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Just Keep Swimming

Across the last week, I have been recreating the paths that bought me here today. If I was really honest with myself and you, I haven’t been feeling that great. Maybe it’s peri-menopause, or the aftereffect of a big few years of change— I’ve found myself questioning everything. 

I had breakfast with a dear friend and we encouraged one another as fellow creative writers with young children. Unpacking the change in season as our parents get older and the juggle of jobs, businesses and the desire to be present to our families. 

We chatted away and I found myself reflecting on the lessons I had learnt from swimming over the last year at the local pools. It’s a little bubble of humanity with so many different narratives and stories writhing. Each week, even through winter, I jumped in the pool and swam laps. 

A lot of my conversations with my therapist ended up talking about my swimming. The cold water and it’s reset of my nervous system. My inability to stop thinking about my work, spending most of the laps, trying to solve problems. My changing body and the desire to move it, but how sluggish and overwhelmed it feels. 

Last week I lost my AirPods, the awful part of the story is that I had only worn them a couple of times after getting them late in the year as a unexpected birthday present from my husband. He said to me “keep looking they will be somewhere random.” He smiled and said “your stuff always reappears”.

The deep sadness at the loss of my little sound machines, was this overwhelming disappointment I just could not shake. The feeling of loss, was the blur of what the last few years has entailed. I just kept repeating, my life is a blur and I spend so many days trying to help others, that I lose my own things because my kids, my family, my work are all swirling around my heart and life. 

Those big feelings these days often precede my time of bleeding and the anxiety that rises in my soul is a breaking of my need for more. Then I slow down, I dig my feet into the sand and watch the sun set on another day, reminding myself that tomorrow is another day. 

The air pods were found tucked away to bed in a little blue basket, I’m sure somewhere that I had once thought was a place of safety. And I find myself wanting to crawl into that basket and hide myself away as well. The daze of lost things always moves heavy on my soul, because I want things to be simpler, easier and less hectic. 

As I listen to friends who’s children have now grown up and left their house they tell me “suddenly your days are quiet and you miss the meaningful hurry. You miss the chatter and full table. One day, it will be so very different”. 

So how do I keep hold of my things, stay present to my family and still dream up ways to reconcile the hope I deeply feel in my heart when writing. Can these things ever reconcile? 

I remember the little sentences I spoke to my friend at breakfast and reflect the mirror of advice back to myself. 

“Just keep swimming. Swim through the problems, swim through the heartache, swim through the exhaustion. Just show up to the pool of your everyday and swim again.”

The fluid nature that my heart longs for, is to not hold onto it all so heavy. Just let the past remain there and the future is held in the hands of God. 

Just be present, to each stroke, each breath, each anxious thought and release it into the hands of an ever-present loving God who wants to traverse this season in the everyday with me once again. 

Each time I am present in those moments that I want to run away with my thoughts and solve all the problems on my own, I remember that my helplessness is met in the messiest places by the helper. I’ve realised lately that the things I worry about and obsess over, when released into his care are profoundly lighter. 

Everything is going to be okay. 

And even when it’s not, we can continue to show up to the difficulty with the honest answer of telling the truth. 

Three journaling prompts I wrote to my subscribers this week focus on the following themes- connection, authenticity and gratitude. 

  1. What am I thankful for?
  2. What do I need to be honest about?
  3. Who can I reach out to?

Write your answers to these three questions and you will be surprised at the perspective shift that comes quickly. We all long for connection, truthfulness and a realistic view on what we have already. 

Continue on dreamweaver. Just keep swimming, show up for another day. Let’s be honest, especially with one another. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t set revolutionary goals this new year. Each year I choose a book of the Bible to focus on, rather than trying to rush through the whole and this year, I am going to read a Psalm as often as I can. Mostly each day, but also give myself the grace, to just lean towards Jesus, no matter what the day holds. Not out of religious practice, but seeking out the answers of His present help in time of need. To delight in the beauty of who He is. 

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:14

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