By Shawn Kennedy, AJN editor-in-chief

Last week I wrote a post here about the feeling of well-being—what it is, how it’s measured, and whether or not nurses often experience it. I guess writing the post struck a chord with me. I sometimes (often) feel overwhelmed with responsibilities at work and home and wish there was more time for fun, rejuvenating activities, and relaxing with friends. With this in mind, I decided to accept an invitation from friends to come for a visit.

My husband and I took a leisurely two-hour drive on Saturday down to see old friends at their new home on a New Jersey barrier island, one block from the ocean. Although it was a very cold day, the sun was shining in a bright, blue, cloudless sky. We decided to brave the wind and bundled up and headed out for a walk on the beach. 

The air had that salty-sun smell and the wind was blowing enough to make the water choppy and full of whitecaps—it was gorgeous and exhilarating, and we tramped about for an hour. Later, we headed out again, this time to wander around the point at the south end of the island, where migratory birds and turtle nests were protected. Nothing like an ocean wind to clear your head!

A good meal, some catch-up conversations and laughs—it was a fabulous day. At times, I could still hear that nagging part of my brain saying, “What about those e-mails you need to get out?” and “You have to write up that outline.” But I shut it out. 

Spending a beautiful day at a cold windy beach and connecting with good friends reminded me of what we all know but too often ignore: work will always be there, but you can’t get back the time you missed with special people. Carpe diem! (And if you’re waiting for a response from me, it might be a bit late . . . )

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