I was a born beach lover. I spent most of my childhood summers, like Springsteen did, blissfully along the shoreline of New Jersey — Ocean City, Beach Haven, Point Pleasant, Seaside, Wildwood. Then I moved to South Florida for undergraduate and graduate business degrees, where soaking up the sun while inhaling the scent of Hawaiian Tropic on South Beach each weekend was a must. Now, living in beautiful but landlocked Colorado for many years, my husband and I have intentionally spent most of our vacations on exquisite beaches around the world, including Belize, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Italy, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, and Australia. Glory days. Beach life is part of my DNA.
Something else seems to be as well: I’ve always loved collecting provocative ads. I collect clever campaigns like some people collect shoes, baseball cards, first-edition books or autographs.
Perhaps that’s why I’ve always appreciated the Corona beer ads: they combine two loves. Ads with those single bottles with limes tucked inside, propped along shorelines with brilliant copy like, “Hit the ground sitting. Find your beach” or “Log off. Lime in. Find your beach.” They make me smile every time I see them.
There’s one ad in particular this season that stopped me in my tracks and nearly made me cry. It’s this one:
We are each other’s beach.
Beer ads don’t often echo my philosophical true north, but this one resonated deeply with me. In this wildly unusual time, I appreciated the reminder: “We are each other’s beach.”
Like many, I didn’t get to the beach this summer. Like others, I haven’t been able to do many things I’ve wanted to do. I can choose to focus on that list, or I can focus on a much more productive list. Saint Paul actually encourages us to “think about these things: Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.” Old advice that’s never been more timely.
During these waning days of summer, why not take a few moments and reflect on these things:
First, as you look back over these last few months, who has been your beach throughout this crisis? What people — employees, caregivers, neighbors, colleagues, mates, family members, friends, customers, shopkeepers — have been supportive of you? As you fulfill your various roles as a leader in both professional and personal settings, who has helped lighten your load these days? Who has made these days a bit more lovely for you?
When I think about the people who have really come alongside to buoy me in this unusual time, to make me laugh or check in, process a situation or commiserate, pray or problem solve, or just simply sigh with me, I’m very grateful for all their life-giving gestures. Surprisingly, I’ve actually made a couple new friends at this time and have been truly delighted by this development. Other, more casual relationships have deepened. Unbidden gifts of these times.
Secondly, ask yourself: Have you been anyone’s beach? No doubt you have. How have you respected, enabled, encouraged, assisted people in your various circles? Have you listened more? Acted more patiently? Given more grace? Perhaps, like me, there are many times you wished you could have been more “beachy” in some of these trying circumstances. It’s not too late. Give yourself a bit of grace and look for new opportunities to be someone’s beach.
And finally, before the summer slips away, why not take a moment to send a note — a real one, handwritten with an actual stamp — and thank one of your beach pals. This pandemic has reminded us all we have only the present. It’s true. Make a small present of your gratitude. It’s a simple but right and meaningful gesture.
Then, treat yourself to a cold Corona (or beverage of your choice) and log off. It’s still summer, after all.