Sunday, 25 August 2013

Alone with my thoughts

One reason that I have always loved swimming is because it is one of the very few times that I am completely alone with my thoughts. Out of the water my mind is often going 100 miles an hour but in the pool - the sea when possible - I feel calm and relaxed. & I am more likely to be in the frame of mind where I can think about things that I have previously found difficult to think about, hard to process and impossible to understand. In the past, alone in the pool with only my thoughts for company I have often put the world to rights.

However, I've been going through a bit of a difficult time recently - although I feel a lot better about everything at present - so being alone with my thoughts for long periods is not necessarily the best thing for me right now. Recently, time alone has often meant concentrating on the fact that I'm fast approaching 30 and while all my family and friends have girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands and wives, children, dogs, cats (even a salamander), houses, cars and iPads. Not forgetting careers and well paid jobs. I'm single, between flats, between jobs, at a giant crossroads in my career and have holes in my trainers. But I don't want you to feel sorry for me. I get a bit down sometimes but it ain't really all that bad my life and anything that is a bit 'bleep' at the moment, is probably of my own doing. I got comfortable in my relationship, in my friendships (not seeing my friends very often, not making new friends), living in a flat where I didn't pay rent, working part-time, not trying very hard to make this 'being a writer' thing work - I didn't try for anything. But that has all had to change. Plus I'm fairly confident that with a little time and a bit of graft I'll be able to to come through it all and make good in the end.

So if I'm currently trying to avoid time spent alone with my thoughts - unfortunately one of the major reasons for my love of swimming - I must also be avoiding going swimming? Luckily not - I did for quite a while - but not anymore.

& so luckily for me - as strange as it sounds - I'm finding swimming really difficult at the minute.  Why is that a good thing, you ask? Because there's no time to think! So instead of stressing about jobs and houses etc, while I'm in the pool my current thought process is more like this: stop rotating your body so much, don't be sick, move closer to the ropes, only 2 more lengths before you can take a breather, stop accidentally swallowing water and you'll be in the fast lane in no time - just believe.

So as you can imagine, I've not really been looking forward to the swimming getting easier and therefore giving me the time to think about the ups and downs of my life as I swim up and down the pool. But that said, things are already infinitely better than they were and hopefully by the time the swimming does start to get easier, I'll be back in London, in a new flat, new job and everything will be starting to look all rosy again. 


  1. I think its about having an anchor to hold your thoughts down and one that's difficult to get distracted from. I find running very therapeutic and also chores. However if I do things that are boring or complicated my mind soon goes a wandering.

  2. Yes I think an anchor is a good thing. So I can send my thoughts to the bottom of the pool! After I've discussed them all with family/friends first though. After all: 'Being silent isn't being strong'. & working towards this swim has been a good distraction but I think it's probably about time I started sorting my life out a little.