In the Swimming Pool

May 31, 2012 at 7:34 am | Posted in Life and Living | Leave a comment
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When I was young, my family belonged to the town pool.  Every weekend over the summer was spent at the pool with several other families who had kids my age.  At day camp, we spent a lot of time at that same pool.  Like many kids, I loved to swim, and I was pretty good at it.  It went way beyond Marco Polo.  My friends and I did underwater flips, handstands, and races across three pools alternating strokes — crawl, breast, back, side, and if we were daring enough, butterfly.  We would do flips off the diving board and rate each other.  We would spend hours at the pool and weren’t looking to get tan.  We were simply having fun.

This lasted well into middle school, and fell off in high school, right around the time that I started wearing contacts, thus rendering my underwater vision efforts futile.  Not that that was the reason I stopped swimming regularly — the whole growing up thing certainly played a role.  The summer no longer symbolized pool time — not in the same way.  The summer was about hanging out with friends, going to the beach and driving around.  Sure, there was the occasional pool party and the few times we snuck into some guarded pools, but Getting tan mattered a lot more and when it wasn’t summer, it wasn’t rare to find me in the the tanning booth.  My relationship with water went from the sprinklers to the sidelines where I could show off my bikini.

I remember going swimming in a pool in my freshman year of college and realizing how long it had been since I had been in a pool.  I had really missed it.  I decided to take a water aerobics class the next semester to get my exercise and to get back in the water.

Still it is rare that I get to enjoy a good outdoor pool these days.  It’s a special treat, and it always reminds me of my childhood.  I remember how daring I was.  So many of the things I did in the water as a child I wouldn’t dare to do now.  I remember so many laughs and so much fun.  I remember slip and slide and water parks. I remember fringe on my two-pieces.  I remember going to the pool not for the hot lifeguards.  I remember the pure fun of being in a pool, back when life was simple.

So this summer, I am going to do everything I can to get in the water. I could certainly use some simplicity in my life!

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Summer, Summer, Summertime

June 21, 2011 at 7:37 am | Posted in Life and Living | Leave a comment
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watermelon, watermelon, how it drips, how it drips...

Well, it’s officially summer, though it feels like it’s been summer for like a month. But it’s official now, which means… well, basically nothing, other than it is going to get hotter and hotter and hotter before it cools down again.

Summer used to have more meaning. Summer meant that you were out of school and had no responsibility. Summer symbolized freedom and fun. Summer was all honeysuckles and sprinklers; marshmallows over a campfire; games of red rover and camp Olympics. Summer love.

Mmm….summer love.

There was an innocence and an excitement, everything was carefree. Now, summer is just another season, only stickier. I wake up, go to work, and come home. And actually for me, the first half of summer is my busy season, since I work with educators and we do our teacher training when they are out of school.

I envy the teachers who don’t work during the summer. Truly envy them.

So summer is no longer as relaxing and enjoyable as it used to be, but it’s hard to let go of those feelings and the desire to just take a ride, blast the music with the windows down, find an open space and watch the stars. Summertime still gives hope for new beginnings. So the romance with summer isn’t quite the same, but the feelings are still there. I guess it’s kind of like a long term relationship — no longer new, requires work, but still worth it for those sweet moments.

What do you love about the summer?

I should blog about the conference, but…

May 26, 2011 at 7:34 am | Posted in Life and Living | 1 Comment
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Ok, so I know I promised to report back about the conference I went to last week, but unfortunately it wasn’t all I had hoped it would be.  There was a great line up of speakers but the attendance was very low which decreased the networking opportunities significantly.  But rather than harp on what the conference wasn’t, I decided to take the opportunity to enjoy Miami.  I was there with my best friend and fellow blogger Dezolutions, and we both were really in need of a vacation anyways, so what better timing did we have?

We both fell in love with Miami.  It was beautiful and fun and really gave us the impression that anything goes when it comes to South Beach.  It really did seem like a judgement-free zone.  And beyond the palm trees, the sand, the shopping, the food, and the night life,  I found real relaxation in the ocean.

The ocean is my new happy place.  It’s so blue and warm, and the waves are huge.  I spent a significant amount of time just floating in it, happy enough to let it take me away.  All of my stress just melted away and nothing else mattered.  I was weightless and therefore so were my worries.

I love New York, don’t get me wrong, but the ocean up here sucks.  Every summer my friends and I say we need to go to the beach more, but we never follow through, and I think I now know why.  The return on investment is not big enough.  For us to go to a “good” beach, we need to wake up early on the weekend, pack up a cooler and then drive for 45 minutes. From there, we need to pay to park and then lug all of our junk onto the beach.  Then, you stare at gray, cold water and low waves.  Nothing relaxing about that!

And now I am going to crave that water down south. I’m going to dream about it, especially when I am stressed like I am this week at work.  And once my tan fades away, I’m going to need to find a way to bring myself back to that worry-free zone.  Somehow, one way or another, I will reunite with an ocean as beautiful as South Beach again soon.  At this point, it’s going to be hard to settle for less.

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