When it rains it pours.
I live less than a mile from the Connecticut River, whose flood stage is 7.0 feet. Over the weekend when I checked, it had reached 10.5 feet. Even all the little tributaries that feed the Connecticut River are swollen and rushing with mighty currents. It’s very beautiful and noisy. (Just like the one in the picture here, which is Little Falls at Wadsworth Falls State Park, which is normally just a tiny trickle over these step-like rocks.)
I suppose it’s pretty normal for springtime in Middletown. There’s a restaurant that floods every year this time. This year, I feel like I can identify with the floods.
It is certainly raining in my life, and snowing and stuff too, because this is the winter that never ends in New England. Which is more annoying than the song that never ends.
I realized that all rain is good rain, though. Whether it’s the first drop of hope after your whole life has felt parched, the convenient rain that hides your tears, that kind of cold rain that makes you tired, that light mist that just ruins your hair or that downpour that brings the flood that forces you to realize exactly what parts of your life are worth dragging along with you should you happen to remain afloat.
It’s all good rain because it all makes you grow.
Three weeks ago, I was trying to train for my half marathon and hang out with my kids all day and work my part-time job and keep the house clean and get a team organized for a charity race. Perfectly great. Until what appears to be the opportunity of a lifetime comes along.
What did I do? I jumped on it.
But it’s meant an extra 25 hours of at-home work for me while I work my part-time job for now. And then I got an annoying cold and a surprise snowstorm happened and we had some of our favorite people come from out-of-town and then my daughter had vacation from school and my brother and his wife had a beautiful, perfectly healthy baby. Plus my neighbor, an obnoxious drug addict and convicted felon, has been especially yelly and sweary lately which means interactions with the very polite police force in this city. And there’s been Easter and Passover and the bunny and the pictures and a race I volunteered for. Lots of people are giving me lots of help- parents taking kids for a little longer, husband giving me more time alone, etc.
So it’s all really, really, really good rain, right?
But I haven’t ran in 2 weeks although the half-marathon is still looming. And this is the first thing I’ve written in a long time. And I forgot to post the 5K training or try to organize a group run for the charity race we’re doing. And I’m behind on the new opportunity. And my kids have watched a lot of TV during their April vacation. My poor dog is not enjoying her lack of time outdoors, either. I haven’t had a conversation alone with my husband in a long time. And my son puked his guts out. Okay, not his guts- just a half a bag of jelly beans, a couple peeps, an eggs and some trail mix, which he’d managed to consume before 10 am on Easter Sunday. But he wasn’t actually sick, just horribly fed while mommy was upstairs working.
Normally, those kind of failures would cause me to drop everything and assume I’M a failure. That I knew I was biting off more than I could chew and so it was my fault I wasn’t at my personal best for any of it, so I should just throw in the towel.
Not this time, though. One thing that running and writing have taught me is to embrace my mediocrity. I normally don’t even participate in something unless I’m naturally awesome at it. That’s why all I ever really did was bowl and sell cars.
Now, even if my head feels barely above water while I try to navigate this flood that is almost entirely my own creation, I’m going to just keep swimming. I’ll keep getting done what I can, the best I can, when I can. Even if it’s not done very often and not done very well. Which will be weird for me.
Because I know that soon, the stars will align and I will get all of this done. I believe the big dream and I’m starting to imagine some cool stuff for myself and my family so I won’t give up. Even if it means some seriously half-assed accomplishments. Deep breaths and focusing on what I can in the moments I can. Easier said than done.
But the people who love me will forgive me. Right?
(Updated at 11:45 am on 4/21/2014 because I decided not to forego proof reading completely – I just corrected some spelling.)