Friday, September 11, 2009


When I was 17, I had the grand idea to become a lifeguard. It would be a great summer job, I would keep fit and {maybe most importantly}be oh-so-very-cool. I trained hard and was able to pass every test “swimmingly”. That is except for one test.

Treading water for one minute holding a 10 pound brick overhead.

As hard as I trained, as often as I practiced, the stop watch would hit 45 seconds and I would start to go under; slowly sinking against the frantic kicking of my legs. Ten pounds never seemed so heavy. I would stretch my neck and lift my chin, trying desperately to keep my head above water. My legs ached, my arms burned from the weight of the brick (which seemed to get heavier with each passing second) Time after time, between 48 and 52 seconds, I would sink.

It was frustrating to me. It wasn’t as if I wasn’t trying. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t given everything I had. I was always convinced that I could do anything I set my mind to and I had totally set my mind to this. And yet I sunk.

Summer passed and I missed the opportunity to wear that red swimsuit, sunglasses on a whited nose and carry the red float while I blew the whistle at young troublemakers.

I survived. I got over it. But the memory of trying to tread water with a brick over head has forever been etched into the “object-lesson” corners of my mind.

There are so many times I have felt like I am symbolically treading water, doing all I can to stay afloat, and though I am frantically kicking, I am sinking against my will.

This is one of those times. For the whole family.

We knew, when we made the decision to move, that it would be hard. We just didn’t know HOW hard. We didn’t realize the effect that it would have on our very existence as a family. We didn’t realize how rooted we were into our old neighborhood and what a support everyone was. We thought we knew, but we really didn’t.

And my whole family is treading water with a brick over each of our heads.

I have never lived in an area as long as I had my last neighborhood. Eight years. That is longer than ANYWHERE I lived, even as a child. Friends became family – in every sense of the word – and life was comfortable.

The small amount of routine we had has been lost. The comfort of running to a neighbor when we need a shoulder to cry on is gone. The convenience of the kids being able to get themselves everywhere they need to go has changed. Everything is different.

Don’t get me wrong. We love this area (or at least Hubby and I do). We have been greeted with kindness from our new ward. We have had so many blessings here.

It is just different. Everything is different.

The kids are struggling {extremely}to adjust. Maybe because mom and dad are in such a conflicted stated of chaos, they are not adjusting as quickly or as well as we had hoped.

When you mix in the regular trials of life like broken bones, illnesses, long work days for hubby, kids coloring on walls or destroying parts of the home – it makes our virtual brick heavier. It gets us closer to that “52 seconds”, that mark that is just ALMOST – but not quite. That point when we sink.

And it is getting harder and harder to keep my head above water. It is getting more difficult to help my kids keep their heads above water. It is getting hard to help my sweet hubby keep his head above water.

So just what are you supposed to do when the whole family seems to be losing the battle with the brick?

We are trying to do the things we need to as a family. We are trying to do the things we need to as individuals. Hubby and I don’t doubt our decision to move. We still know it was right. But I ask myself every day, what is it that the Lord needs us to learn? How can we get back on our feet and be of service to Him? What is it that I can change?

Things just seem so heavy right now.


Emmy said...

So sorry.. wow this makes me really not want to move when my kids are older. Though, we haven't been in one place for eight years yet. I wish I knew what to tell you. Just keep trying and turn it over to the Lord. We can't do it, He can.

Natalie said...

I'm sure you are finding comfort in knowing you did what is right for your family. At times it feels as if knowing we did what the Lord wanted us to do is our life ring that keeps us afloat during the swells. Hang in there. We miss you guys :)

Our Crazy Family said...

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming!" Dory (finding Nemo). Hang in there Kathy, you will be okay!

pan x 8 said...

You know... when we moved into our now neighborhood, we had a little bit of a time adjusting because our neighborhood we just left we felt so comfortable and "AT HOME" in... Our new neigborhood, we had to finally buckle down and make it more than what it was to us (not that they weren't great because they were..) So we started doing things that made us feel "at home." That did mean carrying on some of the activities we use to do just putting other people in place where our friends were. I'm telling you though... without the help of the Lord, I don't think we would have made home what it is today and we are looking to move again (It's been 6 years!).

I'm really sad to even think about it because we have made lifelong friends here. But I have realized that we can always take our friends with us (I know you've moved too far..) but adjusting to a new scene is something of a scary thing for me. Having to make new friends, getting car pools together, friends for my young ones to play on teams with... it's going to be hard.

You can totally do it. The fact that you realize you are sinking is a HUGE factor in your survival. So many don't even realize what is happening until it's too late! You are in my prayers and I hope that soon you'll be "treading" with your head above water well over the 60 seconds!!

That Girl said...

You can't. You can't hold it up. You can change everything and strengthen and train and work harder, and you won't be able to do it.

You have to let Him do it.

Then it will be light.

heather said...

Moving is one of the most stressful/ difficult things.

I'm thinking of you & your kiddos. I really believe life'll get easier...

You are in QC right? My folks live out there {kinda} they're in a QC ward anyway, and a few years ago an apostle ( I forget who) came for their regional conference & told then that "the winds of adversity would soon blow strongly" in that specific area -and when I was out there visiting last month, I could really feel that. It was like this little cloud of depression hanging in the air. My ward is a little past QC (Florence) & basically 80% of my friends out there have lost homes & jobs. Not that they act like they're down or troubled, but I know that for MOST people who are living in that area -who have been there for a few years- their lives are truly stretched at the moment. I'm sure there are opportunities to bless lives all around you. Even if it is a few brownies on a doorstep.

Fiauna said...

I'm so sorry you're carrying this burden right now. I wish I could do something to help you. I guess the only thing I can tell you is something I'm sure you've been doing all along: Just pray. Pray, pray, pray.