Join Me for a Swim Tonight

photo by oHoTos via PhotoRee

July 1977. Hotter-than-normal weather had taken the small town and Ken and Marge seized the opportunity to host a block party in their massive back yard. The adults had just popped open another Coors and most of the children were engaged in swimming or a game of tag.

Mike and Carolyn from down the street looked up in time to witness their daughter, a toddler at the time, smiling at them through her shock of curls from the end of the diving board. Straddling her tricycle, she waved and called out “Look at me!” before plunging headfirst into the deep end of the pool.

The little girl doesn’t remember actually riding off the end of the board but she does recall thrashing about underwater and seeing her trike floating in front of her moments before a pair of adult hands pulled her to safety. Could have been her dad; could have been Ken. It could have even been George from across the street. Regardless, as she sat on the hot concrete coughing up water and feeling the chlorine still burning her nostrils, she had already, at three, taken a HUGE risk and come out the other end safely.

Some random “hot day” aroma made me think of this story, the first of two times in my life I nearly drowned, on my way home from work today. I think partially because of the weather and partially because of what Spring means to so many of us – time to clean out the clutter, reevaluate, purge if necessary and clear away the dust and dirt that has accumulated during the long winter – and water represents some of that cleansing process.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past few months, mostly about the changes that seem to be happening all around me. There are lots of changes afoot at work, several of my friends have moved away or are in the process of doing so, and I have other things going on in my personal life that have me feeling a bit reflective.

The ultimate question is what would make my happy? What do I really want?

Years ago, I completely changed everything in my life around. Within a matter of months, I was living someplace different, working somewhere else, and all my relationships had changed. A total life reboot, if you will. It was a wild time in my life and it was scary as hell. But like that day on the diving board, I plunged into my new life with nary a thought and made a 180 degree change in every area. And I survived.

Is it time to do the same thing again? What would transpire if I pulled up all the roots I’ve spent the last several years tending and began anew? What if I conducted a massive purge, like cleaning out the closet during Spring cleaning?

What if I went right off that diving board, into the big Unknown again? Would I be rewarded with a new and exciting life, or would I drown with no one to pull me out once it’s obvious that I’m in trouble?

These are questions I lie awake thinking about. I feel this strong pull to go somewhere and change something, but inertia or possibly fear prevents it.

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