Keep Swimming

mama underwater swimming


In a decision my husband and I have yet to confirm was a good one, we decided that our children would have their tonsils and adenoids out on the same day this past month. My husband and I both took sick time and were home together to care for our children and took an “all hands on deck” approach to getting them through recovery. The week home was quiet with much time spent encouraging them to eat Jell-O, Ramen noodles, pudding and to sit quietly on the couch and rest. Naturally, that meant considerable time watching children’s movies. And I found that a little blue fish named Dory totally gets me in my motherhood right now.

“When life gets you down, do you know what you’ve gotta do?
Just keep swimming.
Just keep swimming.
Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.”

I’ve been swimming with my head barely above water. Like a hamster on an endless spinning wheel, I keep going. But it hasn’t been without sacrifice or a tremendous and uneven shift in priorities and focus.

This past year, I’ve put myself last.
And it has been on purpose.
Intentional.
I am completely guilty.
I knew the entire time that I was not doing right to myself.
I let go of the many things in my life that I needed for emotional and physical health.
I lost me in motherhood.
There was so much that needed my time and attention. I made the mistake of thinking I could take care of others best when I neglected myself the most.

A new year is a time of resolutions, which then tends to be marked by the regret of actions, disappointment in behavior, a resolve to not be the same, to put down who you are and where you are at this moment.

This time can feel too heavy.
It is a time when it doesn’t seem possible to touch what you yearn for most.
We want it all fast.
Just like we binge watch television shows, we want to see our resolutions come to fruition right now.

I wanted to shame myself.
You know better.
You deserve better.
You can do better.

I wanted to snap my fingers and be the person who took care of herself again.

The time right now is for resolutions if you wish. It can also be a time of resuscitation. The something you need when you just feel like you can’t keep swimming anymore. That restorative breath of new life and energy into your motherhood that you need to keep going. It is putting your mask on first and then tending to others. When I take time for me in motherhood, I am better in all other areas of my life.

This year, I am going to resuscitate me in my motherhood. I will take the exercise classes at the gym I’ve never had time for, dust off the books I’ve promised myself to read, make the recipes I’ve said I would, make it happen when I tell my friends we should hang out more, and most importantly, drink my coffee hot, not reheated three times.

Yes, I am down about how this latest lapse seems so big. However, through this process, I will be kind, understanding and give myself grace. I will give myself both the space and time that it will take to resuscitate.

I will keep swimming.

keep-swimming

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10 thoughts on “Keep Swimming

  1. Speaking as an ‘Old Toot’ and knowing Alice as the beautiful young woman she is…we go through peaks and valleys in our skin. The parental duties that seem to take all the juice out of us each day are so missed when our children leave our nests. Then come the grandkids and a new chapter of life opened and it’s wonderful. ‘Older & Wiser’ just advises you to take a few minutes each day to rest, think, love and be you. A few minutes letting your mate know he’s important is good too . Love to SWIM !!

    • I love hearing your voice and wisdom. Thank you for your support and the advice you share. That was a perfect expression of being “juiced.” That’s exactly the feeling. I appreciate your reflection and I need more time to rest and just be me, you are right.

  2. Alice, this was wonderfully written. I hope you strive for balance each day. Yoga and meditation can help on your journey. Thanks for your honest blogs.

  3. So wonderfully written. Your words are always so powerful. This is the internal conversation that I have been having with myself lately. It was a hard year, filled with so many responsibilities. But we just keep swimming and we just keep trying to do better every day. Thank you for the reminder! So glad to be swimming with you! And the opportunity to just keep swimming.

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