Swimming, swimming, swimming

By Mir
July 3, 2012

My dear friend Ruth—a survivor in her own right—sent me a lovely necklace with a charm that says “Just keep swimming.” I laughed out loud when I opened it, and then I cried a little, because that’s sort of what I do, these days. But yes, I’m trying to keep swimming.

We visited with Chickadee this weekend and somehow the subject of my overdue mammogram came up (don’t ask me how, I don’t remember) and Chickie’s eyes got big and she grabbed my arm. “MOM! You have to go do that. I have enough stuff going on, I can’t have you being sick! Promise me you’ll schedule it this week.” And instead of bursting into tears that this was the first time in months she sounded like her old self, the first time she seemed genuinely concerned about another person, I patted her and assured her that I can’t possibly get sick, our family is too big of a mess already. We all laughed. And then I promised. (Mammogram this Friday.)

And today I’m over at Off Our Chests, thinking about some of my favorite things, and how sometimes they keep me sane and remind me that happiness is still out there, even when it feels elusive.


  1. jodifur

    Just keep swimming is one of my favorite expressions ever.

  2. victoria

    Ruth’s gift to you reminds me of a post you made about happy memories related to skinny dipping :) Sorry, that’s just where my mind went, but it was in the spirit of a positive thought, an escape, happy place.
    I think it says much that your daughter is concerned about you and I’m happy she seemed her old self.

  3. CuriousParty

    Swimming is great but keep in mind the advice from your swim instructor (I assume anyway. This was the advice from my swim instructor) “Eventually you will get tired, and if you go too far beyond tired you won’t be able to keep your head above water anymore. So make sure you take breaks once in a while and just float.”

    Swim when you can, float when you can’t. Keep breathing.

  4. Heather

    <3 That's all I got.

  5. elizabeth

    man, can you say double edge sword!? the sentiment is perfect – I’ve used it on myself and others plenty. but now I’ve got the tune stuck in my head. apparently I’ve spent too much time finding Nemo.

  6. KGP

    Great advice. And I love even more the advice above from CuriousParty: Swim when you can, float when you can’t. I’m going to have to steal that one.

  7. CuriousParty

    I knew someone else said “Just Float” but could.not.remember where I’ve heard it. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. Kellie

    I recently started running this year. I have made this year the year for self improvement in the health area (both mental and physical) because I just really want to take care of myself. My new mantra has become is “It is better to feel pain, than nothing at all”. Now this may seem somewhat morose, maybe? But when you have been through some stuff in your life that absolutely just drains you of who you are and is just absolutely exhausting…sometimes you go numb. I’ve been numb and I’ve been negative and I believe those 2 combined together can take you down a really destructive path. Really. I have never considered myself a negative person but sometimes I see myself being negative and I can’t even stop myself and I’m thinking “Who am I, right now?”. I almost feel like I have stepped out of my body and my subconscious is yelling me telling me to stop being negative towards others. This new mantra was sparked by a song by The Lumineers called “Stubborn Love” (I recommend this WHOLE album) which happened to come on to my iPod at about the exact time I started to get negative during one of my runs. The words of the song resonated with me and now I just keep thinking that while I run: It is better to feel pain, than nothing at all! It is better to feel pain, than nothing at all! It is better to feel pain, than nothing at all! The pain may suck but at least I’m feeling it because feeling nothing, caring about nothing; is so much worse. While this whole song is inspiring in many ways there is one more part that I repeat: Keep your head up, my love. I use this phrase and repeat it to myself and others during runs with groups. I used to think I have come such a long way from what I had become, but I realize now that I am returning to my old self. I went down a path that wasn’t right and I’ve found myself again. I’m just stronger and wiser.

  9. dad

    Happiness, like creativity, is a patient search.

  10. HG

    I’m privileged enough to know Ruth IRL and her thoughtfulness doesn’t surprise me one bit. :)

  11. Aimee

    I love that — what a great idea for a necklace. And what a thoughtful gift.

  12. Tracy B

    Hang in there, Mir! He doesn’t lead you to a situation that he won’t carry you through it! Trust, Believe and most of all, have Faith! Chickie is exactly where she needs to be and so are you….just Keep Swimming, don’t give up, and again, Trust, Believe and most of all, have Faith!

  13. Karen

    As long as your head is above water and you’re still breathing in the air, you’ll make it. Keep goin.

  14. RuthWells

    Hugs, sweetie!

  15. liz

    Sending hugs.

  16. meghann @ midgetinvasion

    “Just Float” is a good one, too. It was a mantra in the movie “Home for the Holidays”, which, if any of you out there haven’t seen it, you MUST remedy that.

  17. The Mommy Therapy

    There is little chance of me getting that phrase out of my head today…and that’s a HUGE gift. Thank you.

    I hope things get better soon. :)

  18. suburbancorrespondent

    Yes, our family motto is “Keep pedaling.” Sometimes, that is what life requires.

  19. Daisy

    A wise coworker once reminded me that “Those who tread water eventually drown.” I’m glad you’re taking steps to monitor your own health, even when it seems impossible, so you can keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

  20. smarty

    I just watched Finding Nemo (again) and just keep swimming is the best motto I can think of for almost any situation in life. I love Disney movies, there is always laughter and wisdom.

  21. Angie McCullagh

    I’m so glad you saw a glimmer of chickie. Hopefully you’ll catch more and more glimmers until she’s one big light again.

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