Can you remember that morning?
The morning you woke up and there were little people waiting for you to get them breakfast and a glass of juice? Or the morning the sick person you were caring for needed their medicine which meant there wasn't enough time to wash your hair before leaving the house? Or the morning your phone blew up with work related emails before your feet even hit the floor? The morning when you looked around for the grown-up in charge only to realize you are the grown-up in charge. That's the morning I am talking about.
The day you woke up and realized you were swimming in the deep end of life.
The deep end has a way of sneaking up on us doesn't it? It's a series of seemingly benign choices. Little decisions that eventually grow into something bigger than we ever could have dreamed.
We stack these little bricks on top of one another slowly, one at a time until we have built something we never thought possible...we have built a whole life.
The first brick reads "Meet someone special".
The second brick reads "Get to know them".
The third brick reads "Fall in love".
...then they start to read something like this (give or take):
- Dream about a future.
- Create a home.
- Invest in a proper kitchen table and some sofas that actually match.
- Buy a lawnmower that costs more than $200.00
- Love that someone enough to create new little someones.
- Find a good pediatrician.
- Volunteer to be room mom and bring a veggie platter for the first grade holiday party.
Before you even know what happened you realize you have a close personal relationship with a tax person, a financial adviser, a pest control expert, a good electrician, a reliable plumber, an awesome realtor and a water filtration specialist. You realize that the email to sign up for the preschool parent/teacher conferences isn't intended for everyone else on the distribution list. It is intended for you.
The deep end can feel a bit overwhelming at times can't it? I will admit that after two straight weeks at home with my kids over the holidays this not-used-to-being-a-stay-at-home-Mama was literally yearning for the sweet silence of my office. All of the intense adulting I had done to create a special holiday for my family had me ready to take a long winters nap.
And three shots of whiskey.
Then, toward the end of our holiday break I took the kids swimming at our local fitness club. My daughter had just turned five and was literally begging for me to take her into the deep end of the pool so she could show off her under water swimming skills (I have to admit the girl swims under the water a whole lot better than she does on top of it). When I told her she was better off staying in the shallow end where she can safely touch the bottom she pleaded "But Mom! It's fine! The deep end is fun! I can jump...you'll see!"
As usual, the five year old was right. She really can jump. And who am I to tell her she should play it safe in the kiddie pool?
Sure, the deep end might be more challenging, but it is where all the good stuff happens. It's where the excitement, the thrills, and the freedom of life reside. While the deep end can be dangerous, it is also where we get to take all of life's chances. The shallow end might be safer, but how much fun can we really have if we always stay in the 3FT area with our floaties on?
It was my daughters words, combined with facing the reality of losing someone dear to me that got me thinking. I started to consider this New Year and the possibilities it holds. I don't typically do resolutions, but this year I am promising myself to live life every day, all day, in the deep end.
I am resolving to ignore the voices of my daily routine when they try to convince me I should mindlessly do the same things over and over, day in and day out without ever asking why.
I am resolving to say yes as often as I possibly can.
I am resolving to make my own sushi on a random Tuesday night just because.
I am resolving to take more adventures.
I am resolving to take more chances.
These are the gifts of being an adult. Sure, we get to manage all the tactical responsibilities that come with home, work and family. But we also get to experience the freedom and possibility that can only come from total independence and some life experience.
Being an adult doesn't mean we don't have any choices. It means we have more. It doesn't mean our path has already been determined, it means we get to determine what our path will be.
We just have to swim as hard and as fast as we can toward somewhere, or something or someone that calls us. Because we get this one chance, this one gift, this one life. And every second is just too damn precious to spend our time standing on the shore.
All we have to do is take a really deep breath, and jump in.
Happy New Year Friends. xo - juli