Worry less. Be like her! Easier said than done. But recently, I took the leap, actually a cannonball right into the pool! Let’s move back a little to how I got to that mindset to never stop throwing candy and to be that girl again…
I recently finished the book “Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living” by Shuana Niequist. To say that I fell in love with her words and writing would be an understatement. It motivated me to live more in the present and put aside the hustling and rushing of life (not that I have a choice right now because there is no where to hustle, but I am grateful to be invited to this new norm).
Today I was going through my post it notes and one chapter caught my eye and kinda reminded me of why I posted the above image last week in The Hat Club Community. The notes were from the chapter called “Throwing Candy”, The chapter talked about a tradition at a lake where people would throw candy at the kayakers as they passed. I don’t mean throwing candy in the sense of throwing it AT them by means of hitting innocent kayakers for your own sick enjoyment, but throwing it AT them for them to catch.. Why did they do it? Because it makes people happy. It’s fun to do. It’s fun to receive. It’s a little treat.
The chapter continued on to say that this day was a particular crazy day with various boats docking, children swimming, and kayakers coming down the coastline. A lot of things could go wrong and the author explains how she was more focused on what could go wrong than the throwing of candy, until someone she was with rushed down to the dock amidst all the chaos and made sure he threw the candy. The kayakers smiled, he enjoyed himself, the kids were safe, all was well. It was at that time that the author states that she began to cry because she used to be that person who would throw the candy amidst the chaos. She used to be that person who could let responsibility go and enjoy the moment – but now she had become the person who made fun of those throwing candy stating “Who has that kind time?” Sound familiar?
That led me into taking the leap or jump into the pool. My kids are always asking me to come swim with them and I always have an excuse. My main excuse is that I spent at least 8 years in the baby pool, which felt like an eternity. Remember having to put on a bathing suit for the first time after children and then feeling like you are never getting out of the baby pool! Yes, that feeling! Some of you may still be in the baby pool and just know, that it will get better.
So, I am in this season that my kids all know how to swim and I can sit and read while watching them on the sidelines. I could enjoy a little of that in between the fights and “watch this” or “can you video me”. There are boundaries when I am reading a book because again, it’s time for me to relax a little. But, last Monday on Memorial Day, we weren’t running off to any parties like previous years and we weren’t hosting any guests and of course, it was another COVID holiday- just different. The kids were swimming and Jaxon just got out of the pool to dry off when I asked him to come closer to the pool to pick up the skimmer. At that moment, I decided to take the leap (well, it was a cannonball like I mentioned above). The look on the faces of my kids were priceless and later that night, Mollie (my 10 year old) mentioned how earlier that day, Jaxon (8 year old) had asked her “Why doesn’t mommy ever swim?” And just like that- for a brief moment, the kids forgot about being in quarantine and I forgot about all the worries that I had about cold water or trying to claim my time on the sidelines.
My challenge to you is to take the leap, dance in the rain, jump in the pool…whatever makes you happy. Think about that little girl who walked around barefoot on the sidewalk in the summer sun. Why was I always putting responsibility too far ahead of fun. I was also the person who made fun of those throwing the candy having said “Who has time??” far too many times. It’s a quality I loathe about myself and quite honestly I’m not sure how it became a trait of mine – I have some ideas but none of them really seem to scream out, “Yes!! It was ME!”
Either way, last weekend I decided it was time for a change. I know that if I can take on poor traits, habits, and qualities that I can also take on better habits, traits, and qualities that can push those other ones out of their place in the hierarchy. I also know that this is going to be difficult to do. Any new habit that you start comes with growing pains, trials, and struggles. Sometimes it’s just easier to go back to what you know and what makes you comfortable; however, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Over the weekend, I want you to look at some traits, qualities, or habits that you may have adopted along the way that are holding you back from throwing the candy. What is it in your life that you really just feel is a weight? Make sure you choose the one that makes you the most afraid of changing, because it is most likely going to be that one that when altered, sets you free the most.
Come back and let us know how you felt doing those things. Be that girl!