I’m sure many of you are familiar with this memorable line from Finding Nemo which is so applicable to life. How many times do we find ourselves drowning (pun intended) in work, no time for ourselves, feeling overwhelmed while handling the kids (with 5 this can certainly happen!), stressed out by the news and world, etc. It’s hard to just keep swimming.
I also find this quote amusingly appropriate for me since I manage a pool. Staying afloat (yes another pun)while managing a high risk facility (high risk in terms of liability issues) is a challenge. One of the biggest challenges of being a manager is that you’re the one who gets all the complaints. And trust me when I say there are a lot of complaints, even when things are going well and running smoothly!
With the pool issues I’ve faced, I listen, take it all in and make what I consider the best decision. I’ve had to do the same thing with this cancer battle, listen to all the medical advice and plans and do what is the best for me and my family. And keep swimming as I nervously wait to see if the decisions work out and for medical questions to be answered.
One thing that was best for me and my family was going out on leave immediately following my cancer diagnosis. Initially I wanted to stay busy and keep working. I still had so much spring pool time to sort out and contracts to send and felt terrible I couldn’t transition things before going out on leave. There was also my strength and conditioning job. I was just starting to train the soccer teams and was still working with the softball and men’s basketball teams.
But removing the stress, time and fatigue of work was necessary and it turns out the doctors were right…as usual. Stopping work was one of the best things I could have done so I could save my energy for my kids and to kick this cancer’s ass.
There have been times I feel lucky if I can stay afloat, more or less swim. But as Dory reminds me I need to just keep swimming no matter how difficult and tiring this process is.
Swimming is a hard sport and skill to learn in general. It heavily involves your entire body and you have some things working against you like water resistance and the water temperature. Chemo can affect your whole body but just like with swimming you learn to adjust to the tough conditions and swim around or through any obstacles you face.
You can’t give up. This is true in any sport or fight and is something Dory never did. She was determined to find her parents and even if it took a second movie to do so, she found them. There are times I look at all I still have left in this fight: surgeries, the number of remaining weekly chemo treatments, the months of immunotherapy, the monitoring and follow up appointments. I feel so overwhelmed and worry how I will get through it all. But just as Dory never gave up, neither can I, I just need to keep swimming.
Dory and Nemo also had great friends to help them along their way. Fortunately I’ve had that as well. The support from friends has been so touching and makes me feel so lucky that I have crossed pathes with such amazing and caring people at some point in my life. My sweat sisters (you know who you are) have also been phenomenal and been with me every step of the way in this difficult journey. So I’ve never been swimming alone.
While it may take me awhile to feel comfortable swimming all I can do is keep going. Even if I’m just staying afloat, I’m not sinking.
When life gets you down, just keep swimming, just keep swimming.