Monday, June 6, 2011


Lately I've felt I am drowning.

When I am alone, when everyone is sleeping, I wonder, "what is so hard?"

But it is.

It doesn't even have to be a particular thing gone bad.  It's just so hard to get three pairs of shoes on and three people into the car and three people into their seats and three people not to hit each other.  Even if I'm calm.  Even if I'm present, it is still exhausting.

But the best advice I got from the parent coach we went to on Saturday was, "You MUST do something for yourself."

So I did.  Yesterday I went to the mall.  I know, that is completely out of character for me.  I had not set foot in the mall to shop in months and months, I honestly don't remember when.  I've been to the play areas but not just to walk and look at things.  It was intoxicating.  It was bright and air-conditioned.  There were other people there.  And lots of beautiful shiny things that make you want them.  I went with the intention of finding a couple sun-dresses and maybe a bathing suit.  I tried to relax.  But I was watching the clock.  I can't just stay away from home forever.  I need to get back.  Oh crap, I just wasted 15 minutes of my time waiting in line at Forever 21.  I felt VERY old.  To those kids I am very old.  But they have great long dresses.  I bought none.

But I did find a bathing suit that supports my poor sad boobs.  I actually feel good in it...not as good as I did in the bathing suit I wore last time I was in Play del Carmen for my friends' wedding.  I made them all look at me.  But in this one I do feel a little more feminine and a little less like a cave woman.  Shopping does not fill me the way I want to be filled, but I was a little more relieved to have a good swimsuit.  But I left the mall with mediocre resolution.  I am not a shopper.

And then today I went to the YMCA.  I dropped off those babies for my 90 free minutes of babysitting.

And I went swimming.  I swam and swam and swam.  It felt glorious and smooth and tiring.  It felt meditative and relaxing.  I felt all that tension, all that Cortisol, all that misery just melt into that pool.  I watched myself do stroke after stroke after stroke through the clear blue water.  Breath.  Stroke. Stroke.  Breath.  I felt my legs tire and my arms begin to ache.  And yet I kept on swimming until that was all I was thinking.  I love freestyle, the rhythm of the breathing.  And then I do the backstroke, my ears under the water, listening to the movement.  It is so exhausting in a completely amazing way.  And you're in the water, which buoys you and makes you feel refreshed.

After I finished and showered, I still had a little bit of time.  So I drank some of their free coffee and read US Weekly and relaxed.

So, now I'm floating.  I feel relieved and still within for the first time in a long while.  I need to keep doing this.

I need to stop drowning and keep on swimming.  And now I feel a little better doing it in my new suit.


kc said...

Glad you're swimming. Your line about drowning reminds me of a line from a Stevie Smith poem (a rather depressing line, I might add):
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Glad you're swimming, Heather.

Heather Minter said...

I was thinking of the same line...I just couldn't remember where I'd heard it, so I left it out. I love that.

Stevie Smith - Not Waving But Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

Sarah Park said...

It is so hard. When everyone is awake and needing you simultaneously, it is SO hard. That parent coach is right... I wish I had known to do something for myself from day one. It's still hard to make it a priority, and if I do, to not feel guilty about it.

But I firmly believe in finding a bathing suit you feel good in, and it's one of the few things I think, "I don't care how much this costs! I need this!"

I love your imagery of swimming, the negative drowning in life, but the positive and soothing swimming at the end, too.

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