Which end are you in?

What end of life are you living in – the deep end or in the shallows?

I was enrolled in swimming lessons for as far back as I can remember, as are a lot of children. Although I don’t swim a lot these days, I am still fairly confident that once my feet can no longer touch the bottom that I could still keep my head above water. It’s like an ingrained survival mechanism. And the deep end of life…I have tread water there a few times as well.

The deep end of life is the one that harbours our hardships – things like death, divorce, job loss, emotional upheavals and all that is uncertain and frightening.

The deep end is also where amazing things happen! It’s where you take risks , unsure of the outcomes and where magic takes place.

We have all experienced the unexpected moments in life where we have lost our bearings, confidence and any sense of control. Sometimes it’s all about surviving , day by day, or adjusting to a new reality.

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What about our children – are they prepared for living life in the deep end? Could they swim in those parts of our living where the depths are unknown – where we are often pushed into quite literally by life. Would they have the skills to keep going when the waters get deep and rough? Are you shielding them too much from the harsh realities of the circle of life and finances and life’s roller coaster?

Don’t get me wrong, life is great in the shallows: it’s where you feel safe and can amble through the day without much conscious thought; practically on autopilot. The shallow end contains all that is predictable and routine. It’s where you can see the bottom of the pool and what lies beneath you. Where you can float in your comfort zone knowing all is well and reliable. Except one day….we begin to take it all for granted. Things that were once special and mysterious become old and familiar. That job that you always wanted seems tedious and the electricity that jumps forth with a flick of a switch are taken for granted.

One thing I do know for sure (Sorry Oprah, I just had to steal that line from you!), is that not one single day is promised. This is a lesson that is often taught but not well-learned.

I don’t think anything surprises me anymore – not death, misfortune or natural disasters. And I think that’s a good thing – I am not taking anything for granted. Every sunrise/sunset, every healthy amazing meal, every day I spend with interesting, kind people and my loving devoted animals – I say thank you a hundred times over.

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