“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Sunsets, Mermaids & Un’s …..

Zfc 2484Photo: D. Paul Graham / ‘Searching for Mermaids’, Savannah 2022

“Monday 5 Things” ™ ….. Sunsets, Mermaids & Un’s …..

It was a perfect low country evening. Wispy clouds, no gnats or humidity, and a rising flower moon that was a day away from being full. All were minor in comparison to our serious task at hand. Four-year-old Nellie was on her first boat ride, and we were on a quest for mermaids and dolphins; there was only one company that could rise to the challenge. Captains Holly, Tara, and John were our guides from Mermaid Pirate Dolphin Tours as we launched from Whitmarsh Island and headed out into the inter-coastal water ways, pursuing the setting sun. Nellie’s wide-eyed expression at dolphins playing and swimming alongside of us, her glee as brackish spray came over the bow, and her waving hello to passing boats brought laughter to her mom, grandmama, her favorite auntie, and your scribe.

As I sat back watching everyone enjoy the evening, marveling at the beauty of the living on the coast, and appreciating the expertise of our captains, I watched Nellie closer. And not just because she had one of my Nikon’s in her hand to take some pictures, but because of the simple joy of a child, the trust, the smiles, the laughter, and the creation of a memory that was in that moment. As our boat rose up on plane, it dawned on me that Nellie was completely UNafraid. And just like that, this morning’s M5T found its sea-legs in words that begin with ‘Un’ that lead to a richer life.

1. Unafraid.

Given a choice, take the road less traveled. Always. Push away from your comfort zones. Choose to live your dreams. Be awesome and extraordinary. Identify your fears and understand what is holding you back. Make changes that only you know need to be changed. Dream big and then aim higher.

2. Unreserved.

Take time to play. Often. Laugh, love, and live without reservation. Figure out what you can control and accept what you can’t control. Put all your energy into the things you can control. Stopping seeking the approval of others. Live your values not the expectations of others.

3. Unconventional.

Eschew commonality, conformance, and complacency. Avoid flippancy, presumption, and superiority. Exercise tolerance, forgiveness, and compassion. Refuse to be bound by the mindset of ‘because that’s the way it’s always been done’. Appreciate, accept, and celebrate the uniqueness of you.

4. Unexpected.

Do something unexpected every day. Practice random and generous acts of charity. Privately. Without anyone else knowing. Make your personality contagious and give that gift to others. Surprise others. Surprise yourself.

5. Uninhibited.

Savor tastes. Inhale aromas. See light and colors. Love without limits. Give yourself permission to be silly, to dance, to laugh, to cry. Never take for granted the incredible blessings you have in life. Embrace the real you, your quirks, idiosyncrasies, foibles, eccentricities, your failures, and your successes. And always, always be on the lookout for mermaids.

Here’s to a week of discovering and embracing the “UN’s” in your life, your laughter, and for those you love and cherish.

© 2022 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

For over 10 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T ™.  Each Monday, Paul shares his observations, thoughts and passions on people, life, and culture.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can also be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com