At 4:51 pm on Monday it was 92 degrees and the tide was ever so slowly rising from a deep low. Two 6th-soon-to-be-7th grade girls had just finished hauling a very-much-bigger-than-them paddle board across the muck to the water. And while I desperately tried to hide in the small patch of dappled shade, they were paddling.
Or, at least, one of them was.
Because while a paddle board is designed for one, they were determined to use it together.
These girls are our guides this week.
We think of our lives as solitary, and yet we really need to share our boards. Because life, just like Monday, is hot. And sweaty. And tiring. And sometimes we have the energy to paddle, and sometimes we just don’t. And that’s okay. It’s more than okay–it is necessary. I want to say that again: not having the energy is a necessary part of life.
And that’s when we need to hand our paddle over to someone else. Someone we trust. Someone we know will look out for us so we can rest.
But so often we don’t.
We think Adulting, Parenting, means we put our head down to paddle. And paddle. And paddle. And paddle. Relentlessly. Endlessly. Without reprieve.
We are so wrong.
We need to say I am tired. I need to stop. Not forever. Not for always. We aren’t giving our lives over to another, but we are saying ‘please, for this moment, can you paddle?’
That’s what we are doing this week. We’re taking a breath. A moment. We are looking around our lives and asking, can you please:
- Pick up this kiddo?
- Drop off that project?
- Help me walk though this decision?
- Can you please paddle for me?
And the person you ask? Their identity might surprise you. Sure, it might be your BFF. But it might also be the parent you see in the carpool line whose last name you are a bit unsure of. It might one of your kids. It might be the neighbor you’ve not really ever connected with. It might be an old acquaintance whose life feels far from yours.
The paradox is that asking someone to paddle for you doesn’t strain and push the relationship, it pulls the two of you closer together.
Life isn’t a solo adventure. Look around, find your fellow paddler. Ask them on board. Then let go. And let them paddle.
p.s. Sure, someday soon you’ll offer to paddle in return. But not today. Not tomorrow. This week it’s necessary and important to say it’s too hot. Too sticky. I need a break. Because on the other side of the break is a better you. And you, sweet Summer of Love reader, are worth it.
p.p.s. Want to make sure you are signed up for Summer of Love emails? Have friends you know will love Summer of Love? click right here to get all signed up. Love the Love.
p.p.s.s. want to (re)read the last few weeks?
Here’s the choose-your-own adventure of week 1.
And the joy of week 2.
Should you read week 3? I think you should. 😉
And check out what’s left Unsaid in week 4.