Sometimes you have to grab life with two hands and accept that there is more to life than housework. I woke up on Monday morning and looked out my window to see, like most people in the country, a beautiful day. I saw sunshine. Heck, I could feel sunshine through my window. I wanted to enjoy it as much as was humanely possible.

I started making a little plan in my head. That’s kind of how I roll. As I brushed my teeth I thought about the way the day might unfold. While I dressed my son I planned, in my head, what we would eat for breakfast. I made a mental note of the housework that simply had to be done and pushed the other jobs to the side of my brain hoping to return to them later if time allowed. One thing was certain – that sunshine would make a serious dent in the laundry basket. Great drying and all that. 
It was the first day I could actually dress Billy in shorts. He wore a pair two weeks ago but it was more a case of being at a play date, realizing he was severely overdressed for the unexpected sunshine and cutting his jeans in to shorts. Just call me crafty mama like. I dressed him and he admired his outfit (and man bun) in the mirror. He was delighted with himself and was literally dancing with excitement. And that is the exact moment that it hit me. Mother of God this day had to be about more than just housework. 
Since working from home I have come to appreciate the days where I am home and not working. Sometimes it is as simple as enjoying the fact that I can get the house in order. Let’s face it, the housework is never-ending but a couple of hours on a Monday can swiftly take it up a few levels in the hygiene department. Other times, like yesterday, it is about having the freedom to do something fun. Something spontaneous. 
Let me start by saying I am not a spontaneous person at all. I am the kind of girl who plans to be spontaneous. Literally. It kind of defeats the purpose but it gives me a little thrill. That and a good list. Yesterday felt like a day with promise. As usual the fact that I don’t drive seriously limited my options. I made plans to visit the park and they just didn’t make the cut. It was scorching out. Proper sun-cream requiring weather. I needed to do something bigger. I was dreaming about visiting a beach and how great it would be if I could drive. I then told my self to pipe down and get over myself. Visiting a beach would involve a lot of public transport but for some reason it felt worth it. 
Then I started using my diet as an excuse. A trip to the beach would surely mean eating on the go and it would be illegal to visit the beach without consuming an ice-cream. You see, I was making every excuse under the sun to avoid doing something a little bit out of my comfort zone. Would I manage a beach trip with just a pram and a smile on my face? In an instant I decided that it was happening. I made some mini Slimming World Quiches and packed a picnic for the two of us. Plenty of fruit, yoghurt, Slimming World Bar (for the sweet treat) and a two litre bottle of water. 
I am not exaggerating when I say that it took me two hours to get out the door. There is just so much to think about. The fact that I was going to be about a two hour journey away from home meant that I really had to pack for all eventualities. By 11am we had finally left the house and it felt really good to set out on our adventure. The journey itself was totally stress-free. Our local bus took us just a minute’s walk from a DART station. I then bought a return ticket to Sandycove/Glastule station. A place I had not visited since I was a young child. Billy was a champ and his nap perfectly coincided with the entire public transport experience which made all the difference.

                                          

We arrived at Sandycove at about 1.30pm just in time for lunch. I was immediately blown away by the beauty of the place. The beach area is about a five minute walk from the DART and then the proper sandy/swimming beach is a further five minute walk away. And what a walk it was. Everyone was so happy. I couldn’t help but notice it. Dogs were swimming in the water, mothers with small babies were playing on the grass. Even the people jogging and dripping with sweat seemed to be loving life.

                              

I knew we were going to a beach. I had read good things online but for some reason I expected it to be mediocre. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I was in awe of the scene before me. It was absolutely beautiful. Even better was the fact that it was quiet. This is the joy of mid-week time off. There was plenty of space for us to plonk our buggy once I’d actually managed to force it through the sand. We laid down our towel and sat down for our little picnic. I had changed Billy in to his little Toy Story UV suit (from Sports Direct) and he was completely enthralled. The excitement on his face was priceless.

                    

We stayed for two hours splashing in the water and avoiding jelly-fish. It was actually fine. One or two on the land but people had kindly surrounded them by a couple of rocks to alert people to them. They must have washed up on to the shore. We didn’t see any in the water which was beautifully clear that day. There was a little stall selling buckets and spades and Billy was beside himself filling it up in the water. It was a struggle to get him our of the water but that is not a bad thing. Looks like he will be taking after his Mammy and will love the sea water as much as I do.

                                                     

As with most things in my life something very serendipitous happened. We were splashing away in the water when a photographer from the Irish Mirror approached us. He asked did we want our photo taken for the papers the next day. Naturally I said yes.  Carpe Diem and all that. We didn’t make it in to the papers but we were on the Irish Examiner website and the photographer (Colin Keegan) very kindly emailed me the photos which I really will cherish forever.

              

This little adventure did me the world of good. You know those days in your life that just seem to feed you something? The days that make you realize what is important and what is worth celebrating? That. I woke up that morning with a gut feeling to just go find a beach somewhere. Turns out being spontaneous is a lot more fun that I realized. Oh, and next time we visit Sandycove I want to go to this restaurant. The food looked out of this world.

On another note, HOW is our little man going to be TWO next week? I cannot believe it has been two years of fun and adventure with this ray of sunshine. I am eternally grateful.

Until Next Time,

Tracey