A recent text conversation with a friend:
Friend: Hi. I’m thinking of you. How are you?
Me: I am pretty worn out. But okay. The plan: just keep swimming.
Friend: 😦 that sounds exhausting.
Me: It certainly is. But if I stop swimming…
Friend: Can you get out of the water?
Me: I hadn’t considered getting out of the water. Hmmmm. I guess I just don’t see land. I do enjoy the beach. I’ll find some quiet time today and find land.
That day I did find land for a bit. Once again, I find myself swimming again. Just swimming. If I stop, I drown. When I stop to tread water, I do what I do in the pool—panic. Oh shit shit shit…my feet don’t touch the bottom…arms going too fast…you’ll get tired, slow down…oh my God…how much longer can I do this? I’m going to drown. I’m not strong enough to do this. –That’s about 20 seconds of treading water.
I have never really enjoyed swimming. I am willing to get in the water to cool off or lay on a lounge mat and float. I love to be near the water. I love the sounds, smells, sights—it truly relaxes me. I wish I had learned to be confident in the water. I remember watching the old Esther Williams movies with all the gals wearing swim caps, performing routines and creating designs with their synchronized swimming. Dancing in the water. They just smiled and smiled. Perhaps I need to just think of swimming with a different perspective. Instead of swimming exhaustively to a state of collapse, I’ll dance in the water for a bit. That way, if the land does not make its presence known or I just can’t get the land to come into focus, I’ll take a dance break.
Stuff to ponder: Why do I swim so much if it is not enjoyable? Why is it such a big deal for me to get out of the water and rest for a bit? How come I don’t dance more often?