Monday, 26 July 2021

Getting in

I’ve mainly had good luck with the muse when it comes to writing. My therapist said something to me last week that immediately got me thinking about a piece of writing, so I did what I usually do. Which is to wait for the muse to hit (usually early in the morning, nudging me to get up and write it down before it disappears into the ether). But she didn’t come. 

The connection my therapist made was linking the work I’ve just done in ten Welsh schools with cold water swimming. Or - more precisely - the way I approached the work, and how it reminded her of my swim ethos: acknowledge the apprehension, focus, get straight in, enjoy the spectrum of experiences, know my limits. As Glennon Doyle says, ‘we can do hard things’. 

The work in schools was as challenging as it was rewarding. Frustrating. Whole-hearted. A huge privilege. As my co-pilot Gemma reminded me, we had to dig deep every morning, never knowing what we might encounter. And that takes a lot out of a person. Both of us have felt scattered since the work ended, looking for ways to ground ourselves. My family has been self isolating and this liminal space is both crushingly samey and nuanced, constantly shifting, depending on which lens you look through. Our beloved swimming lake has been closed for a few days, so no cold plunge reset for us even if we could leave the house. 

Back to the muse. It’s been five days since the germ of this idea was planted and she ain’t nowhere to be seen. So I did what I did with the swimming and the schooling and just got in and wrote this. We can do hard things.

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