I Have Sand in my Eyes!

As a teacher, I look forward to spring break every year, almost more than the students (oh, who am I kidding. I look forward to it way more than the students!). But what is #springbreak2015 without a beach road trip? Incomplete, that’s what. And no one wants that, so this week my sister and I loaded up the munchkins (Sadie, 7; Bailey, 5; and Maggie, 3) into the minivan and headed to the beach.

 Never mind that it was cloudy.

 Never mind that it was 64°.

 Never mind the recovering sickness and ear infection.

 Never mind the 15 mph wind.

We went anyway and the kids were even brave (?) enough to jump in the tide pools. Sure, they may have turned a little blue when they came out, but they had fun (and who are we to deny them such uninhibited enjoyment of God’s creation?).

Everything was good.


“I HAVE SAND IN MY EYES!” the melodramatic screech carried on the wind. Though we knew the sand would wash out, when you are seven years old and have sand in your eyes it feels like the end of the world.

And I can’t say I totally disagree. Not about literal sand, mind you, but about having sand in my eyes when I am trying to think or write or grow. Metaphoric sand can really slow down not only your productivity, but your progress, your good habits and even your understanding of the world and how it works.

And then I thought about what my sister said to my niece as she was crying:

  • Don’t whine
  • Stand up
  • You can still hear me
  • I can help you, but only if you stay calm

I realized these calm, mother-of-three, sage words were exactly what everyone needs to do to get the sand out of their eyes and start living more productive lives, especially as a writer when the temptation to allow distractions to lure you away from producing quality work lurks around every corner.

  • Don’t whine: unless you have a lot of cheese or chocolate, whining isn’t going to taste good to anyone. Words should have meaning. Whining rarely does.
  • Stand up: Sitting still with sand in your eyes will do no good, to you or anyone else. It just increases the pain and may even make you blind. If you want results, you must take action.
  • You can still hear me: When one sense goes, you must hone and use your other senses and maybe even more importantly you must start PAYING ATTENTION The more we pay attention the farther we will get in life.
  • I can help, but you need to calm down: Being able to admit that we need help is difficult and second only to staying calm, but as soon as we do both of these, we can instantly become more productive and successful, not only as writers, but as people.

#Springbreak2015 is about more than fun, sun, and relaxation. A week off your normal schedule is good—epiphanies arise and you’re ready to wash the sand from your eyes and move forward like never before.

Ashley Carmichael is the author of Valerie’s Vow a Christian Romance which can be purchased at www.secondwind.com or Amazon. Follow Ashley on twitter @amcarmichael13 and Facebook.


Filed under writing

11 responses to “I Have Sand in my Eyes!

  1. Paul J. Stam

    Reblogged this on Paper, Mud & Me and commented:

    Good thought – read to the end.

  2. I enjoyed your post and loved your metaphor, but — how does one get sand out of a child’s eyes exactly? I can’t stop thinking about it – ouch. 🙂

  3. Me too. I remember scary efforts to calm the crying kid (and “Don’t rub them!”). Was it the tears that washed them out? I love your metaphor though.

  4. Clever post, Ashley! The metaphor was so appropriate. When seeking help, I use the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.” I’m stubborn that way. If, after all my efforts have failed, then I will ask someone for help, but I think it’s especially rewarding to at least try to find my own answers, first. It may take longer, but the satisfaction of discovery gives me more confidence.

    • That’s an excellent point and there is a lot of value in trying to find your own way. We learn best through experience first and then through teaching. Most importantly we learn best when we don’t panic and give up but rather push through toward success. It’s so easy to give up when things get in the way and obstacles blind us. The truly productive and successful are those who don’t let the sand win.

      • Thank you so much for the reply, Ashley. How true! There’s another saying I like, “Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace.” So becoming upset serves no positive purpose. 🙂

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