Last Sunday I participated in my first sprint triathlon. (I find it humorous that it's called a “sprint”, insinuating that the people participating are actually sprinting their damndest the whole time.) For the record, I am not a strong swimmer. And as the trithlon was about to start, I suddenly realized that yes, I had swam once in the open water, but it was just to get in the water and make sure I wouldn't have a stroke from panic, not an actual swim. So, this was actually my first time.
Two of my friends were competing with me, both had done triathlons before. My friend Laura asked me, “Andrea, are you okay? You're not looking so good.” I assured them both that I was fine and ready to go. We got into the water and the announcer said we had 20 seconds to go. I thought, “What in the hell have I got myself into? I don't want to do this.”
The gun goes off, or maybe a horn, I can't remember. We start swimming and I'm okay for about 30 seconds. Then I realize I'm blind!!! I can't see. Fogged goggles. Is that a swim cap? Or a bouy? Where am I? I literally cannot see anything. So, I just start swimming. Then I hear, “Hey yellow! You're going the wrong way!” I stop and take off my goggles. There's a kayaker pointing to behind me, at the rest of the pack. I fought back tears. I swam back to the pack. It happened again. This time I start to panic.
“What if I never make it back? What if I run out of energy from swimming for hours? What if I come in LAST PLACE?”
I did what I remembered from my one swim training. Rolling onto my back I floated for a minute and started the backstroke. Quite simply: I needed a break.
Which brings me to my life lesson. I quite literally need a break. Last week I fell apart and wrote about when being a mom sucks. For some reason this year I decided to pile on project after project. Being the passionate Aries that I am, I again have jumped in head first before fully thinking it through. And I'm killing myself in the process.
My husband asked me to slow down. I said no.
My intuition asked me to slow down. I said no. And that's where I ran into big, big trouble.
I know the following facts about my intuition:
- It wants me to be happy, healthy and to succeed.
- It speaks to me all the time.
- It's never wrong or mislead me.
- If I ignore it, it will certainly let me know.
I also know that I should never, ever ignore it. I teach my clients this. I've written about this before. But, alas, I am human and I made a mistake. But, I didn't make changes until it got oh-so-dramatic. Cue music….
October hit and I was already running on empty. I was already falling apart limb by limb when I wrote last weeks post. The next day I had to lock myself in my bathroom to call my dear friend Courtney to tell her I wanted to quit my business. Quit it all, just stop. No more. Finite. Adios. Thankfully, she talked me out from the ledge and reminded me that I was just having a hard week. I then text my husband about my worries and his response was:
“You and I both have been taking on too much, and haven't been able to enjoy being a family.”
Can there be anymore major clues thrown at me? I mean, c'mon, Andrea! Somebody could have thrown a pile of shit on me that somehow stuck on my forehead and spelled out: “SLOW DOWN SISTER!” and I still wold have run around in circles trying to do it all. And then this week, my babysitter of 2.5 years quit without notice. And there was the straw that broke my pet camel's back. I cried. And cried and cried and cried. What a mess.
When the tears dried and fog cleared, I decided it was time to make changes. I'm slowing down on the kajillion projects I have. No more computer at all during the day when I'm home with my kids. Not frantically looking for another babysitter AND I'm taking December and January off. My gremlin is having a shit-fit as I'm typing this. Muahahahaha.
And P.S. The swim only took me 22 minutes, I later found out. So, If I can get through that and live to tell the tale, I can pretty much do anything. I'm sure of it.