Flow

Last Saturday was a bad day. Nathan was out all day with a friend. I knew this was happening in advance, so I arranged babysitting for the kids.

Then Julian was sucked into teething hell and had a fever and there was no way I could leave the kids with a babysitter.  So we stayed home.

And I sulked.  And sulked. And sulked.

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It was a shitty way to spend a Saturday.

I sulked and pouted because boo hoo, the day did not work out the way I had planned.  And once my plans were upended, I resisted and went against the flow and fought the current and tried to work on my novel which is actually impossible when you are home with a teething one year old and rambunctious three year old.

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But man, I had planned on working on my novel, and even when the stars aligned otherwise, I kept trying and trying to work on it. I was a salmon swimming upstream.

You know what? Being a salmon sucks.

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It is time for me to stop swimming upstream and go with the flow. That doesn’t mean I’m jumping into icy waters and letting the current thrash me against sharp rocks and then toss me over Niagara Falls. Goodness no! I’m in a canoe; I have a paddle; and I’m steering. I’m just not fighting the current.

When you resist the current, you use up lots of energy and make very little progress. But when you use the current to your advantage, then you make more progress with less energy.

So how do I go with the flow?

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I’m not certain. It’s something I have to work on. But I think awareness is the first step. When I feel myself fighting against the day’s events, then I need to take a deep breath and whisper the word “Flow” to myself. Then, I can reorient myself so my canoe is taking advantage of the current.

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Last Saturday, when I was stuck in the house, I could have done a few things differently.  Instead of trying to work on my novel, I could have left some index cards on the kitchen island and scribbled random bits of poetry throughout the day. That would have satisfied the part of me that wanted to write. Then I could have paid more intention to my spirit and taken deep, deep breaths and relaxed (instead of plotting my book while paying half-attention to my kids). And then I could have played some dance videos on Youtube because dancing always cheers me up and makes my kids laugh.

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But I’m not berating myself for last Saturday’s mistakes. I’m in my canoe and going with the flow, and that means I need to look ahead to watch for rocks and whirlpools. I can’t keep looking over my shoulder and criticize how I could have better navigated some rapids. Those waters are gone. I am in new country now and need to experience this part of the river in order to live fully and truly and authentically.

I am excited to see if and how the word “flow” influences my life.

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