When you live in Florida, you know it’s hotter than the surface of the sun during the summer, so outdoor activities center on the water. A few years ago, we bought paddle boards and made a pretty regular habit of taking them out to enjoy the beaches and the wildlife. But, this year, red tide (algae blooms that kill sea life and impact respiratory functioning) has put a sad damper on our paddling options.
So, it had been several months since we had been out on the water when we visited a spring recently. Since it had been so long, we found that being on the board did not come as easily as it does when we’re paddling regularly. The water felt especially choppy. Our legs felt especially shaky. Our balance felt almost non-existent, and we were anticipating an unexpected – and unwanted – toss in the water.
The thing that, in the past, has been an easy, enjoyable experience, suddenly felt very hard and uncertain and not very fun.
We needed to get our sea legs back.
This shakiness happens in our relationships, too. We have a good routine going, we’ve found some ease, things are floating right along. Then a “red tide” comes along and throws us off our game. School starts again and there’s a change in the schedule. A new medical diagnosis comes along that you find yourself having to pivot to manage. Suddenly, you’re not going out for your regular date night, or touching base with financing with your money meeting, or meal prepping together, or any of the things that you’ve put into place that help your relationship float along with relative ease.
Then, trying to put them back into place feels rocky, difficult, like more effort than it’s worth. You consider just not doing it any more, but you remember how good things felt when you had them on board.
So, get back at it. Slow and steady. Choose one thing to focus on at a time — the thing that feels the least effortful to put back into place. Give it time. Give yourself and each other some grace. Laugh a little. Hug a lot.
Before you know it, you’ll have your sea legs back and the paddle will be as beautiful as it has ever been!