Single Successes

Posted on | June 10, 2011 | 17 Comments

Bear with me because I am getting to the success part of this story. 

On my way to work, I normally don’t listen to music because I have to hear “I’ve Got A Dream” from Tangled on repeat from house to daycare so by the time I drop J off, I’m over music and have a headache courtesy of Brad Garrett.  So this morning, I started my drive in silence.  Only somewhere along the pretty short route, I decided to just see what the radio had to offer.    I flipped it on and on the very first channel, a familiar tune hit me in the gut and bounced all around inside until it poured out of the smile on my face.

“Night Swimming” by R.E.M.

I don’t know the last time I heard that song, especially on the radio, but for some reason when I heard it this morning, I was immediately transported to a wooden platform out in the Southern Virginia woods.  A green tarp covered the old wood and an array of sleeping bags peppered the top of the tarp, stuffed full of tiny campers, fighting and losing their battle with sleep.   I was sixteen or maybe seventeen, smack in the middle of the “my body is NOT a wonderland” mode of thinking.   Sometime shortly after bedtime, the idea was presented that several counselors stay with the sleeping kids and others could swim out and sleep on the sailboat anchored on the lake. 

Have I mentioned before how much I love sailboats? Because I do. I love them with a ferocity.  Something about being out on the water, catching the wind in a sail and letting it move you where you want to go is so… freeing to me. So when Brian suggested he and I swim out to the boat to sleep, I was all for it.  Brian was a few years older than me, self-confident, and full of energy.  He had a smile that could power a city.  (Mom, nothing happened, swear.)

We walked down to the water’s edge and he began to strip down to his underwear. 

“Swim out with your clothes on your head,” he said with his endearing smile, “that way they’ll still be dry to sleep in.”

Disrobe? In front of Brian? But I couldn’t back down now.  He set out towards the boat, swimming with one arm and holding his t-shirt and shorts on his head with the other. Slowly and very unsurely, I followed him.  The water was cold against my skin and swimming with one arm was harder than it looked.  Every so often, my face would dip down beneath the water, bouncing back up again with a gasp and a shiver.  When my right arm grew tired, I would tread water with my legs, pounding them down against the water to bounce high and switch arms, left on my head, right in the water; back and forth, back and forth.  When I reached the edge of the boat, the only sound remaining was the rhythmic slap of lake water against the bottom of the boat.  Brian reached a long, tanned arm over the side and greeted me with a smile.  I tossed my clothes up and let him raise me out of the water, one handed. 

The rest of the evening was uneventful.  We sat and talked in dry clothes and then fell  asleep on seperate beds in the boat’s small cabin.  In the morning, we swam back to shore and carried on with our lives.  I doubt Brian even remembers that night as there was nothing much for him to remember.  But I remember it. I remember the reckless feeling of swimming across the lake in nothing but my bra and underwear.  I remember the feel of the water against my skin and the smile on his face as he helped me onto the boat.  I remember the sound of the water against the boat and the gentle rocking that lulled me to sleep. 

This morning, I remembered that night and I realized that I am so much more than just a single working outside the home mother.  I have stories to tell.  I have memories that come alive in my head of adventures I’ve lived and I have so many more adventures to have.  My life is different than I had imagined it would be, but different does not equal bad.   I am a soon-to-be divorced mother.  But I don’t have to identify myself as that first.  What if I just identify myself as a former night swimmer? Or a lover of boats? I am whatever I choose to be.

And realizing that, my friends, is a greater success for me than just getting out of bed every morning. 

With that said, here’s my short list of successes this week:

1. I asked my ex to keep conversations with me limited to once a week and he has been kind enough to oblige.

2. I weighed myself this morning and Divorce Diet 101 has lead to an 8 pound weight loss.

3. I got out of bed every morning and went to work every day this week.

4. I managed to watch most of both episodes of So You Think You Can Dance … and yes, that is my favorite reality show, and no, you can not judge me or my girl crush on Cat Deeley.

What about you? What did you rock out on this week?


17 Responses to “Single Successes”

  1. Miranda
    June 10th, 2011 @ 9:10 am

    Oooh, I love this memory. Makes me all nostalgic for my own teen years and the wish that something…cool…had happened to me.

  2. mrshiggison
    June 10th, 2011 @ 9:40 am

    Guess what? I went SAILING for the first time ever this week. It was simultaneously exhilarating & relaxing. I can see why you love it:)

  3. Law Momma
    June 10th, 2011 @ 11:20 am

    Didnt’ you just LOVE it?!?!?! I miss it so much. I haven’t been on a sailboat since my early college years.

  4. Kim
    June 10th, 2011 @ 11:25 am

    This hit my gut this morning. We are a compliation of every memory, every moment we’ve ever lived.

    You are a woman who loves sailboats.
    You’re a woman who once went night swimming.
    And thank God for that.

    We are more than our current moments, our current fears. We have histories; and God willing, futures.

    Thanks for this.

  5. MamaHudd
    June 10th, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

    You are amazing. Just needed to say that. Also, I am excited about SYTYCD this year…slight lady crush on Cat Deely as well 🙂

  6. Jennifer
    June 10th, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

    This post makes me really, really happy.

  7. Andrea
    June 10th, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

    First of all, LOVE your post. I think it’s a great reminder to all women that we are more than just the obvious married/single, mother/no children, working/not-working stats!! I when songs bring up unexpected but wonderfully nostalgic memories!

    Lastly, I HEART SYTYCD. With a passion.

  8. Andrea
    June 10th, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

    Meant to say “I *love* when songs bring up unexpected but wonderfully nostalgic memories”

  9. TheNextMartha
    June 10th, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

    I love old memories that give us little nudges of remembering who we are. I hung a new light fixture today and only ate one kit kat.

  10. Law Momma
    June 10th, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

    Only one kit kat? Major props. I usually fall into a chocolate coma once I actually start eating it. My will to stop just becomes non-existant.

  11. Joanna
    June 10th, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

    This post makes me all sorts of happy for you!

  12. IdahoGirl
    June 10th, 2011 @ 11:19 pm

    I started night one of a 10 week stretch with my husband gone. I normally do bed time alone anyway (he works nights), but doing the entire day (I have Fridays off), dinner AND bedtime alone with two kids 2 and under… eiyiyi. But I did it. And they didn’t even cry (much). And I can do all 9 more. I think I can, I think I can.

    And I love these sorts of memories. I just blogged awhile back about how suddenly hearing Tupelo Honey ported me right back in time.

    I love it when that happens 🙂

  13. Mom on a Line
    June 11th, 2011 @ 10:06 am

    Loving this post and the visual. You are a talented writer. Mostly, I’m glad you’ve found your successes.

    My success for this week is surviving my first 2 days back to work after a very sick week off. I was hit with an emergency the second I walked in the door and still managed to remain fairly unscathed. Success!

  14. aims
    June 11th, 2011 @ 8:28 pm

    love love love this!!

  15. Jamie
    June 12th, 2011 @ 12:06 am

    Love that song and what a great memory. Hope some of those positve feelings stick with you for a while.

  16. strugglingforeverafter
    June 12th, 2011 @ 8:20 am

    great list! I love sytycd too… they have it on for free for a couple weeks if you miss it.

  17. Amberlee
    June 13th, 2011 @ 7:53 am

    It sounds like you are doing well!! So you think you can dance?!? You should check out that America’s next dance group or something…I don’t remember I think it’s on MTV, but it’s equally awesome!!
    Great job on the weight loss. =)
    Have a great day, I love your blog.

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