Saturday, November 29, 2008
When I was 2 and a half my folks and I lived in Montreal in a tall apartment building. It had an outdoor pool and even a kiddie pool. My mother figured since we would be swimming that she had better take a CPR course. So she did. By the time I turned 3 it was summer and she and I spent a lot of time in the pools.
One day in particular, I was splashing in the kiddie pool with my life vest on (I wasn't drowning on Mom's watch). I desperately wanted to get into the big pool but wasn't allowed on my own. Mom was sitting on the side in a lounge chair. I clearly remember thinking about how to get into the big pool without getting caught. I waited for my mom's eyes to be averted elsewhere and then ran like a bat out of hell.
I remember the feeling of complete freedom as I sailed through the air. It was the most amazing experience so far in my short life. I hit the water and went straight down and then straight back up again through all the bubbles. I recall looking up from underwater to the blue sky through all the bubbles, amazed at the sight and exhilarated as I surfaced. I bobbed like a cork, giggling like a fool I imagine. And then pandemonium as the adults present realized I had escaped the kiddie pool and was in the DEEP end of the adult pool.
With a life vest on.
I don't remember what happened after that and I'm not sure my mom does either as her heart would have been in her throat and the adrenaline would have been pumping. I just remember the feelings I had through the whole experience. 42 years later, I can recall the joy I felt, the absolute freedom as I sailed through the air and came back up through all the bubbles.
I also remember knowing that there would be consequences, but I did it anyway.
This time of year, a lot of demands are put on us. Or we put them on ourselves. Holiday stresses are nasty. Parties to attend, baking and cleaning to be done, shopping to do, entertaining the relatives or co-workers you'd rather not see. And if you live in a snowy part of the world, you have to contend with travel delays because of the weather. It's a tough time of year to deal with all those things and a chronic illness, too. So make a plan.
Easier said than done, I know. But by planning as much as you can, it's easier to deal with the problems that pop up. Rest as much as you need to and rememeber that YOU decide what you want and can do.
You can say damn the consequences, jump into the deep end, and enjoy the experience. Just be prepared for the fallout.