Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Toe, then a Foot, & Maybe a Leg

Moving Right Along...

I hate cold water.

When I was a kid, my sister and I took swimming lessons each summer at the local pool. The lessons were always held in the morning, and somehow even in July in Jersey, the air was chilly. And if the air wasn't chilly, you could bet your bright green Speedo that the water would be COLD.

Normally my entry to the pool would be as slow and excruciating as possible. Clinging to the ladder, I would cautiously put one toe in the water, then slowly my whole foot, and then, if I could stand it, a leg. The other leg obviously had to follow...and then I would oh so painfully tippy toe through the water as it passed the small of my back (oh, the agony!) and finally I would go under, the cold flooding through the rest of my flailing anatomy like a shock.

Granted, during swimming lessons the teachers-- drowsy teens blinking in the inordinately early sunshine--the teachers never offered my slow and painful water entry as an option. We just had to jump in. The shock would happen all at once, and then I'd have to keep moving so I wouldn't turn into a kidsicle. I hated that.

Fast forward 26 years...and here I am, at the side of a pool again.

This time the pool is a blog. And I know that's silly, and melodramatic, but the feeling is kind of the same.

I've always dreamed of writing. Ok, I haven't just dreamed: I have written. People have given me dollars for words I've put on a page, so I suppose the dream did at some point cross from "I wanna" to "hey, I am!". But then life happened. I know, life happens to everyone. Excuses are easy, and I know EVERY easy excuse. As a writer I can get extra creative with excuses. It's a blessing and a curse.

My pursuit of writing was in its infant stages when life stopped just happening to me in its odd distractions of kids and motherhood and laundry and minutiae. The "I'll write when..." excuses all got swept off the table. LIFE HAPPENED. The cataclysm that flung me out of the writing pool is another story for another day, but suffice to say, things fell apart in such a way that I couldn't see the water for the mountains that needed to be scaled.

The landscape of my life is different now than it was in 2004 when I gave up the dream. I'm older, (it happens) and if I'm not any wiser I am at least determined to make sense out of the place I find myself in today. My children are older. My marriage is older. I am working at returning to work after a long hiatus. So much is different...but the pool is still there. And even though I hate cold water--and really, I STILL hate cold water--the lure of the pool is strong.

The purpose of my writing has changed in ways I'm still not sure of. But I know that I have to get in the pool, even if it's one toe at a time, before I can start swimming again.

To quote my favorite movie, I'm "movin' right along"...and I hope it does become a habit.

1 comment:

  1. It doesn't matter what or how you write. If it is part of you, it only matters THAT you write. And like the sign on my desk tenaciously declares in my direction: you're never too old to be a rock star. So rock on, sister-friend! Can't wait to keep reading...