Saturday, April 25, 2009

Finding deeper water

My life is currently shifting. Most of the changes are gradual, but I am surprised by the suddenness of others. Some of are by my design, some by circumstance and some by the decision of others. In any event, they give me more time to pay attention to what I deem most important, rather than just urgent.

So, what in the world do I do?

I'm floundering just a bit, like a fish out of water (the original title for this post). It reminds me of the salmon we saw several years ago in Alaska, fighting their way upstream, even when half of their bodies were above the water level. They'd found the current and relentlessly swam against it. Often they were splashing or stranded or struggling to breathe. ( there a special word for fish "breathing"?) They swam fiercely, driven on in their final life and death swim. The fruitlessness of their reproductive attempt in this shallow stream did not change their direction.

But wait. I think that fruitlessly fighting upstream feeling is what is comfortably known. I feel more the way those fish might feel if they were suddenly plucked out of the fray and placed in the calm waters of a large and bounteous lake, with no current to swim against. I certainly know how to swim upstream, fighting (and occasionally avoiding) the current of the moment regardless of the importance of the endeavor. (I'm thinking of "urgent camp" t-shirt obsession in the middle of a fabulous family reunion, for example.) I am skilled at focusing on the struggle and turning a half-blind eye to the things that fall by the wayside. But without the current? I don't know what to do.

Today, I find myself with little current to push against. I stare at my a little menu planning...wonder about some sewing...wander over to the computer. I'm moving in starts and spurts with long, lost pauses. It is not for lack of things to be done, but a lack of anything urgent. I'm not used to this way of being. I think it's going to take me a while to find an inner current.

Let's hope I don't get buried under dirty dishes first.


Brenda said...

Ohhhh, I've been there, might be there still. sometimes its useful to have small goals like washing the dishes, often it helps to do something contemplative, like handquilt, and its always helpful to get out of the house for exercise. hang in there!

Jen said...

You'll find it in time, I'm sure. I know how it feels to be floundering like that. Going from teaching full time to being a stay at home mom was a big change for me.

Anna said...

You're an amazing woman Andrea and I have no doubt you will continue to do amazing things. Now when i say amazing, I mean the small and simplest of things (after all it's the small everyday acts that last the longest and change lives)...smiling at a worried kid, offering positive advice, sharing a yummy recipes...

oh and read your blog entitled " a new path". So interesting, I'm wondering if there are moments from my childhood, which have shaped me, that i have inadvertently pushed out of my mind.

hmmm...bery interesting...