Ocean. Sunny beach. The wind is blowing. A cool breeze refreshes my face. I look up at the sky. Big white clouds pose in front of clear blue. There are birds flying around. A boy is climbing up the palm trees behind me to pick coconuts. I’m reclined on my beach chair.

All I can hear is nature. Birds singing. Waves splashing. Breeze passing. I inhale deeply for a while. My lungs are cleansed. They can’t say it but I feel them saying thank you. The pleasure is all mine. My Ray Ban shades are on. Sitting comfortably. Hiding the creases beneath my eyes.

I’ve been there. Over the course of my life, I’ve fought many battles. Now I’m here. I’m grateful for that. For now, I just want to relax. I’m at a happy place. I’m satisfied. The sand is soft under my feet. One more sip from the cocktail glass on the table next to me. Aah, that was good. A smile lights up my face.

The long career in the corporate world got me here. When I look back, I remember the pressure, the deadlines, the meetings and the bonuses. My rise up the ladder, made possible by my promotions. It’s like a dream come true, to finally say, ‘I’ve made it!’

My grand kids are playing in the water, getting shoved around by the waves. My wife is beside me, reading a Sidney Sheldon classic. My Rolex indicates that it’s noon. Time for brunch. My kids join me and share three 18 inch, stone-baked, stuffed-crust pizzas among us. Hearing my family talk and have fun makes me happy. What great way to spend the day. The grand kids rush to get their slices. Another round of tropical juice.

How time flies when you’re having fun. 30 minutes have already gone by. The little ones are now building a sand castle. The boy who got the coconuts passes by and gives us one. Top man! It all almost feels too good to be true.

An alarm clock rings. Torn out of my sleep, I’m confused. Looking around though, nothing’s changed. I’m still at my waterfront luxury home at The Palms in Fort Lauderdale. The view is stunning. Nothing but open sea as far as the eye can see. I’ve gained some good fortunes in my life, but this is without doubt the best investment I ever made.

(11/15/13, 7:57 PM Western African Time)

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