The balance.

I am doing something this summer that I never thought I would do since moving to our quaint little neighborhood.

I am giving up our pool membership.

{I know, first world problems, right?}

Seriously, it was a big decision to come to.  I’m a water baby.  Since infancy, time in the pool has equated to immense happiness.  I longed for summer and vacations and hotels where hours would be spent in the chlorinated goodness until I was forced to get out.  And when we were looking for our new home and a pool club existed just one block away, the choice to join was easy.

I had a lot of fun the first few summers.  We spent long days sitting by the pool and playing games in it.  We got to know people and enjoyed treats from the snack bar.

Last summer was the first one I ever had to work (in the past I either was a stay-at-home-mom or worked in a school), and even though it was only three days a week for a few hours until early afternoon, I still found myself forced to go just to justify the money we spent on it.  If Goob came to work with me, after he’d want to just stay at home to play because he hadn’t been home all day.  If he was at my mom’s house, I wouldn’t want to leave right away just to go swim.  And then the days I did have off, I felt like we never hung out with anyone or said yes to anything because I wanted to spend the day at the pool.  Then factor in weather and vacation away and it became more of a pressure to get there then fun.  Like, we’d be freezing and we’d still get in if it was the one day we could go that week.

But honestly, it’s more than just feeling it was more of an obligation to go.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading this past year, and with that comes a lot of reflecting.  And I thought, “Man, we spend all this money on this ONE thing.  And we go to this ONE thing all the time.  And there’s so much more of this world to see.”

And thus an idea was birthed in my heart–I may live in New York, but in no way am I a “New Yorker.”  I don’t know the great places to eat or the sights to see and I look at my little boy and I want him to know what is is to walk around and discover the city you live in.

So I dubbed this summer “The Summer of Fun: Exploring NYC One Neighborhood at a Time”.  Uptown, Downtown, I want to have adventures that cost little but can impact much.  I think Goob can learn so much more from this than the triviality of lounging by a pool all day.

Now, don’t get me wrong–I’m going to swallow all my feelings about germs and make use of the free pools our great city has to offer.  And take advantage to utilize the ones friends of ours are blessed with!  But I want my boy to look back at a summer filled with more important memories.

***

But then things like yesterday happen. And I think to myself as I’m preparing dinner, What am I thinking?  Why WOULDN’T I want to just stay safe and comfy in a pool club that’s a mere block away.  Nothing will happen.

I get nervous.  I get anxious.  And I’m scared while I prepare for the day that such incidents will be more normal.  I worry about being on a subway underground and the very worst happening.  I worry that I will have put my precious boy in that position.

I want to stay safe.  I want to stay close to home.  I want to avoid the what-ifs.

But I pray and I remember that that is no way to live.  First, something could happen even in a pool club.  In walking down the street to that pool club.  In my own home, where I’m naive enough to think everything is safe and okay.

But also–I can’t NOT experience life and all it has to offer because I’m scared of the what-ifs.  Do I never take a subway because I’m afraid?  Do I miss out on “The Summer of Fun” because I’ll feel anxiety boarding a train or walking through a tourist spot.  Do I not take my boy to the top of a building or visit a landmark because of the “what-if?”  No.  No, that’s no way to live.  It’s not living.

***

When the shootings at Newtown happened, I wanted to run to this blog to process the overwhelming feelings that were swirling in me.  I never did because it didn’t feel right to.  I was not affected in the way those families were.  And it didn’t feel right to inject myself into a story that wasn’t about me.

But that’s the balance and beauty of blogging.  Not letting it be about me while I explore the feelings that these events make me feel.  The sadness, the anger–that we have to live in a world of “what-ifs”.  I trust completely in the sovereignty of God and that ALL things are for His glory in a purpose we may not understand on this side of heaven, and it’s STILL hard.  I can’t imagine those who don’t have that faith.  But I digress.  The events of yesterday at the marathon are a reminder of the frailty of life–and that’s why it must be lived.  Lived to its fullest.  No regrets.

Now, there is nothing wrong if I wanted another summer by the pool.  But how many summers in a row can we live in such a bubble?  I want to move past the comfortable, past the what-I-already-know, past the easy.

I want this to be a year of exploring God in a way I’ve never before.  I want to devour more books than I ever have in my life.  I want to meet friends for dinner and not worry if I have the money to.  I want to show my boy all this world has to offer, so that one day he himself will not be content with the comfortable.  And that’s a lesson I can take away from yesterday.  We never know when our time will end.  I want to know I used that time wisely, to the fullest, and to the best of my ability.

***

Man, what a mix of thoughts in this post.  Was it about a pool?  Was it about a tragic event that makes my heart so sad?  I don’t know.  I just know it’s just me putting fingers to a keyboard because in moments like this, it’s a gift that makes sense.

Finding the balance in using this blog to connect to the hearts of others.

Here’s to not being afraid.  To living life.  To using time wisely.

And for me personally, honoring and loving God above all.

47548_427627512186_5290110_nI’ll never forget this photo.  Our first summer at the pool.  All summer, Goob just could not bring himself to jump in.  And then finally, on the last day, he did it.  It was such a reminder of many things.  And today, as I look at this photo, I’m reminded that we have no choice but to jump in feet first into the day ahead of us–not really sure what’s going to happen but trusting the cool blue waters will catch us and buoy us back up.

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3 thoughts on “The balance.

  1. I can’t wait for the ‘Summer of Fun’, when you explore my neighborhood; the largest cooperative in the world! What could be called the thirteenth largest city in NY State.

    I can already envision you guys luxuriating on our greenways, perhaps flying a kite or throwing a frisbee around… or perhaps watching a baseball game in our very own little league field… or experiencing our community’s yearly fireworks display… oh, what a great memories will be put in to that day’s scrapbook page! :o)

  2. Pingback: Fun in a Jar {Summer activity idea for children!} | A Life Well Done

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