Have you ever gone swimming and decided to see how long you could hold your breath or how deep you could swim?
Seemed like a good idea — a challenge!
You take and release a few breaths to get your lungs ready, one … two … three. You take the biggest breath you can, hold it and plunge your body under water, head down, determined.
You kick your legs and part the water with your arms, keeping your eyes open to your surroundings to see how far you can go. Bubbles make their slow escape. You measure your air as seconds slow and you stop. You look up at the surface touched by the sun – blue sky blurred by the ripples from waves.
The water surrounds you, holds you, jostles you gently back and forth. More bubbles escape and your chest tightens as a reminder you only have so much air left. You realize you won’t be able to hold it much longer.
You kick with force and start to swim back up. You reach towards the sun. The surface seems so close, yet with every stroke of your arms, it’s still so out of reach.
For a moment you wonder, Do I have enough air? You pull at the water, reach, kick, watch the last bubble float by, try not to panic, your chest aches and you press your lips together resisting the urge breath. But then your fingers break through the surface, your hand, arm, and then your face.
You gasp and gulp and let the cool air fill your desperate lungs. You’re fine, relieved and even energized. I could have gone deeper. But a knowing smirk forms on your salty wet lips. That would have been pushing your luck. You turn towards the shore, the sun warming your shoulders, and take lazy strokes back to land.
March has been the deep end for me. I’m still under water, holding my breath and reaching for the surface. I know I will break through in a few more days. I’ll breath in the fresh air and may even look back and think I could have gone deeper, but right now, I need to swim hard!
What am I talking about?
The day job.
Last year, I decided that my small program of two could organize and pull off a statewide conference for nearly 300 people. For some, this might be easy but I am not a party planner!
With some help from volunteers and an additional contracted person we set off to make this conference happen. Then in February the one other person in my program left. Our team of three went back to two and I’ve had to pick up the conference planning load on top of the usual day job responsibilities. So I took the deepest breath I could and dove in!
With just a week left we are tying up loose ends, wrapping up those last details and getting ready for the big event. My mind has been consumed with work … at night, on my days off, even in my dreams where something about the conference always goes wrong. Let’s hope they’re not premonitions! Random thoughts pop into my head at the weirdest moments and there’s no room in my brain for anything else — too busy to be creative.
The conference is on April 1st and after that I expect things at the day job to settle down. I’m looking forward to having room in my mind for creativity, for writing and for getting back to blogging!
In the meantime, I’ve got my head down, my breath held. I’m swimming, kicking as hard as I can and reaching for the surface to get my head above water again!
See you in April! Now that Spring is in the air seems like lots of writers are getting reenergized. Writer or not, hope that’s true for you too!