I’ve neglected my blog a bit lately. I think about writing a lot, and I have twinges of guilt about not making time or trying harder, but the truth is it’s just felt hard lately. There’s a restlessness that’s taken over me lately that’s making it hard to be motivated and creative. I’m blocked and distracted.
It’s easy for me to figure out why: in the past couple months there were holidays and family gatherings, work projects and events that consumed me, and then preparations for our trip to California last week for my brother-in-law’s wedding. And I’ve internalized all the external busy-ness. I’m tired and unfocused and grasping.
Growing up, we had an octagon-shaped pool in our backyard. It was about four feet deep all around and my sister and I spent hours out there in the summers, swimming and racing and playing until our lips turned blue. My mom is not a swimmer, so she wouldn’t come in the pool often, but when she did her favorite thing to do was make a whirlpool.
We would jog through the water, sometimes using our arms too to push the water ahead of us and force it forward along the walls. It was a struggle at first to convince all those thousands of gallons of water to move in the same direction. We would push and run and push and run, around and around and around. Soon the momentum would take over and while moving forward gradually became easier, we realized the water was now harder to control. Eventually, we would change directions and try to move against the current, but one slip on the smooth floor and we would lose any ground we’d gained.
I think I’ve let the momentum take over. I find myself pushing forward, feeling like I have to keep going, try harder, reach further, make it to the next step. I want to accomplish and achieve. I’m striving and striving and then I suddenly realize maybe this isn’t where I want to be anyway. Maybe the next step isn’t the right next step. But the momentum is already there and now it’s pulling me along. And I’m too tired to fight against it.
As a kid, once I got tired of fighting the whirlpool, the best thing to do was lay back and give in. Take a break from pushing against it. I wouldn’t keep running with the current, but I wouldn’t strive against it either. I’d just lay back and close my eyes and float. If there’s nothing to drive it forward, the momentum eventually dies down and then you’re free to move around without effort again. So I’m floating along right now, waiting for the momentum to die down, waiting for the chaos inside me to calm and slow so I can choose the next step with purpose, without influence.
So I have disconnected a little bit lately. I haven’t written as much because everything feels muddled and swirling, like I’m wandering without direction, just letting life pull me along, one day at a time, one task at a time. But I’m coming back. I’m feeling things slow down. There’s something about the summer that makes everything feel less urgent. Maybe it’s because the days get longer, making it feel like time is extending and expanding. I’m looking forward to that– to that moment when I open my eyes and stand up and feel that life is no longer pushing and pulling at me. And then hopefully I’ll be able to move forward again with purpose, make some much-needed decisions, and start again.
One thought on “A Deep Breath”
I love the analogy you use here. Perfect. I can completely relate to this feeling of being swept along with the busyness of life. I hope you’re able to find your feet again soon.