My friend told me once that when she was teenager she brought her friends home and it was kind of a mess but she tried not to care. She was one of five kids and who cares? No big deal.

Then they walked into the family room and there, in the middle of the rug, minding its own business, was a piece of half eaten bread.

She about died.

Today I found an apple core, a pair of lego underwear (clean? dirty? who knows) and half a chicken pot pie all in public floor areas of my house.

I only have three kids.

Sometimes this discourages me. Especially since I really try to keep our house somewhat clean or ate least, food and underwear on the floor free. When it gets bad, I always want to crawl into my bed and stop trying.

In other news, I went to the gym and attempted to swim laps today. When I got there, all the lanes were full with men wearing speedos. I didn’t know what to do. I was in flip flops and raggy sweats and I couldn’t just, you know, change plans and get on the treadmill or ride a bike but I also really really didn’t want to share a lane with any of them because I can’t swim and I haven’t even tried to swim for four hundred years and I’ve been known to ram into people while I attempt any kind of stroke.

I went into the locker room and tried to figure out what to do. I could go home (I was really considering this) but it was 5:45 in the morning and I knew that’d be a huge waste. I could sit in the locker room and hope one of them would leave by the time I went out there. Or i could just go share a lane.

So I sucked it up, went out there and sat on a bench and pretended to adjust my goggles for about five minutes. Finally, a guy with red speedos said, you can share with me.

I said: I’m slow.

he said: that’s okay.

And I said: uh. Okay.

So i got in the pool and tried to act normal and only rammed him three times.

I have problems.

And finally, I have been trying to do Nano. However, last night I fell asleep at 7:45–fifteen minutes before my writing time was supposed to begin. This is a problem.


Potentially a writing-stopping problem.

However,  I have learned something over the course of my writing life and here’s what it is: Don’t give up.

It’s so so important to be flexible. Sometimes in the past I’ve fallen into the trap of stopping everything if I get behind. Or eating fifty five cookies because I broke some dumb no sugar rule and ate one. Why does it have to be all or nothing, I ask. Why not just do the best we can and keep plugging along, adjusting to life as it comes?

This is what I’m trying to do with nanowrimo this year. I am going to write every day. at least something. And if I don’t and fall asleep on top of a pile of books and crackers and spiderman underwear, oh well, I’ll try to do better the next day. Maybe one day something miraculous will happen and I’ll suddenly get the time and energy to write 10,000 words.

But if that doesn’t happen, it will be okay. As long as I don’t get discouraged and sit in my room because my house is a mess or sit in the locker room because there are too many boys in the pool or tuck my computer and writing goals away because I let myself get behind on my word count goals.

That’s my nano thought for the week. What’s yours?


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5 responses to “swimming

  1. Cheryl Christensen

    Beautiful post Ann Dee!

  2. Finding a decent time to swim at a pool in Utah is the worst.

    A few months ago, my husband’s friends came over for dinner and they moved a recliner in the family room to get a better view of the TV…and there was a rib bone under there. The worst part is, I couldn’t remember the last time we ate ribs. They made fun of us in good spirits, but I pretty much thought–I’m an artist, so you all can suck it.

    So I guess that’s my Nano thought this week. I’ve got some art to make, so the rest of you all can, well, you know…

  3. I swim laps. And I’ve heard of people like you who are intimidated by the speedo/cap/goggles people like me. But, seriously, if you just give us a chance, we’re really very nice. And we don’t mind sharing a lane at all with you. I promise.

    There’s something to be said of food on floors, though. We killed a mouse once because he got into a bag of candy corn that was left on the floor. Apparently he overdosed on the processed corn syrupy goodness. So, you know, it pays to keep a little food on the floor.

    Also, I love candy corn. I know that people say they taste like candles. I think they taste like really good candles.

    I like NaNo cause it gives me an excuse to NOT clean. Last night after dinner, I stood up and announced, “I’ve got more words to write.” And I left. I didn’t even clear my own plate. It was awesome.

    I love being an artist.

  4. Haha! I cracked up while I read this to my wife! We were just chillin’ on the couch and I almost couldn’t get out the sentence about the cookies, I was laughing so hard. Thanks for the post!

    PS – how can I find those short creative writing contests? I never know what the current challenge is or where to find it. I would love out to give those a try!

  5. thank you for this, ann dee! i need to not discouraged when things don’t go as planned and just pick up and move forward. and i am constantly amazed at how brave you are. i’m not even brave enough to try swimming laps, let alone sharing with a pool full of guys.


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