Thursday, July 24, 2014

8:13 AM

The moon was absent, but the pool light shimmered through the water in a not dissimilar vein. There was a nice symmetry as the inky and infinite blackness of the sky narrowed to the single, dark line that marked my way as I slipped through the water. One, two, three...breath. One, two, three, breath... and so on in the easy meditation that a swim can become.

I arrived at the pool spontaneously, doing a quick U-turn as I left the climbing gym at 9:30 last night. The night was warm and muggy and although my body felt tired after a tough bouldering session, I craved something more. I changed quickly and dove into the otherwise empty pool - the entire pool deck was silent except for some quiet banter from one of the hot tubs. My shoulders creaked and groaned as I warmed up, but soon I was moving comfortably through the water, varying my strokes with no particular goal in mind other than to enjoy the experience of a summer's night swim.

I finished up last week feeling overextended and frazzled. I am not feeling in control of my life I whined to my husband on Thursday night, fully aware that my issues were small compared to the ones facing millions of families in this conflict-strewn world, but feeling overwhelmed nonetheless. A solid weekend of fun and family re-centered me and I kicked off this week with a firm intent to bring my life back into alignment. That has looked like working hard, but taking time to work out and talk to others; capitalizing on the nightly games of Fireman to the Rescue! or Tickle Monster! in the park as both quality time with my kids and a short running workout; sleeping as much as possible; and communicating early and often with my husband about schedules, issues, etc.

Last night that also looked liked finding a stolen moment along the margins of an otherwise busy day - twenty minutes of peaceful swimming that emptied my mind and allowed me to drift into memories of the mischievous summer nights of my teenage years; the leisurely date nights of pre-kid years where we would workout and hot tub before going out; and the surreal experience of swimming in a roof top pool in NYC. I wrapped up the swim centered, calm and otherwise at peace with my life. I would be getting to bed that much later tonight, but I would also be going to bed that much happier.

I find that it is easy to feel off-kilter when everything is so tenuously balanced, but I also appreciate that sometimes you have to do a little more (i.e., make time for yourself), to make it all seem manageable. The art is knowing when to push that much harder to fit it all in, or when to put yourself to bed at 9 PM because a solid 8 hours of sleep will solve your issues like nothing else can. Every week and day are different, but learning to trust your inner voice will be your best guide - on a summer night or any other time.

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