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Everyday lessons

I recently got back from two weeks in Aruba.

I had a lovely time. Sun and sand, good meals, good books, new friends.

Just as each day at home, I was open to any lesson that was waiting for me. Here are four.

Start where you are

One of the things I love about the resort where we stay is its focus on making wellness available. I can choose from 3-4 exercise classes every day. I usually workout in the gym, take a mile walk along the beach and then go to a yoga or stretch class.

The second day I was there I went to a stretch class with Alex. He is a mixed martial artist, and I had taken his class a couple of years earlier.

In fact, I’d been to his very first class.

When I told him this, he said to me, “I’m so much better now.”

That was such a good reminder that you have to start where you are. Don’t compare yourself to others. You will get better or more knowledgeable in good time.

Try something new

Since I enjoy the option of exercise on vacation, I decided to try something new. I’d done aqua aerobics numerous times, but I’d never tried aqua yoga. Regular yoga, not aqua yoga. Have you?

It was more challenging than I thought to maintain a posture. My biggest obstacle was my height, or lack thereof. Imagine chair pose where if you really do the pose, much of your head is underwater. Next time I will look for a better pool spot, i.e, one that is shallower.

For me, this was just a good reminder to try something new or to approach something differently.

Know your value

If you’ve ever been to Aruba, you know there is a “palapa policy” at all the resorts. (Palapas are grass huts made from palm leaves and provide your shade at the beach.) The palapas usually have to be reserved and people wait in line to do so.

One morning I went down to wait to reserve one for us. I’m too fair to take a chance on getting burned. Shortly thereafter I was joined by a woman complaining about having to get up early to join the line.

She said her husband and adult kids were all asleep. She’s the only one who will do this. Her husband knows she gets up and thinks she’s nuts (her words). Her kids do not know, and she doesn’t want to tell them. She has told him not to share this.

Her rationale is that her husband works and her independent adult kids work. She says that she doesn’t work. Because she doesn’t work, she should be the one who does this for everyone.

The more she went on about this — how hard they all worked and she didn’t work at all — the more I realized that she didn’t place a value on what she did. That’s fine is she wants to do this as a gift for everyone, but she should tell the 20 and 30-something kids that she is.

Build your dream

One evening we went to a comedy show, Aruba Ray’s Comedy Club. We’d been before, had a good time, and decided a repeat visit was in order.

Ray Ellin, the promoter and host, is a New York City-based comedian. He showcases other New York City and Los Angeles-based comedians at his club in Aruba.

About 10 years ago, Ray discovered Aruba and loved it. He returned and then started to think about how he could keep coming back and stay longer. After all, who wants to spend the winter in New York, when you can spend it on the beach in Aruba?

In the beginning, Ray found the venue, sold the tickets, took the tickets at the door, and performed the act. As time went on, he recruited others to join in his efforts.

Today, he spends six weeks in Aruba and has brought in more than 50 comedians to entertain visitors.

In a sense, this is a “Field of Dreams” story. If you build it, they will come. That, of course, happens in the movies. This is more about having an idea, a dream and putting the foundation in place, marketing it, and sustaining your efforts.

It’s your turn!

What was your last everyday lesson?

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