Dipping the toes in…

Saturday February 11th……we are in heatwave conditions here in Australia, not only inland but up and down the coastal fringe. The weather bureau says it’s the last of the extreme heat conditions for this summer, not really sure how they know that but I hope they’re right.
Now to be honest because of the ‘thing’ my body overheats a lot, I’m sure it would even overheat in a blizzard so you can imagine what this heat is doing to me and all the other people that suffer with conditions that increase the internal thermostat……not to mention all the poor women that are going through menopause and like me can get a hot flash without even trying…….
So I decided before it got too, too hot this morning I would take myself down to the beach where there was still a sea breeze and have a dip. Let me clarify…I was not going there to lay and bake under the blazing sun, just for a dip. I don’t mean a swim either, I don’t swim, I dip. It was 9am when I turned the car off and based on all the cars around me, half of the local suburbs were also there for a morning dip!
As I stepped out of my pleasantly cold, airconditioned car I was hit by that breeze, it was unfortunately a hot gust rather than a cooling breath of fresh air. The heat radiating off the asphalt was easily felt under my haviannas , but the smell of salt water was high in the air…..only the road to cross and a blistering hot line of sand stood between me and that dip.
So in true fashion I stumbled, shuffled and unsteadily made my way across the sand to a spot near the lifesavers. Nothing of real value was with me but in my mind, my belongings would be safer there. Havis off, beach top off and I’m off towards the rolling waves….again with a difficulty on the sand that probably had the lifesavers wondering if I was sober enough to be heading for the sea at all. Now as I stated it was only 9am so I wouldn’t be drunk by then anyway. Plus I’ve only had 2 drinks since mid November, gasp, horror I know, but my new meds this time round and alcohol are not friends, they’re not even acquaintances more like bitter rivals. Add to this, when I’m heading in for a dip I don’t have glasses on, the world looks a little blurry also.
When I reached the shoreline and looked around it was like someone had opened a bag of licorice all sorts. Tall, tiny, round, thin, young and old all looking for that illusive spot to take a cooling dip. Some were sitting just so the water would come in and cool them before it rushed back out to only revisit moments later. There were people out much further and diving through the breaking waves, some on body boards, a family standing knee deep throwing a beach ball to each other, all there for the same reason as I , to get cool before the heat of the day takes hold.
I stood there knee deep trying to stay upright as the wash came in and out around me I thought how nice it was to hear the laughter of so many around me, families sharing family time on a Saturday morning. No thought of work, school, bills, just…. being.
Anyway standing there bikini clad, yes I said bikini, I bought it 9 months ago in Hawaii and I’m determined to get my money’s worth out of it. It struck me that when I was younger I would look at older women in a bikini and I was judgemental. Now I’m a 51 year old grandmother, standing knee deep in a hot pink bikini… what? I’m sure my adult children would be embarrassed, but who cares? As I look down I can even see a little roll over the top of my bikini bottoms……bearing in mind when I purchased the said hot pink bikini I had a flat stomach. Oh well.
I’m not quite sure when my give a shit meter broke, but it may have something to do the realisation that life can change at any moment. That people you love can be taken from you, that illness can change your life and make you redirect your priorities. As I looked around nobody seemed to give two hoots what I was wearing, what I weighed or even that I was there.
Two years ago I lost a lot of illness induced weight, I’m not worried as I know it will happen again. Chances are the more I worry about it the more I will gain. So instead of concerning myself with all of that bullshit I remembered why I was there, sharing the beach with all the other seriously hot people………to just take a dip, get cool and let me tell you it was bloody beautiful!


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