Daniel and I had mentioned to her, in anticipation of opening the pool this spring, "Em, I think this is going to be your year." We overheard her confidently relaying that message to her grandfather, "Well Pop Pop," she had said, "Today is my year, so I'm going to be a great swimmer."
We opened the pool, and not much changed, but she kept reminding us, "Today is my year." Then a couple of weeks ago and out of nowhere, the little girl who would bob her head in the water only up to her eyelids got horizontal and started actually swimming. She still wore her puddle jumper but went off the slide and diving board for the first time (and then the second and third in rapid succession), with a broad and confident smile. "What happened, Em?" I asked, amazed.
"I told you, Mommy," she shrugged, "today is my year."
On one of my runs I listened to the song "The Great Unknown," by Jukebox the Ghost. I remarked later to Daniel about the line, "There's a thousand voices saying, 'the time is now.'"
It's so funny how empowering and sexy these songs and messages can be: The Time is Now! Change your Life! And I'm like, "Yes! I'm totally going to!"
Until it's 90 degrees and the air feels like soup and my kid is up too early so he has to come and it's time to run.When I am running down the street, I am not usually feeling empowered. I'm feeling tired and sweaty.
Or when it's 5:25 and I'm staring at a too-low word count through bleary eyes and even I'm not buying the words I'm writing-- they're all crap. When I am sitting on the couch gazing at a screen that lacks the brilliance I had planned, or at a content calendar that I'm woefully behind on, I am not feeling like a Great American Writer. I'm feeling like a failure who should probably stop calling herself a writer.
It turns out, in the moment, doing the things that have to be done is actually terrible. Change is so much less exciting than it promises to be. I fall off the wagon and drag myself back up again.
I watch Emerie swim, albeit still very much a struggling beginner. But I marvel at her pride as she explains to others, how it came to be that she couldn't swim at all and now she can, as if she is now an Olympic great. "Well," she says, "today is my year."
Maybe today is my year. I wrote an underwhelming blog post! Later I might go to yoga and fall out of a pose or hobble my way through my three-mile run. I might lose my patience with my children forty percent less often than I usually do, or maybe I'll apologize for it without being prompted by my seven-year-old. The sky's the limit, friends.
Today is my year.