Monday Musings: Against the Current

jenn-inspired-against-the current

Growing up in Pennsylvania, my family had an above ground pool in the backyard. It took some begging and pleading to get (I think I was in Jr. High by the time it was installed), but once we had it, it paid for itself over and over again in terms of use. From late May to mid September, my sister and I turned into mermaids. You practically had to drag us out of that pool. We’d jump in first thing in the morning, come out for lunch (dripping all over the house to my mom’s dismay) and head right back into the pool until evening. We’d have handstand contests, dive for rings on the bottom of the pool, have noodle battles, try to drown each other, and lazily lay on rafts, drifting across the blue water and relaxing to the great music of the 90s. I remember one rousing rendition of No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” performed by my sister for me and some friends. She sang from the top of pool ladder in her dramatic fashion and then plummeted into the pool after the final “Don’t tell me cause it hurts”, hand clasped her heart, portraying such pain and agony, trying to stifle her own giggles. The performance was met with clapping, cheering and calls for an encore. Those were the days.

The other thing we loved to do in the pool was create a whirlpool. We’d start swimming against the current around the perimeter of the pool. We’d go as fast as we could, fighting the urge to give up and be swept away into the whirpool. When one of us would get tired, we’d urge each other to keep going. The faster and longer you went against the current, the longer the whirlpool effect would last… the faster you would fly around the pool until it ran out of steam.  I woke up this morning with this image burned into my mind, she and I working so hard until we couldn’t move our bodies any further, laughing and giggling as we prepared to let go and be swept along, enjoying the ride while it lasted.

I find myself swimming against the current quite a bit as an adult. Sometimes out of stubbornness. Sometimes due to my convictions. Sometimes because I’m positive there’s something better to be gained by going it alone, no matter now hard it becomes. But sometimes no matter how hard you push yourself, you hit a wall or come to that moment where you have to let go and enjoy the ride. You have to stop trying to control every moment and leave space for life to show you where to go. Lately for me that moment of stopping and preparing to be taken by the”whirlpool” is met with more fear than great anticipation, more concern and worry than the laughing and giggling of summer’s past. Is this us growing older?

This week is going to present for all of us many moments. Moments where fighting for what we want is most important. Moments where what’s on the other side is pretty fuzzy. Moments where we just don’t have an answer and may need to let it ride. No matter which path you choose, here’s hoping that moment before you decide to go all in or let something go is met with lots of giggly school girl anticipation than a furrowed brow and lots of worry.


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