April 25, 2011


Water has always had such a calming effect on me, and as someone who often is in desperate need of calm, I have taken up swimming. I swim laps at the rec center near my apartment and have found such peace and solace in the water. I usually swim 2/3-1 mile, but even just a few slow laps of the breast stroke brings a comfort I can't find anywhere else. Swimming has become my zen and therapy and touch stone.

I used to struggle with creating time to do anything that was just "for me". Unfortunately that meant that exercise and meditation of any kind would fall by the wayside for days to weeks at a time. I always felt like there was something else I should be doing. Some work to finish up, someone to do something for. Turning thirty changed that for me somehow. There is still always something or someone I could or should be giving to, but now I include myself in that pool of people. When three decades come and go, you realize the days will keep spilling into weeks and months, and that if you don't make some changes in your life to be better to yourself and others now, it might never happen. So, as a thirty one year old woman, I take time for myself. I create quiet moments for myself to sit and breath and take in the moment. I swim and take long walks with the dogs and go to the gym more often and take baths. I am more focused in my work and have a more grounded self to give those I love. Doing this for myself has resulted in me being able to give and be better for everyone. Before I know it I'll wake up and have kids and I'll be exhausted and won't have time or energy to give to anyone but my little ones. That will be lovely. But I am glad I have this moment right now, where I can connect with myself.

Do you ever struggle with this balance? It's hard for everyone, but women especially seem to struggle with this. How do you find moments of peace and calm in your lives?

(Chateau by Jeremy Kohm, Orb 3 by Carlo Van de Roer from
Available at the amazing 20x200.)


Beth said...

I struggle with this everyday, but I know that I'm better for it if I take the time to take care of me. After all, I can't take care of anyone or anything if I am not at my best. :)

I take time to walk with my husband and puppy, stretch and exercise and craft a little each week.

Linnie Joy said...

i absolutely struggle with this, and with a little boy who is delightful, its so hard to remember youself!

then i realized how can i give and help other people if i dont recharge MYSELF, you end up spent and emotionally useless!

so now i wake a bit earlier for prayer meditation and devotional, get a few chores done(then Bear wakes up) i get the boy ready to go then we go to the gym, he's a social butterfly so getting to play with the kids fills his needs, and i excersize so i have the energy(and endorphins) to be the Woman,person wife and mother i REALLY want to be! (rather than the depressed unhealthy emotionally drained person i was before)

Consuming Passion Ministries said...

I can so identify with this. Every day has a long list of things to do. I know that I'm a better person and can give to my work and family better if I spend some time anchoring myself. But often the time for myself gets pushed further and further down the to-do list for the day. But I'm finally starting to wise up.

I start my morning now with prayer and meditation, make sure I get my run in, and try to find some time to read. I'll admit sometimes I struggle to make these a priority, but like Meg, I'm learning that the time is now.

polly conway said...

Swimming is one of the best ways for me to feel at peace as well! I used to swim at night (my current pool is only open in the daytime!), and looking up at the stars while doing the backstroke, I could feel all my usual panic melting away.

As a freelance person, there's a lot of time in the day I could devote to "me time," but I often spend that time feeling crazy about the ten million projects I'm working on. It's a process. I do easy yoga sometimes, and that feels nice. :)