Truth Bomb Tuesday: What you do at the water’s edge can define your life.
Everybody knows what it’s like to jump into cold water.
Am I being too Aussie if I say this is a universal human experience? Maybe not everyone the world over knows what I’m talking about, but my guess is you do.
At some point, you have stood at the waters edge, stuck a foot in and gone, “aw yeah, that’s pretty fresh!”
You were committed to going for a swim a minute ago. The water looked lovely from back up on the dunes. You got into your swimmers. You even did that awkward little dance, wrapped in a towel, trying to get your undies over your ankles.
But now you’re wondering what you were thinking. The water’s not lovely. It’s freezing. You felt like a swim a minute ago, but now you’re feeling like, “actually, yeah, nah. I think I’m good. I’m good here. I don’t think I need to get in.”
And now there’s a process of negotiation.
You know from experience that it will probably be fine once you get in. It will probably be lovely.
And so you tell yourself that. You remind yourself.
And you agree with yourself. But you still want to stand at the waters edge for a bit, seeing if maybe it’s going to get better.
And it’s this phase of wavering that I’m really interested in.
You’re in your swimmers already. You’re fully committed. You’re not getting any warmer. The water’s not getting any warmer either.
But we can spend a bit of time on the waters edge – delaying, faffing about. “Mustering the courage’ or whatever story it is that we’re telling ourselves.
In many ways, I think this is the last stand of our resistances. It’s the final last-ditch attempt from our wussy and sooky selves to send us back up the beach to the kiosk for an icecream.
And what I think is interesting is that we can see this “water’s edge wavering” in everything we do.
Maybe it’s that tricky conversation with our partner. Time doesn’t offer us anything. The situation is not going to resolve itself. But we cling to the hope that something might save us from having to bite the bullet and jump in.
Or maybe it’s at that point of making a major life decision. We know all this fly-in fly-out work isn’t working for us, not with the kids so young. But still we can spend years standing at the edge of a new direction in life, never taking the plunge.
Or what about getting the finances sorted. We can see the writing on the wall. We’re not on the way to the life we want to be living anytime soon. We know we’ve got to do something.
We’re already down to our speedos, but we just can’t get ourselves to take the leap.
There is a discipline here. And it’s knowing the difference between genuine caution – which is important – and wussy wavering.
Because I think we are all just hard wired for this “water’s edge wavering.”
And often, you’ve just got to take the plunge.