New Smyrna, Part 2

This post was supposed to contain some deeper musings about my time in New Smyrna Beach. About how Tim and I wound up there because of a successful silent auction bid last fall. We bid on a week’s stay on a condo during the Deo Gratias fundraiser I wrote about last November. Or how I finished Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 during vacation (it’s one of those books I never read during my school years—a deficit I’ve been seeking to correct for some time.)

I could have written something about time and the seasons linking up, how Deo Gratias led to another type of journey. Or something about how the lessons in Fahrenheit 451 still resonate today—how a majority can be persuaded to choose ignorance over the wisdom that comes through experience.

But, no. In a “vacation’s truly over now” kind of moment, I’m having some work done at the house and find myself without wi-fi. I got rid of an old modem as part of the whole process, but I can’t install the new one yet. Because I can’t get the old cable out of the wall. My finger and thumb are pretty raw from trying to get the nut to budge (and yes, I know which direction it’s supposed to turn: lefty-loosey).

So whereas I endeavored to unplug last week with limited success, here I am now left with no choice.

Resistance is pervasive.

Which brings to my final vacation discovery. Sunday night, I was already back home, but had not yet returned to my job (so by my rules, technically still on vacation). I encountered Dee Todd’s post, a review of Steven Pressfield’s DO THE WORK! Overcome Resistance and get out of your own way. I was compelled enough to download the book, and am about a quarter of the way through.

Pressfield’s premise is that any activity “that rejects immediate gratification in favor of long-term growth, health, or integrity will elicit Resistance.” He includes a number of endeavors in those activities: writing, painting, launching an entrepreneurial venture, a new health regimen, and more. Essentially: “the more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

He writes: “Resistance is a force of nature. It acts objectively.” I’m thinking of that coaxial cable nut. I know it’s not out to get me as it resists all my efforts to dislodge it. Even though it feels like it. And since it’s forced me to unplug, it’s turned into something of a benefit.

Pressfield also writes: “Like a magnetized needle floating on a surface of oil, Resistance will unfailingly point to true North—meaning that calling or action it most wants to stop us from doing. We can use it as a compass.”

Hmmm. I already know that writing’s a pretty big deal to me. And when the time I set aside for it gets spent on something else—when I push back instead of going with the flow—it weighs heavily.

Right now, I have two pieces of writing that are so close to fruition. My first novel is set to republish in two months, after another round of editing. My second novel is in draft form, and it’s chock full of line edits, awaiting my review and revision. Maybe the lesson is this: when I say I’m going to unplug, I really should, so that I can get my butt in gear and Do the Work.

New Smyrna, Part 1

Sunrise on July 11

Right now, I’m on vacation with Husband Tim in New Smyrna Beach, on Florida’s Atlantic coast. I’m attempting to unplug from everything, including WordPress. I’ve not been 100% successful at that.

My compromise is that I’ll post a few brief observations today, and save any deeper musings for next week. I still wish, like Bil Keane, I had a Little Billy to sub for me. It’s the only enviable thing about The Family Circus. But far be it from me cast any further aspersions upon that comic strip. Last time I did that, I spurred the ire of my brother-in-law Jim. I was unaware he was such a big fan.

This is our first time visiting New Smyrna. Here are a few things I’ve learned:

  • Beforehand, I read something about New Smyrna’s “drive-on beaches.” Wasn’t quite sure what that meant until I saw it. Sure enough, you can drive your car onto the beach and park in certain designated areas. We are staying within walking distance to the beach, so we opted to save the $10 vehicle access fee.
  • Famed painter and art instructor Bob Ross was from around these parts. He was born in Daytona Beach, and died in New Smyrna. All the happy little clouds I’ve seen while here now have special meaning.
  • Catching the sunrise yesterday, I encountered a gentleman who told me, “Florida is the only state where you can see the sunrise over the water in the morning, drive across the state, and watch the sun set into the water in the evening.” (I’m paraphrasing here). Thinking about it, I would guess you’d also be able to do this in Hawaii. But I appreciated his observation nonetheless, and it did give me an occasion to reflect upon the geography of peninsulas.
  • The gnats in New Smyrna are thick before sunrise. And they bite.
  • I might be wrong on this, but I think the locally accepted way to pronounce the name of the town is New Sa-Mur-Na. Like Smyrna is three syllables instead of two.

That’s it for now. Just a few more days before I have to plug back in. Gonna watch some more happy little clouds.