Just Keep Swimming
It is unreal that it has been almost two months since I posted last. Where does time go? As April and May hit, my calendar and to-do lists churned out of control like one of the many tornadoes that spawned destruction across our country.
I’m in the final prep for a summer of travel once again. I’ll be home three weeks for the next two months so there is a lot to do before I head out. Prep for the trips I’m taking, prep for the programs that continue on back home, prep for the fall that will be here waiting when I return. If I stop and think about it, I can get physically ill over the stress. But like most things in life, we take it one day at a time and just keep swimming. There are seasons in our life where we have no choice but to do this. For some, it is a short season. For others, like my parents, it is a long season – years of care for aging parents and all that this entails. Those are the times you can’t do much other than take it one stroke at a time and plow through the water.
There are a lot of times when I get tired, stop swimming and look around. And I don’t see a shoreline. Just endless water as far as the eye can see. When I’m on a beach reading and sunning, I love that view. When I’m treading water, I want to give up. Just sink to the bottom or practice my dead man’s float. Or magically grow into a mermaid or pray for Tom Hanks and Wilson to come by on their make-shift raft and haul me in.
When I’m having a pity-party in the middle of the ocean with my urchin friends, I look for things that will support my current boycott of movement. Things that will affirm and shore up my desire to quit or to find some place where the grass is actually greener on that other side. Little voices that whisper, “Just quit, Melissa. You deserve it. Life is suppose to be about fun, carefree living. Your parent’s basement is actually quite nice.”
One can always find these “things”. We can always find excuses and voices to affirm our own voice. But usually we recognize an empty echo when we hear one. And the promise of an easier life that doesn’t require some long, hard stretches of swimming is an empty echo. The whisper of some dream job where you love everything you do is an empty echo. The nudge that a relationship would solve all your problems is definitely an empty echo.
I think Dory has it right in “Finding Nemo“. When life gets you down, just keep swimming. Not aimless swimming. Swim with direction and a compass knowing the shore is just over the horizon. But giving up and reenacting Jack from Titanic will only get you to the bottom of the ocean floor.
So, float if you need to for just a little while, but then flip back over and begin again. And next time you come up for air, don’t be surprised to see me swimming right alongside you singing, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”