It's here. And I can't believe it. Honestly, my life has felt like a blur for the past few weeks. Well, really few months. If it wasn't for this blog and Instagram, I wouldn't remember ANYTHING. Ha! Even though the new year is here I don't really feel the excitement of a fresh start, a new beginning. I am still in the midst of processing this tumultuous season of life I have been walking through with the loss of my sister and our sudden move back to Georgia. To say life has been crazy would be such an understatement. I've been holding on for dear life, doing my best to endure the changes and still be present in the lives of those around me. But... it ain't easy. And I don't do myself any favors. I am hard on myself. On top of all that, expecting a magnificent home makeover of our new place virtually overnight, making Norman Rockwell-ish holiday memories with the family, creating Allie's annual book before my coupon expires, oh and let's not forget soaring to new heights at my new job and keeping up with some contract work from my old one.
I say this not to gain your pity, but to explain why I might feel the teensiest bit overwhelmed. And tired. So very tired. Sigh...I think it's time to float.
Let me explain.
Back in 2009 I did my first (and only) sprint triathlon. I diligently trained for this race, working out at LA Fitness like a BEAST for months. The time came for the race up at Lake Lanier and I felt ready. Strong. Able to do this fairly easily. So far, my practice times had been pretty good even though I had no real experience swimming in a competitive setting. As me and what felt like THOUSANDS of other woman gathered at the shore ready to begin, I slipped in at the front of the heat. Here was my strategy:
If I'm out front and as far as possible to the inside, I can stay out of the way. I didn't want to be in a crowd or stuck behind loads of people holding me back. (Boy was that stupid...)
As the horn blew I ran in the water, excited for this experience to begin. Adrenaline pumping I swam with all my might, but soon... much sooner than expected... it happened. I started to feel the waves of people behind me closing in... hands and feet coming at me... strong hands and feet trying to swim OVER ME... hands and feet scraping and clawing to PASS ME... and my own feet unintentionally kicking people in the face and getting entangled in their bathing suits. (Oopsy.) Soon my strategy and goal of getting ahead rapidly changed to STAY ALIVE! DO NOT DROWN. My forward progression was replaced with an upward one as I gasped for air, bobbing like a cork, just trying to keep my head above water as the swimming bodies around me constantly yanked me under as they plowed ahead.
Before I was half way done I was truly exhausted from just trying to survive. I could not go on. I could not take another stroke from all the energy I wasted just trying to fight to stay alive. So...I did the only thing I knew to do.
I rolled over onto my back and just... laid in the water, completely defeated. I couldn't move my arms. They were so unbelievably tired. I kept rolling back over, trying to swim again, only to find that I had nothing left to give. So I kept floating. My mind was racing - trying to force my body to move ahead, but I couldn't. My heat was the last one in the water so by this point almost NO ONE remained in the water but me. I felt alone... embarrassed... and helpless. I floated in the water for what felt like a YEAR... staring at the sky and waiting for any amount of energy to return to my limbs...
Honestly, I was in shock. I couldn't believe the race had started this way. I was so certain of how things would go. I never expected this...and certainly hadn't prepared for this unforeseen challenge, but at this point... I needed to float. Floating was my only way of surviving. I desperately needed the time to recharge. Finally I was able to flip over and weakly swim..head above water, but without lifting my arms out of it... to the shore and run to my bike.
Luckily I was able to make up a TON of time on my bike and have a decent finish, but this event traumatized me and seriously wounded my pride. Ha! I bring it back up and retell the story here simply because... I strangely find myself in a similar place, just this time on dry land. Unforeseen circumstances have left me battered and exhausted and...just trying to stay alive. I've realized I just... need some time to gain my bearings, recharge, and start again.
So that's my goal for 2014, or at least for now. Take some time to float- not "check out" or disengage, but... float. Rest more. Reflect more. Regain focus on what matters. It's sooo hard for me to not bury myself in projects and to-do lists, but I need to lighten up. Create more white space. Be less busy. Because if I wanna finish this race called "life" well, then I need to recognize when it's time to float before I drown!