Treading Water

Circumstance stymies,

icy sheets shift in water.

Energy wasted.

Arizona lake, partially frozen
Arizona lake, partially frozen

My day job- the one that pays the bills- has been crazy since the beginning of the year.  I’m now three projects deep with more on the horizon and am beginning to feel the effects of longer hours and less sleep.  It feels like I’m treading water, as I do my best to “get it all done.”  I’m doing, but my “to do” list isn’t shrinking.

For some reason, this made me think of a photo I took a couple months ago of a lake with large sheets of ice in it.  The kids liked to hear the “plink” as they lobbed small rocks onto the thin layer of ice.  They also giggled at the “ker-plop” of rocks that broke through and hit the water.

I stood on shore, mesmerized by the partially frozen water.  The ice sheets didn’t fight for position.  They didn’t shatter under the pesky pelting of pebbles from mischievous children.  No forces worked to break them up or move them out of the way.  They bobbed in the water and were just allowed to “be”.

I decided that I want to be more like a sheet of ice.  No, not frigid and slippery!  Instead of exerting force to control my circumstances, I want to be able to co-exist with them.  Rather than struggle to get everything done, I want to accept that sometimes that’s an impossible idea.  I want to contemplate what I have done more, and focus less on what remains to be accomplished.

I need to take time to just “be.”

Oh, and to write about it, of course 🙂

Thanks so much for visiting and reading.   Have a beautiful day!


30 thoughts on “Treading Water

  1. Carol Ann Hoel February 13, 2014 / 3:24 PM

    I feel the same way, Janna. Sometimes we must let go and let God carry us. Great photo and analogy. Blessings to you…

    • jannatwrites February 14, 2014 / 12:03 AM

      It’s somewhat comforting to know others have this feeling as well. I think you’re right… I need to let God carry me. I’m not good at letting go. Thanks for your kind comment, Carol Ann.

  2. Widdershins February 13, 2014 / 3:32 PM

    Water, in all its forms is such a wonderful teacher. No wonder our planet, and us, are mostly made up of it.

    • jannatwrites February 14, 2014 / 12:05 AM

      Profound thought, Widdershins. I think you’re right!

    • jannatwrites February 14, 2014 / 12:06 AM

      I’m glad you liked it, Phil! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. suzicate February 13, 2014 / 4:47 PM

    Sometimes taking the time to be is just what we need to get things done!

    • jannatwrites February 14, 2014 / 12:07 AM

      That’s true, Suzicate. It’s still hard to grasp that more will get done if we stop and do less.

  4. Debbie February 13, 2014 / 6:31 PM

    Sometimes, the hurrier we go, the behinder we feel, Janna. That ice probably *looked* calm, but I’ll bet underneath was anything but! Good idea to enjoy the present, rather than focus on the To-Do List, which will always be with us!

    • jannatwrites February 14, 2014 / 12:10 AM

      That’s the truth, Debbie! Tomorrow I hope to finish reading the Trifecta entries (there were 116 this week) and then I plan to enjoy a long weekend with my family. Just one more day of work… 🙂

  5. agjorgenson February 13, 2014 / 6:59 PM

    The poem is beautiful, and the explanation is so nicely written. Evocative!

    • jannatwrites February 14, 2014 / 12:10 AM

      Thanks, Allen. I’m glad it came out coherent because with the way my brain is right now, I wasn’t sure if it would make sense 🙂

  6. Kathy Combs (@Kathy29156) February 13, 2014 / 7:12 PM

    This week I feel exactly the same way!! I am a cafeteria sub at my son’s school which means I only work when somebody needs to be away…so I fill in. I worked all week and work next. My ability to get posts written each day and return comments and comment afresh has suffered. I love the extra money but hate getting behind. You are such a great writer and I feel blessed to have found you through the trifecta prompts because you inspire me. You even inspired me to try a speak easy prompt this week…so thank you!!

    • jannatwrites February 14, 2014 / 12:16 AM

      It’s good to know others can relate, but I’m sorry you feel this, too, Kathy. I hate being behind, too (which is why I’m at least catching up on comments before I turn in for the night. Another 5-hour sleep night. Ugh.) I did the Trifecta prompt this week too, which ended up with 116 entries. I’ve read through 100. I’m going to read them all if it kills me. And it just might 🙂

      I appreciate your kind comment about my writing. I read your speakeasy story – I was so glad to see your face on the grid! Trifecta is getting so big and hard to keep up with reading, I may have to limit my participation even more.

  7. Eric Alagan February 14, 2014 / 1:49 AM

    I think I know how you feel, Janna

    I hate leaving things undone but no matter what – I always come through. But as I keep telling myself, one day, yes one day – because I’m still young, you see 🙂

    All good wishes,

    • jannatwrites February 14, 2014 / 7:14 AM

      Well, I do come through, too… eventually! It just weighs on me when I’m days or weeks behind. I need to adopt a new frame of mind, I guess. Thanks for reading, Eric – and you are still young. As long as we embrace youth, it is ours (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it 🙂 )

  8. M_Elizabeth February 14, 2014 / 9:01 AM

    Well said. I could use some more time in my life just being. I find myself whirling around at times, frantic about this or that which never really seems to accomplish much. Maybe by being more still, I’ll get more done. Who knew! 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2014 / 9:14 PM

      It does seem counter-intuitive, M… doing less to do more. Doing more to do more isn’t working well, so it doesn’t hurt to try to do less 🙂

  9. nrhatch February 14, 2014 / 9:28 AM

    Sometimes we need to just push back from everything and say, “What would they do if I wasn’t here to do it?”

    Then let them pick up the slack.

    Hope you have a chance to regroup soon.

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2014 / 9:18 PM

      Thanks, Nancy! Right now, much of the busy is things around the house… like trimming trees and removing unhealthy growth in our yard (this is the downside of 2 acres of land!) On the upside, once we take care of the overgrowth that was here when we bought the house last year, maintenance should be much easier.

  10. diannegray February 14, 2014 / 12:05 PM

    I love the analogy with water, Janna. Sometimes when I feel my head going under I just try and float and ‘go with the flow’ 😀

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2014 / 9:20 PM

      I need to learn to do that better. I keep fighting and flailing in the water, Dianne 🙂

  11. Tessa February 14, 2014 / 4:23 PM

    Beautiful picture!

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2014 / 9:21 PM

      Thanks, Tessa… glad you stopped by!

  12. Michael February 17, 2014 / 7:33 AM

    That is a nice analogy. Or an “ice” analogy, so to speak. 😀

    • jannatwrites February 17, 2014 / 9:23 PM

      Haha… nice word play, Michael. Thanks for reading!

  13. pattisj April 1, 2014 / 11:12 PM

    Isn’t it funny how something so simple creates an epiphany for us?

    • jannatwrites April 2, 2014 / 8:25 AM

      It happens quite often. I think it’s God’s way of getting through. Glad you stopped by, Patti!

  14. Robin Leigh Morgan June 30, 2014 / 6:15 PM

    I like the metaphor you’ve created with your Haiku prompt. However, at times, like now I tend to take things more literally and to me “Treading Water” means precisely that ‘treading water.” So here’s my Haiku response to your “prompt.”

    Treading Water

    Dogs threading water
    No one teaches them on how.
    Parents teach their kids.

    • jannatwrites June 30, 2014 / 10:37 PM

      It’s funny how dogs just seem to know how to swim. My kids only thought they knew how to swim… until they discovered they couldn’t 🙂 Now, they are little fish!

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