Angie pointed out that today I have 100 days left of my year of swimming. I’ve got mixed feelings about that. I’m proud, of course; to have stuck with it; to be on the easy slide into finish. But I also detected a hint of disappointment in myself when she pointed it out. Like I expected this far into the year to have achieved something by doing this daily practice. Wasn’t there some epiphany I should have had by now? Some personal transformation? It’s ironic (and perhaps inevitable) that I would have such a thought about a practice that was specifically meant to be reframing my ideas about success. To quote myself:
I want to celebrate the milestone of turning fifty by committing myself to something big (for me) that doesn’t live within the confines of achievement as we usually think about it. I don’t strive to be the fastest or to accomplish an especially long swim (or any particular swim at all). I just want to show up every day to do this thing that I love.
Achievement was explicitly not the point, so why am I disappointed that I haven’t had some kind of life-altering insight? (See? I haven’t learned anything)
Finally, I felt a little sad to think I only have 100 days left. I’ve loved this addition to my life; this obligation to myself to swim and blog every day. I will be sorry when it’s over. Of course, I can keep swimming and blogging, and that’s mostly what I thought about on my swim today.
Kim, Angie, and I went to the Albany Bulb. It was a perfect, cloudless, sunny day; the air was clear and the water was calm. We must have all been in the mood for a good, hard swim because we put our heads down and swam out to the point of the point.
As I swam I wondered, what will my swimming look like next year? What will I do with this blog? Will I keep going? I’ve mostly decided that I won’t keep the daily challenge going. I can see myself getting obsessed; how many days in a row can I swim? I don’t want that. On the other hand, I’ve gained so much by having made this commitment to myself to swim every day. It’s meant I’ve done it when I didn’t want to, I’ve done it when it was a pain in the ass to arrange, I’ve done it in less-than-ideal conditions. And without exception, I’ve been glad I did. So maybe I break the streak and then recommit? And what about blogging? Writing every day has been both good for and bad for my writing practice overall. I’ve gained new skills and shed inhibitions, but I’ve also neglected my other writing projects.
Anyway, there are still a hundred days left until I have to decide anything. For today, I enjoyed another beautiful swim. Happy Autumn!