Skip to main content

What Was Once Easy to Do Probably Won’t Be Soon

January 27, 2022
This past Sunday I went scouting for a site along the ocean to be used for a future outdoor evening meeting. Last fall, I sat with friends on the rocky coastline star gazing and now I wanted to find a similar spot.

It was a hot sunny summer day. I anticipated there would be a lot of people and traffic doing just what I was doing, and I was right. The stretch north of Ipswich and through Amesbury, MA was salt marsh, giving way to the beach towns of Salisbury, MA and Hampton Beach, NH. Both of those locations had plenty of beach, lots of people, and lots of metered parking spaces wrapping around numerous beach apartments. Not at all the secluded setting I was seeking or that I remembered.

North of Hampton Beach, the congestion of people and buildings gave way to a two-lane road snaking along the coastline with beautiful large homes on the inland side that had views of the rocky shoreline. The views were unobstructed because of the No-Parking signs across from these properties. At other stretches up the coast, there were beach clubs and state parks, and at the limited few pullouts, temporary barriers blocking tourists from stopping. The spaces available for parking were filled with two to four cars waiting for someone to leave.

The spot I had in mind was just south of Odiorne Point State Park, in Rye, NH. Like the pullouts I passed earlier, there were temporary barriers and No Parking signs.

This exploration covered roughly 30 miles of coastline with no opportunity to stop that whole distance to admire the view. The ocean front on this stretch of the coastline is fully controlled. If parking were allowed, the risk of injury or accident would increase because of the number of cars driving past and the people walking along the road to get to the entrances to the beaches.

The realization set in that my days of spur-of-the-moment inspiration in the summer to drive to a spot and sit by the ocean are long gone. Viewing the ocean now requires more intention than ever before.

Are you using your past to plan your future?

My reality had been knowing I could go to the beach anytime I wanted. My current home was located equidistant from the mountains, the ocean, and Boston. Yet, I now have to travel further north or east into Maine to find a simple parking spot along the coast during the summer.

This introduces new decisions to be made if I want to go to the beach. Drive further for that “free” view, or become more intentional by scheduling, renting, or buying a beach club membership, hotel room, apartment, or seaside house? Which is the right choice for me? How do I pick what will add to my joy vs add burdens?

What are the things you have relied upon? If you were to accept those things will change or go away completely in the future, would you act differently today? How would you choose between the options? Which choice would add to your pleasure? Or would any change be more burden than it is worth?

Many people look forward to retirement and dream about what they will do. Many of us have the strategy for the future, or at least in our retirement know things will be pretty much the same as today.

Following this approach may leave you with options you hadn’t considered and make you wish you had planned differently. Life is full of decisions and choices. There are ways to identify the choices or strategies to enhance your life versus add another burden. What are the decisions you are facing today, and can you tell which choice will enhance your life? What is a dream you would like to become reality in retirement?

You may have engaged a Financial Planner to help you calculate when you can retire comfortably. Have you considered using a Life Coach to help you figure out how to live a life now, and in retirement, that you will love?

Consider these workshops to have that dream of what retirement could be, become a reality: How to Answer the Question “What is Next?, Purpose Hunting, or How Can I Trust My Intuition When I Can’t Find It?

As to the ocean side meeting, unfortunately in lieu of the current conditions we discarded this idea and opted to find an alternative location. People were driving too far to leave it to chance. Disappointing and at the same time reflective of how things do change.