Barbara: Wellness Wednesdays–Making Peace With What Is

Welcome to Wellness Wednesdays.  I realized I had more to talk about than just exercise.  Lani has such a full schedule she has to bow out and I happily grabbed her spot.

Today, I was going to talk about swimming, because yesterday in the horrible, horrible heat—which many of you are now experiencing, too—I picked myself up out of my un-conditioned house and went to the pool at my gym. In the summertime, it is packed with children, and even the normally sleepy times are so overrun with teenagers in packs that it can be exasperating to say the least.  I will say more about coming to peace with teen girls and their hundreds of towels per day usage, but I have other things to talk about today.

Like making peace with What Is.

Here’s the thing:  I dislike intense heat intensely.  It’s not humid and I know everybody says that humidity is what makes it hot, but just try walking around happily in sunshine at 7500 feet altitude at 95 degrees.  It’s like having an iron on your skin at all times.

So, yesterday, there I was, too hot and trying to escape it and very grumpy. I decided that I had to do something. One of my life rules is that I am 100% in charge of my own happiness (not that I am particularly good at remembering this), so what could I do to make it better?

I could go swimming. I went. The outside lanes were packed and I didn’t want to go inside, so I plopped myself down in the 95 degree heat and waited.

And waited. And waited. Finally a lane was free and I leapt in—

It was absolute, utter, complete, deepest BLISS.  Cold water pouring through my hair. Blue sky overhead. Blue water beneath.  I’ve always liked it when you open your eyes underwater and see all that wavery light below the surface.  It’s a secret, thrilling world.  Mainly, yesterday, it was cool.  It improved my mood instantly.  I felt like my twelve-year-old self, off to the pool with my siblings for the entire afternoon, not swimming For Exercise, but playing. Paddling around in the water.  Daring ourselves to jump off the diving board. Learning to swim underwater with eyes open….all those things.  One way to be happy is to find that sense of childhood play.

Right this minute, however, there is a big fire devouring a forest just north of my neighborhood.  It started suddenly this afternoon and blustered out of control in less than two hours, already burning down homes and forcing evacuations and triggering the entire city’s PTSD, because it hasn’t been quite a year since the Waldo Canyon Fire burned more than 350 homes in one neighborhood in our city.  Continue reading