The last I wrote about speed skating, I was up in the air as to what to do. I wanted to try it, Son No. 1 was vehemently opposed. Since then we had a little sit down where I explained I wasn’t only “a mom” I was a person too and that he’s inspired me to try something new. Long story short, if I promised not to skate any meets in the first year, he was all for it.
Since then I’ve gone twice and from the moment I stepped onto the ice, arms wind milling while I tried to catch my balance, I’ve loved it.
In a way, speed skating has allowed me to see how far I’ve fallen when I never even realized I had been falling to begin with.
On paper, this past year for me has been great: I’m editor of a website, a story I’ve written is going to be published in a book, I’ve made new friends who are dear to my heart, found mentors who I trust and admire, I've travelled, tried new experiences, my husband is still my best friend and man of my dreams, and my boys…well…they just amaze me with their awesomeness. I’ve had people tell me how lucky I am and they’re right. Here I was at 41 finding my stride and moving forward in an upward direction. Or so I thought.
Sometime over this past year I disconnected. Like somebody clicked a switch and I started only going through the motions. This isn’t to say there weren’t days where I laughed and felt good but underneath, there was a certain “meh” about it all.
Have you ever gone swimming and you’re just below the surface, not much - maybe a foot. The sunlight is permeating the water but the heat isn't hitting your face, you hear the voices and laughter of everyone who’s heads are above the water, but you’re not a part of it. You’re there just below wanting to join in but if you open your mouth, even for a second, you’ll start to drown.
That was me. Not drowning, but not actively playing above the surface.
I went through my days doing what needed to be done, but I wasn’t “there”. And yet no matter how hard I tried to stay engaged, no matter how much I promised myself I was going to be there fully and completely, I couldn’t. By the end of the day I was done.
The insomnia has been bad, not gonna lie. Every morning my husband and I have the married routine of asking each other how our sleep was. I would garner a guess that out of 365 mornings, a minimum of 200 has been me responding….good until about 4:00 a.m. and then I couldn’t get back to sleep.
This isn’t depression, I’ve gone through that before – twice – and this is no where near that hellish experience. This is more along the lines of becoming so intrinsically involved in life that I forgot I was also supposed to live it as well. I was so busy doing - moving forward full force like an ox pulling a cart, eyes focussed on the ground below so as not to trip on a stray rock, I failed to notice the beautiful scenery surrounding me. My head disappearing beneath the surface of the water was such a slow decent nobody noticed. Not even me.
Until I went speed skating.
And for one brief moment, I broke through the water's surface and was able to breathe again.
I’m on my way back.