Swimming in Circles

Photo courtesy of http://themaisonette.net/

To add another wrinkle to my exercise routine, I have decided that I would start swimming in the indoor pool. I have not gone swimming in a couple of years, and though I am a strong swimmer, I was not surprised that I struggled a bit. Even with being in good shape, a new technique takes some time to get used to. I noticed I had the pool to myself and found the effect of the water rising and falling in pattern to be calming. Alone, I began to focus less on my breast stroke and allowed my thoughts to wander.

I began to think about my life and where I am. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time lately thinking about what exactly I want to achieve. Honestly, I am not sure anymore. I have goals. But, I’m not sure precisely where I see myself in ten years. Perhaps that is okay. I’ve considered a fresh start, moving on, literally and figuratively, but I’m unsure if I want to start over, yet again. I’ve started over so many times now. What’s one more time, right?  Each time it gets harder and harder. Even with perseverance, I feel like it permanently causes me to lose a little something inside each time.

I fight everyday with the perception that I haven’t done enough in life. That burdens me and it weighs on me. I feel like I should be further in life, especially at my age, but things have happened, I’ve started over, and the saving grace is I am still standing. Perhaps a little crooked, a little bruised, but standing all the same equipped with new experiences and lessons learned. I’ve worked very hard in recent years to move away from my perfectionist tendencies. At the core of being human, we gravitate to what we are, even if we know it is wrong. It takes time to make “what we are” be different through change. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time in making “what I am” different. I am pleased with that progress and who I am now, but it has drastically changed my outlook and perceptions on life. That adjustment has taken some time to get used to because it is so opposite from before.

The one resource that is not renewable for all of us is time. The older I get, the more I realize this. I think it is good to realize time is fleeting because it helps us to focus our energies on the values, ideas, people, and activities we find important.

I’ve yet to be able to reconcile the idea of what I thought my life would be, isn’t what it will be. I’m here to do something else in life, and am finding that I am actually better at it than at what I thought I should be in life, but it still feels odd. I’m unsure why. Perhaps it is because I feel as I am turning my back on my old goals and what I’ve known. Maybe I need more time. But, time is fleeting and maybe this idea, even if flawed, is what bothers me.



8 thoughts on “Swimming in Circles

      • It just makes you a happier person an when you’re happy you feel like you can accomplish more because you’re motivated and have nothing to really hold you back


      • I agree. Being a perfectionist, my personality is geared towards achievement. This can become dangerous if not channeled correctly because the bar is continually set higher and higher, to which it becomes unachievable. I didn’t know how to properly channel my energy and thus I didn’t make time for myself. I told myself “I could be happy when I achieved (insert here)” which just became a continuous stream of events. I never allowed myself to be happy. But, I figured that out. Thank you again for the advice and sharing.


      • There are a number of things that have helped me. As you mentioned, I learned to take things one step at a time. I used to try to do everything at once and it caused me to get burnt out.

        This is still a work in progress but I am learning that I am human and make mistakes and that is okay. Rather than not accepting mistakes, I’ve learned to forgive myself. I have transitioned to the only criteria that is unacceptable being that I didn’t give it my all. It was a hard lesson to learn that sometimes in life we can do our best and things still don’t work out.

        I’ve also learned to put myself first and look out for myself. I’m very self less and giving but I’ve sacrificed too much of myself for people, agencies, and situations where I was taken advantage of. I’ve learned where my limits are.

        One of the things I ask myself when evaluating a situation is what am I fighting for? If a situation is moot and not worth fighting for then it is time to move on.

        It has been a long road but I have learned a lot.


      • Thank you. It is a work in progress for sure. Being introspective has definitely helped me to grow and become the person I want to be. I enjoy meeting others and have been surprised how many people I’ve talked with that have had similar thoughts and feelings. It makes me feel great to share and give them the tools so they can achieve the goals they have set for themselves.

        On another note, I have discovered that it can sometimes take me a while to sort through my thoughts to really understand what I am feeling. Writing them out helps that.


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