Holding My Breath

I wrote this two years ago……Now I am about to drop my daughter off at kindergarten in three days…….

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Holding My Breath – by Diana Waxman Freccia

My three year old daughter has been taking swim lessons this summer.  This is an emotionally charged thing for me.  My mother was never keen on the water.  She gave my brother and me swim lessons at a young age so we would be comfortable in the water, but it was always something I never felt quite confident about.  I don’t want my little girl to have the same reservations as I do.  She had a tough time separating from me at the beginning to join her instructor in the pool, but magically she has gained a new confidence in a short time.  One that makes these lessons worth every penny.  I also have learned a lot by watching, and also partaking in one.  Her instructor let me join in on a lesson last week because I wanted to learn how I could best support my little fishy in her swimming and in what ways I could maximize my pool time with her in the most beneficial way.  Funny to note that all the things I thought were helpful, actually ran contrary to what her teacher ultimately wanted to accomplish.  This is why oftentimes, you really need to pay an expert to help you out.  Also, my daughter will do with her teacher some things that she will not do with me.
This experience also coincides with the first day of school for so many children around the country.  My Facebook news feed is blowing up with photos of first day outfits and parents at bus stop drop offs and car lines.  They are also full of parental anxieties and first day jitters of their own.  “My baby is growing up!” “How did this happen?” “I just dropped my baby off at college.” These spawn music videos of parents thrilled for the start to school, or articles where parents admonish that there are a limited amount of weekends until my baby girl will put me in a similar position.
As parents there are many times when we have to take a deep breath and hold it in and hope for the best. As parents we do have a biologically demarcated amount of time in which to teach our children and impress upon them the things we deem necessary for them to be able to embark on their own and be successfully functioning members of society. These precious little lives are entrusted to us temporarily.  It may only feel like forever, because of the amount of work and laundry that is involved….but the time together is ephemeral.  And as they get older, there are more and more demands on their time that will pull them away from us.  We are there to catch and release.  We held our breath when they were first born, until we heard that first cry.
We held our breath when we had to let go to enable first steps to occur. We bit our tongue as we went from diapers to underwear, hoping that they wouldn’t have any accidents. We held our breath as we dropped them off at school on the first day.

Watching her swim away from me, after I have launched her towards the pool steps, I hold my breath. Not sure if she will sink or swim, ready to jump in at a moment’s notice to try to rescue her, yet knowing full well that I cannot always be there to save her.  I need to put my own insecurities and parental anxieties aside and try to take comfort in the fact that I have taught her well, and I have done my best to give her the best.  It is up to her now, to sink or swim.  I hope she always knows that I am in the pool with her. I have her back.
Sending her off to school… I hold my breath.

My Story Continues;

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Today is April 16th, Project Semicolon Day and I am rocking my shirt. This is a cause I believe in very strongly – to end the stigma for those struggling with depression, anxiety, grief and more. I have been through a lot recently that has gotten me down. The use of the semicolon means that things go on. I am seeing that. I actually won this t-shirt on Christmas Day through a contest on Facebook. I hardly ever win anything, so I was excited. It was also something I was considering buying anyway. Keep writing your story. I am trying to take my own advice.

Winter and Spring

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My Bleeding Hearts

It is April and it is SNOWING outside!?! What is up with this weather?
This has been a little like how I have been feeling lately.  Opposition. Extremes. I am trying to get past some stuff and move on, yet the past keeps coming back around again.  Two steps forward and one step back. Dancing the same dance, but wanting to change the tune. Changing a single step here and there and expecting enormous results. Unrealistic. Seeing where I want to go, but not knowing how to get there exactly. Or why I even want to go in the first place.

Below is a photo I took back in November.  It was a tree that had both spring blooms and fall leaves all at once. That tree was trying to skip two steps.  Sublimation. Today that tree doesn’t look very good.  I guess that is the lesson to be learned.  Everything has an order and you aren’t supposed to defy it.  You have to go through the steps in the order they are meant to go in, and then you get to where you want to be.  You don’t just walk in on the top floor.  You’ve gotta work your way up to it.

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Down the Rabbit Hole

DGF_2152So it was just Easter and Spring Break.  I hibernated a little bit. I felt bad not posting, but I didn’t really feel like I had much new to say. I have been stuck lately. I am trying to do some much needed spring cleaning, both mentally and physically, but having a hard time.  I am overwhelmed by the things that surround me, yet I can’t get rid of them.  It is a tricky dichotomy I have found myself caught in. I want to be free of all the ‘stuff,’ but I can’t go through with it and just let go.

I need to clean my office, then I sit down at my desk and my computer beckons, and I can’t account for the last few minutes. One thing I search for leads to another and another and then what do I have to show for myself?  I am driven by a need for productivity. I like to think I am researching for my writing, but it feels more like wasting time.  Facebook and other social media sites are just an endless stream of data. What dribbles out of our ears and lands on the page. Some of it is helpful, some of it documents what we are doing or seeing. I love watching people’s kids grow up and seeing what everyone else is up to.  But then there are so many heartbreaking stories and things happening to good people who don’t deserve them. There is also that urge to compare myself to others, to go for a walk in their shoes. There is also just such a sheer volume of information and articles to read, that it is just not possible to catch it all. I need to disconnect, yet I yearn to connect.

 

 

Too Many Tabs

DGF_3883I have too many tabs open. There is a thunderstorm brewing in my iCloud. My computer has been operating at the speed of slow.  It is utterly frustrating. I have let it slide for too long.  About six months to be exact.  I had HUNDREDS of tabs open.  It is kind of shocking and embarrassing. I am a tab hoarder. I have a problem.  There, I have admitted it.  I have multiple devices too.  Two iPads, an iPhone and an iMac. It has all gotten bigger than me. Unmanageable.  I am also struggling under the weight of my photo collection.  It is a metaphor for my mind and my life lately. It is no wonder I am living a split screen existence. With all these programs open and constantly running, it is a huge drain on my energy. Is it possible to go low-tech in such a high-tech world? How many tabs do you keep open?

 

Try Something New, or Tried and True

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We are hard wired to form opinions. We are asked for them everywhere we go. We are polled and surveyed, taste-tested and liked.

I am taking a photography class at Longwood Gardens. It is a four week chance to shoot in the Conservatory without the general public milling around. It is after hours and it gets dark. This makes for a very challenging environment. But it also makes for a unique set of opportunities that aren’t usually available.  We have to submit an image to be critiqued by our instructor and the rest of the class. We had a discussion last night about rules. We need rules and structure to prevent chaos and maintain order. But rules are made to be broken. Sometimes you have to go with what moves you.

I try to tell the truth and follow the rules and be good…but where does it get you? Especially when you look around and see others breaking them and getting away with it.

We need to try new things. But old habits die hard. I go back to the same places and take the same pictures and focus on the same things. I order the same food. We revert to comfort and predictability. We tell ourselves the same things over and over.

If we have a good experience, we go back for more and try to repeat it. Not everything can be the best ever. What do you think? Try something new or tried and true?