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About Swimming Upstream

This morning, fueled by fear and panic, I grabbed my journal and started writing furiously. I had to get my life on track. I had to figure things out. I have just three days left at my current job and no next job in sight.

Also, I still haven’t written a book.

Also, I haven’t followed up on the things I was supposed to follow up on.

If only I tried harder. If only I were more organized, disciplined, together. If only, if only, if only.

No more if onlys! The time had come. I was going to write my way out of this mess. Starting today, I, Jennifer Cooper, am on it! I will follow a rigorous daily schedule. I will be stronger, smarter, and fight harder.

I wrote down a comprehensive schedule with a laser-like focus on efficiency. I combined showering with brushing my teeth, daily exercise with daily errands, and every available nugget of time was reserved for extreme focus on work. I plotted up to 3:00 and then hit a wall. This is where my day fell apart. I was tired.

Somewhere along the way, probably through cultural indoctrination/socialization, the idea of fighting against all odds became my way of understanding the world.

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”
“Nothing worth having comes easy.”
“Making your way in the world today takes everything you got.”

Somewhere along the way, probably through cultural indoctrination/socialization, the idea of fighting against all odds became my way of understanding the world.

Message received. Accomplishments only come through struggle. No pain, no gain.

Then I thought about salmon:

After growing considerably in size, they return to the same river where they were born using chemical cues and battle their way upstream to the spawning areas – the idea being that if the area was good enough for them, it will be good enough for their offspring. Sadly the effort of returning and fighting for territory and digging nests (known as ‘redds’) in the gravel wears them out so much that they usually die after spawning.
[source]

Um, I am not about dying from exhaustion. So, I wrote a new schedule. One that allowed me to flow with the stream instead of against it.

Daily:

Create something.
Take care of your body.
Nurture your relationships.

Now that’s a schedule I can live with. There are plenty of great places to lay my eggs.