You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars…

It’s funny. Well, I’m sure there’s another word for it, but I’m going to use that term anyway. I’m sitting here, knitting, looking up things to do to get better. Be better. Beat the fatigue. Beat down the frustrating little niggle that takes you back three steps for every two you battle forward.

Daylight savings has come and gone. I walk out of evening appointments and still feel slightly startled that it’s still light at 7, or even 8 at night. My body’s refused to play by these rules through. I may try be in bed by ten and awake at 6, but it’s having none of that now. I wonder why? I’m not the only one still feeling it this year. Is it because we’re all getting old, or too wired on caffeine (still on the decaf. It tastes like ashes. The ashes of hopes and dreams), or just too plugged in? Last year, well… last year my lungs were still shot. Oh wait. Technically they still are. The vampires took more blood to sample a few weeks ago, and I had to do the spirometry test again. It was… deeply disappointing.

Between that and my utter inability to deal with the cold/water, I’m really having to face some hard decisions and realities. I’m fairly certain that in high summer in a 5mm wetsuit and constantly moving I’ll be fine – but training to even get to 5m – let alone 10 (and there are catfish I’m going to slay at those depths) – may be a slight problem. Getting in a pool still doesn’t work. I’ve tried a few times now, and, I’m not sure how much more disappointment I can take. The spirit is willing but the circulatory system is weak. What do they say is the definition of insanity again?

What do you do when you fall in love with a sport, a community, a lifestyle… and then you physically can’t do it anymore? I always said I would judge before I competed. And I achieved that, and I love judging. But I look around, and there’s not a lot for dedicated judges in the sport in this little corner of the world. They’ll always take the senior judges first, and there’s now a good deal in Aus as well who need the experience. And in NZ… Shrugs.

At what point do you stop having to justify your position, your ambition, and your desire to make things better, and just leave? Is there weakness in quitting in such a way? Should I even be thinking like this? (I know several who chide me for not having left a long time ago). When does the frustration get too much and it all become too unhealthy? I love the people. Seriously, freedivers are some of the most amazing, insane, but fantastic people you’ll ever meet. And I have so much time for all those who I call my friends. What a community! There is something magic in the water, and all these people are a part of it.

When does one love it and leave it and cherish the memory? I don’t think I have it in me. But I’m have to have that conversation with my Self almost constantly now.

The conversation to be brave and enjoy things I can do. Learn more, participate in other sports and communities. Teach and help in ways where I am valued and can be productive. Be a part of an amazing group of other people. Be in other tribes. Refine my craft and skills. Learn another language or two. Tick off half marathons and walks. Gain the skills to defend myself and get better situational awareness. Give up that mermaid tail and focus on dry land.

I’ve been looking for the face I had before the world was made. Looking at who I used to be. A long time ago. Before I lost myself. Who was I? What did I like before I shaped myself for other people? For relationships I shouldn’t have been in? And look how those invisible scars shaped how I would deal with next relationships, with myself and with others. Where the strengths and weaknesses are. Perception and presentation.

How very deep of me, eh? You can only grow when you take stock of what you’ve done, and been through, and acknowledged faults. And learnt and changed for the better for it.

I bought a beautifully lettered version of the Serenity Prayer from Covent Garden in 2008. It hangs framed in my lounge. Along with Desiderata and the first four lines of Blake’s Auguries of Innocence. They spoke to me back then. They spoke volumes. And they still do. The Serenity Prayer certainly does get glanced at often. Those are wise words:

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can, and

Wisdom to know the difference.

I don’t care who your god is. This is a very honest appeal to life and the way we live.

So I’m trying to apply that now. I’m trying to change the things I can. And some of that will take time. Serenity to accept… well… working on it. Anger is a secondary emotion after all. I’m looking at what’s causing the anger in the first place, and acknowledging and dealing there. And knowing the difference? That comes with trial and error, I suppose. That’s how we all gain knowledge. And wisdom.

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