Sometimes we covertly sabotage ourselves. Submitting college applications late or applying for an out of town job after the deadline or over exercising to injury just prior to a race are all ways to sabotage ourselves. But… I swear I didn’t do it.
I was getting anxious and excited about the possibility of doing a sprint triathlon and really ramped up my exercise routine. Went swimming Saturday, weight training on Monday and walking on Tuesday. Shouldn’t have been a big deal, but I did too much weight on Monday causing back aches, but I got over that. It was the walking that got me. Now, you are asking why walking should be problematic. It’s because I’ve hooked up with two personal trainers who can’t run due to knee injuries, but walking for them is 1-click away from running. Runners average 7-8 minute miles, and we walk a mile in 10-11 minutes. Up until now, I’ve been able to keep up, but this week they added hills to the “walk”, and my knee complained very, very loudly. So, here I sit with a balloon-sized knee, which is preventing me from participating in my first practice triathlon. Oh well…
Today the table was turned when my son laid a guilt trip on me. He texted me that my G’son was disappointed that his G’ma was not going to attend his birthday party. Aghhh!
I planned on attending but the weekend was full of conflicting activities (G’son, swim event, husband). I chose to go to the beach with my husband. It was the wrong thing to do and it was the right thing to do. It’s impossible to choose between two things that one wants without feeling guilty about the final choice. Should I take the PMP or the DAU procurement courses; should I grow my consulting business or take a job; should I do the triathlon or not)…… I want to do it all.
On the one hand, I should have chosen the grandkid, because he’ll only want to be with me for a few more years before he becomes a teenager and ditches me. On the other hand, my husband and I are getting up in age, and who knows how many more years we have together (morbid but true). On the other other hand, I really needed the swim practice in case I do a sprint triathlon this summer.
Having already had the real life experience of being ditched by my older, grown kids, I have real life experience with what happens as they age. I understand it, but I still don’t like it. I miss them. I understand that they are busy developing their own relationships, but I still miss them. I now have the opportunity to have a relationship with our youngest grandchild and I don’t want to miss out. So, I feel guilty that I chose G’dad over him while at the same time, I am enjoying the time with G’dad (even though he has now been away fishing for 3 hours). Choices… choices… choices.
The answer is in “what if I had a do-over”. Would I choose G’dad, G’son, or swimming. The answer is “I would chose G’son, because then I could still swim and G’dad will be just fine fishing.
No, this is not about Jung’s marriage experiment concerning astrological signs as a bellwether for marriage, this is about what happens with synchronicity in relationships… one woman’s perspective. This weekend was chockablock with conflicting activities… grandsons baseball game, grandsons birthday party, swimming clinic, practice triathlon and weekend at beach with husband.
As I am writing this from the living room of our condo overlooking the beach, I apparently chose the weekend at the beach with my husband. I’m still conflicted and feeling guilty while also feeling relaxed. He’s out fishing but I know he’ll be back soon. I can “feel” his presence nearby. Somewhere along the line over twenty-one years of marriage, we came to a place where we just want to be together… kinda like teenagers in their early dating years or like newlyweds. Don’t know when it happened… it just did. So, as he was packing to go away for a weekend of fishing and de-stressing, I just wanted to “be with him.” I changed all my weekend grandson and swim plans, packed my bag and off we went.
I remember my parents who after 49 years of marriage were totally and comfortably co-dependent. His memory was failing and her eyesight was failing, but together, he could drive and she told him which way to go. That’s synchronicity.
I didn’t know how entwined they were until her health took a downturn. He was absolutely lost without her. It was then that I knew how bad his memory really was, because she had become his memory. She told him what to wear, what and when to eat, and what to do. Without her, he couldn’t function. When she was in the hospital, he developed a blank stare and just sat. I was totally taken aback. How could I have been so blind to what was happening? It was because they were one. Like the winning team in a 3-legged race, they were totally in step.
It takes a long time to get to that place and we are moving in the right direction. Not there yet, not by a long shot but it’s beginning to happen. So, I chose the weekend with him, because he’s my partner in the 3-legged race of life.
Swim fins are like bicycle training wheels…. eventually you have to take them off. Friday was my first full hour without fins and guess what… I did it. There are many times in life analogous to training wheels like having a learners driving license, dating prior to marriage, or working as an intern. The bottom line is that eventually you have to do it for real.
I didn’t think I could swim without the fins, but I did it. I won’t say it was easy, but it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and now that I’ve taken the first step… I know I can. I was so elated after my first try that I was determined to get back into the water as quickly as possible. So the next day, while on vacation, I went to the indoor pool, but found that a regular pool is too small for a “real” swimmer. Wow… I’m a real swimmer now! What that really means, is that I’ve progressed to the point that I need a pool with enough length (at least 25M) so I can stretch out and really practice my stroke and breathing.
Continuing the analogy… a marriage requires time. Dating is really practice and the first years are all about learning how to breath and stroke until two people are synchronized. One of my swim instructors said he put in 30 hours a week in the water when on a swim team for four (4) years in college. That really helped me put my little 3 hours a week in perspective.
So, my 3 hours a week is just enough to “begin” to learn how to swim. Like all Type A’s with inflated egos and “can do” attitudes, I knew I could learn to swim in a few months. Boy, was I wrong! Yes, I’ve come a long ways, but I have so much further to go. You may recall that I latched onto this idea of swimming, because I “might” do a sprint triathlon this summer. Instead of committing to the triathlon, I committed to learning how to swim (backdoor way of allowing myself to quit without quitting). The idea was that if I could learn how to swim, then I could commit to the triathlon. The triathlon is next month and next weekend, I will participate in a practice run.
Stay tuned… and see how she swims.