Friday, July 2, 2010

Coming Up for Air

You know that feeling...the one where you're under the water, holding your breath, and then it becomes too much to handle. You frantically kick your legs and move your arms in hope that relief will come. You don't know how much more your lungs can take. If you wait too long, you might even wonder if you'll ever reach the surface in time. But you're able to pull yourself together and continue with the kicking. So, you swim toward the surface, longing for the moment when you can breathe in again. The air hits your face. Sweet relief. But even when you've reached the surface and your lungs continue with their breathing in and out, it's difficult. Your breathing is heavy. Your chest feels tight. Your lungs are tired. You climb out of the water and take a seat while the breathing continues to be heavy, but starts to become more regular. It takes a few minutes, but in the end, you take one big, deep breath in, let it out and you then you know that you're ok. Life goes on.

That's exactly how I feel right now. These past few months have felt like holding my breath under water. I've been anxiously the moment when I could come to the surface for air. And now, it's so close I can feel it. I keep kicking my feet and moving my arms, knowing that the surface is right there.

I'll admit...the things that consume my time and my energy and my thoughts are all things that allow into my life. I'm the one who said "yes" to all these things. I'm the one who signed up and stood up and owned up to all these responsibilities. I'm the one who thought well, if I don't do it then who will? I'm certainly not saying that all the things taking up my time are things I despise doing. I love getting to spend evenings with my husband. What precious time I get by keeping my niece, Reagan, is something I'll always cherish. Getting to spend afternoons or days with family and friends is wonderful. I enjoy creating cute little things for babies. I love being creative in planning for summer camp. I enjoy blogging.

But lately it seems like my days have become so full of all of these things plus a million other mundane, I don't want to do them but I have to, things that those enjoyable things seem to be "just one more thing" on my to-do list. I don't want my time with my husband and niece and family and friends to be something I get through so that I can move on to the next thing on my list. They mean too much to me to get that kind of treatment.

So, here I am...on the brink of 2 weeks away at summer camp. Yes, it will be 2 weeks full of intense music rehearsals, having to be the bad guy occasionally, the possibility of not getting enough sleep and food that isn't always the most appetizing. BUT, it's also a week full of moments of laughter and joy, the occasional nap, relaxing by the pool and spending time in one of my most favorite places in all the world with some of my favorite people in all the world.

I am looking forward to this time. I NEED this time. Time to relax (a little), laugh, learn, sing and just be still. In that stillness, I'll know, that not only have I come up for air, but the heavy breathing has stopped. Regular breathing has resumed. Life goes on. Not the life I have been living-the one so full that no one benefits-but a life full of purpose and joy and living in every single moment. Life, true life, goes on.

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