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Business at the Beach

There’s something not right about lugging an economics book to the beach.

I’ve done it….a summer class when I was working to finish my B.A. after already obtaining my dream job (at E. F. Hutton in 1984). I was back-to-school during the summer and nights after work to finish up that one semester after being hired early.

I found myself needing to study economics during that summer…when my heart and soul really wanted to hit the beach.

So, I went to the beach…

…but dragged economics with me.

I found though that I just couldn’t read the book at the beach. It was beyond dreadful, depressing, a major downer.

(To be honest, the downer was both economics itself in addition to trying to study economics smelling the glorious salt air, listening to waves lap the shore, and watching ebullient beach go-ers play.)

Another year, I brought the draft of our updated will to the beach. (Yes, really.)

Uncharacteristically, I was procrastinating finishing up the will. It was the health portion tripping me up – which organs to donate, for which purposes, cremation, not? The (little) money distribution was the easy part.

My poor husband – I probed him as we walked in the waves that if indeed there was an afterlife….what if I went through it looking like swiss cheese, having given all my organs and eyes away? He said unsympathetically – “Swiss cheese? They’re going to filet you like a fish to pull those organs out.”

Oh, super. Now I felt much clearer about what to choose.

And now, I try again to do business at the beach.

After the longest, coldest winter of my life, I bask in a perfect beach day – 80 degrees, pre-tourists, sweet, soft breeze blowing. In my straw bag awaits paperwork in a binder clip about software I’m letting go for my firm at 7:00 a.m. Monday morning. I don’t feel ready for the shift; I really need to read my notes and prepare for all the potential issues that could arise. It’s imperative I give it focused thought and attention before Monday morning.


Decision made – I will never bring work to the beach again. It’s like trying to eat oreos with a beer; it just doesn’t mix.

The new Old Port magazine I brought makes me dream and ooh and aah over the beautiful photos. The stories give me bites of new information about my town that make me pause and ponder. The magazine allows me to think expansively, in a dreamy, happy, different way than my work does. The magazine calls me and that is what I should read at the beach.

Yin-yang. A time to work, a time to play. A time to live, a time to die.

Got it….finally.

Gonna read the magazine and dream….what I’m supposed to do at the beach.

Photo: Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

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