Costa Rica Day 12 – tired of the beach, but the monkeys were cute

If you are a beach lover, you won’t understand this post.

img_20190403_1010575710792546088286007.jpgDon’t get me wrong. The beach here at the Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio is beautiful. And I got in the turquoise waters for 10 minutes. The water is clear and clean, the sand white.  But one thing I’ve really realized  is that I don’t want to spend a long time at the beach, getting salty, sandy, and sun-tanned.

I guess I missed something when I was considering making this trip. I knew there would be time at the beach, but I thought it would all be spent doing something to help preserve the turtle habitat and conservation in general. I just didn’t get it that half of the days would include hours playing and “relaxing” on the beach.

I didn’t even bring a swimsuit, or “swimming costume” as my British cohorts call them. They all brought large suitcases containing clothes for every occasion, and I think most of them brought two, three, or more swimming outfits – the bikini, tankini,  swimsuit – not too mention a variety of beach footwear. But I didn’t see swimming gear on the list of must-haves and I didn’t see relaxing on the beach in the itinerary.

In my youth I would lie in the sun and work on my tan. A few years ago, after my second divorce, I spent a summer revisiting all that. But I have discovered that I absolutely don’t want to do that any more. It just isn’t my idea of enjoyment.

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The highlight of my day was getting to take a walk alone along the paths in the park, surrounded by tall trees with the sound of the ocean in the distance, or, at one point, the sound of only the forest. I love walking in nature and it was just lovely. I would have stayed there longer but returned at the designated time to meetup with the others only to find that the general consensus was to stay on the beach longer. Sigh.

But I had purposed to go with the flow, not to try to manage things according to how I think they should be based on personal likes and dislikes or how I think life ought to work. I am working on letting things be what they are, not trying to control all my circumstances. I had time to ponder, and really, I am glad to have had this opportunity for this particular experience with these particular people. After all, I want to embrace the uncertainty of the day and let life unfold!

mvimg_20190403_095204167489922657660443.jpgI also got to have some interactions with white-faced, or capuchin, monkeys. When we entered the park, our bags were searched for contraband – anything that would be bad for monkeys to consume was not allowed. The only food one can bring in is fruit and sandwiches. One of my companions had her cigarettes confiscated. After spending time on the beach, we fully understood the reason for these rules. The monkeys, cute as they are, aggressively go after anything that looks or smells like food, and I witnessed one stealing a water bottle!

I had gotten a wrap at lunchtime, and put the paper it cameimg_20190403_1315076763165041934303690.jpg in back in my bag. The bag was close beside me, but when I turned my attention elsewhere for just a minute, a monkey snatched the paper right out of my bag!  Kind of cute, but several other times I had to shoo them away!

I am ready to be home. I have learned that although this has been an unforgettable experience, one I am glad to have had, I prefer traveling on my own terms either alone or with someone I know and get along with well.

After a shower, some air-conditioning, and a glass of wine, I felt so much happier. It’s interesting to watch my changing emotions in different situations, especially when I’m not happy about something but just let the situation resolve itself.  THAT is something to take home!

We went out to a restaurant with this lovely view:

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One more day of this trip – the morning will be spent on a catamaran, the afternoon traveling back to San Jose. The next morning -home! I didn’t get to write as I journeyed as much as I’d hoped, due to the lack of reliable wifi at times. I plan to write about some of the highlights I left out, after I get home. It has been a life-changing experience!

Here’s me at the restaurant. It has been so humid that I gave up straightening my hair.

Pura Vida!

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5 ways to increase intimacy with humor

Pillow Fight

What do you do when you get in an argument with your partner?

Do you keep trying to prove your point, keep trying to get them to see it your way? Do you have to convince the other that you are right? And where does that get you?

As someone who has been married and divorced twice, I am here to tell you that none of that works. I used to HAVE to be right. I HAD to get my point across. The other NEEDED to agree with me. EVERYTHING was a serious matter. And where did that get me? (Crying alot, for one thing!)

Sure, you have to have a compatible sense of humor. And I’m not talking about sarcasm and putting the other down and calling that funny. I’m not talking about laughing at the serious things of life. It’s the little things that eat away at a relationship, and it is in those moments that lightheartedness can turn things around.

Some examples of stuff to laugh about instead of arguing: he doesn’t load the dishwasher “right”, she’s always losing her phone, he’s directionally challenged and tends to take wrong turns, she’s not a good cook. Nobody is perfect or has all the skills. Add the busyness of life, tiredness, and control issues, and you have the setting for a boiling fight or a lot of belly laughs! And we all know laughter is better.

  1. Start by laughing at yourself, especially when you find yourself taking things too seriously.
  2. When you catch yourself getting into one of those fruitless arguments, step back and look at it as if you were watching a comedy.
  3. When you realize that you are arguing over something that doesn’t really matter, just stop. Kiss your partner. Start a pillow fight or tickle fest.
  4. Be spontaneous. Look for ways to surprise your partner. Make sure it’s the kind of surprise you know they like! Again, little things, like a back scratching or a little unexpected act of service, can make a huge difference, especially if acccompanied by affection and laughter.
  5. Do fun things! Learn what kind of entertainment/movies makes the other laugh, then seek it out and laugh with them. They should do the same.

Admittedly these will only work if both partners are on board. If one person is determined to sabotage, argue, and destroy, it is time for the other to consider what is important and what they really, really want. But if both of you can laugh at yourselves and at life, the power struggle that most of us struggle with will be diffused.

Instead of throwing angry words or objects, throw pillows!