My arms sliced through the water as if no time at all had passed since my last swim. My eyes squenched fiercely against the chlorine, as I had neglected to bring goggles along on this impromptu trip to paradise (also known as my husband’s place of business). As a result, I had to awkwardly lift up my head every few strokes to make sure I neither crashed into the wall nor swam in circles.

Knowing I didn’t have anything better to do today, Mike invited me to hang out by the pool at the school campus where he works. Classes hadn’t started yet, and I’d have the whole place to myself. He said it’d make having to work on a Sunday much more palatable, knowing I was there.

At first I waffled.Β I have so much to do…so many jobs to weed through on the internet, so much writing to get done…

I lifted myself out of the glittering pool, refreshed by the coolness of the water, a staunch contrast against the blistering heat. My legs only jiggled a little, and I ignored how I must have looked and concentrated on the tingling of my muscles, a live wire running through my limbs. It’s not like anyone was there to see me, a young-but-not-really, out of work, out of shape woman with an invisible bought of depression.

Plopping down on one of the chairs in the shade, I picked up the book I’d set face-down on the table, a Japanese metaphysical novel that turned out to be much better than it sounded. Throughout the day, I’d alternated between disappearing into the story and jumping in the pool for ten or so laps to both cool off and move around. I didn’t often give myself permission to do nothing but read.

Before opening the book, I looked across the pool, flanked by a handful of wavering palm trees and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The water glowed in the haze of the late afternoon Los Angeles sun. What a difference from my shrunken world in the house, hovering by the computer all day, hoping to find an undiscovered scrap of employment that didn’t sound boring enough to induce a coma.


That was the problem with job searching. All of the jobs sounded terribly boring. It’s hard to display the proper enthusiasm for prospective employers when terribly bored.

Writing had been difficult lately, too, as everything that poured out of me tended to gray out, fuzzy and ill-formed. I would sit at the computer, and everything I wrote sounded like Eeyore bemoaning the rain.

I closed my eyes to the rapidly setting sun, grateful for the day, grateful for a break. It was gratifying to see I could still swim so gracefully.

It was more gratifying to see a crack in the gloom.


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Linking up with Yeah Write, my favorite writing community for bloggers. Come join us one of these days! Most of them are way more fun than I am…


When in Doubt, Go Swimming — 36 Comments

  1. Good for you for getting out and enjoying the day! You never know where opportunities will present themselves….staying home hunkered over a computer may not be the best way to find what you want. Where would you like to work – realistically? Could you go there, talk to someone? Sit in a cafΓ© outside there (reading or writing, of course) and check out the people? You never know!
    Beduwen recently posted…Fitbit Flex – The Slave Band of ExerciseMy Profile

  2. Good luck with the job search. I am right there with you. I feel your pain.

    Can you search outside? If you have a laptop, can you take it out and at least get some fresh air while job hunting? Then again, you live in LA, right? I’m thinking “fresh” is a relative term there. πŸ˜‰
    Misty recently posted…I Do NOT Have a ProblemMy Profile

  3. I remember when I was job searching a few years ago. Every day was more dismal than the rest, and every job description bored me senseless. To keep yourself sane and connected to the real world you have to get out every now and then and give yourself a day to relax and recharge. I’m glad you had that day with the pool and your book. And that picture is so beautiful.
    Samantha Brinn Merel recently posted…The Final PictureMy Profile

  4. Job searching is the absolute pits. I just got a job a month ago after six months of unemployment. Not to say that the first few months of catching up on bills is any easier.. Ugh. Sincerely, good luck to you.
    Cheney recently posted…Poor.My Profile

  5. Ah Natalie – (((hugs))). Job searching sucks. The in between sucks. I’m so glad you had this day, with that beautiful view and a change of surroundings. It always seems to help to get out into the world – outside our own four walls and get a breath of fresh air and renewal. I hope the truly hope something more inspiring jumps off the want ad pages at you. xo
    Linda Roy recently posted…100 Word Song: OnceMy Profile

  6. I was splashing around the ocean a few hours ago for the same exact reason. I love getting my swim on and getting my energy out this way. Nothing beats a good swim.
    Ilene recently posted…RiseMy Profile

  7. Wow, that’s a pretty spectacular looking campus! I guess once all the students come back it won’t seem like quite the same idyll that your pictures show but I think you should make a weekly lunch date with your husband there.
    Ellen recently posted…Freakin’ OutMy Profile

  8. You seriously make me laugh…we have the same humor. Not laughing at your predicament, Lord knows I am in an employment nightmare too, but your wording…”undiscovered scrap of employment…” so good!

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