I surfed today for the first time in four years. I can’t decide which part of that statement carries more weight for me. The fact that I bit the bullet, canceled a couple of meetings, and just f**king did it; or the thinly veiled sadness I feel at the fact that I’ve made my needs invisible for so long.

My arms ache and my body feels bruised and tired. I have half of the Atlantic ocean in my left ear and my hearing is somewhat diminished. But it was worth it. Every salty cold, glorious minute of it.

I was panicking inside about not remembering how to jump on the board or paddle for a wave. Like the first time you get in a car after not driving for a while and you overthink where your feet go and how to change gears.

Very soon though I was catching lefts and rights and riding the wave almost to its end. That natural high that only comes for me when I’m alone with my board and the ocean had me grinning from ear to ear.

There’s more–a whole lot more–to life than working and earning money. I’ve been trapped in the wrong mindset for too long.

I used to know how to live and those memories are slowly coming back to me. The crisis of Monday with the WTF am I doing? moments and mom guilt about leaving my kids in an unknown place in Portugal are slowly dissipating. I’m feeling something strangely close to happy… for the first time in a long time.

And the kids are as well. The daycare center is everything I dreamed it to be. There are children from all over the world speaking Portuguese, Spanish, English, Italian, Danish… holding hands, exploring and playing; being kids and being free.


Also, the sun finally came out unhampered by clouds and this place is decidedly cheerful in the full light.


To be clear though, there is no perfect. Cataleya’s still crying in her sleep, waking in the night, and causing me to worry. Valentino poured coffee all over my brand new laptop and now all the keys are sticky. I won’t even get started on work.

But… we’re getting through it. This home away from home is starting to feel exactly that and, I dare to say, we’re even enjoying it.