would welcome you with the darling “Hello Doll” and you knew you were in the family. Stars from the summer theater would come dine there late night to enjoy a lobster roll, or some of the delicious spanakopita while several other patrons sang the usual Broadway tunes. As a ‘former’ singer and karaoke fanatic, my tunes of choice were “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” and “The Rose.” It was a popular place, and I met the best people there. In fact, I recently reconnected with the owner’s family, a lovely couple who remained in Ogunquit, and everyone knows their name. A lot has changed since I first found Ogunquit, and also it is very much the same, which is the force that brings me back. There is something comforting about the familiar.

I have rented the same charming home from an amazing couple for 5 years. Fourth of July will never be the same! ☺ At first it was for one week, then 10 days, and this year it was 2 weeks. It was the first time I ever took a 2-week vacation. Kate just loved it. She remembered it from last year, and I love that she has this tradition to look forward to. She went to the Ogunquit Playhouse’s Children’s Theater Camp, playing the role of Tweedle Dee in Alice in Wonderland, and delighting her mom with her first musical solo.

I have been blessed with a lot of work this year and have kept quite busy with travel. I was never so ready for a break in my life. Maine was my reward. It took us almost 13 hours to drive what normally takes 8, but I did not care. We arrived, unpacked, and I began the decompression process. By day 3 I was enjoying the occasional afternoon nap, and described my physical state as ‘jello.’ I typically never sleep and am a documented insomniac. I know I slept at least 6 hours a night if not more there. It was a recovery ritual of sorts.

Last year, I was inspired to start researching Millennials, design workshops and keynotes while I was there. I had anticipated the same revelations this year, but was surprised when there were not. What I did discover is the precious gift of family and friends. The importance of simplifying life. Of breathing in the sea air with nothing more than that enjoyment to accomplish for the day. I turned 49 in Ogunquit this year. As the half-century mark approaches, I realize this year will be a year of clarity. Prioritizing what matters, and doing the best I can to make an impact where I can. I love to work, and now I realize I love to just ‘be.’ The moment I arrived home on Saturday, I felt the stress of the DC metro, small women owned business pressure hit me like a ton of bricks. But it’s what keeps us going right? I sit at BWI headed on a biz trip. Grateful for the work and my clients. And counting the days to be walking along the Marginal Way and laughing with friends next year. Maybe for 3 weeks in 2013?!

Good News About Millennials
Bonnie and the Boomers

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