I have written before about how swimming laps is almost meditative. Almost all of your senses are useless underwater, so there are few distractions. I have to count the entire time because if I don’t, I quickly lose track.

Even still, between repeating the number, my mind wanders off and I think about other things. (Aside: It’s pretty amazing how much our brains can handle all at once — counting, breathing, swimming, kicking — talk about multitasking.).

While lap swimming last week, I mostly thought (and worried) about a small friend gathering I let my kids have. I shouldn’t have. I know and yet…

God….can’t we have anything anymore? They get regular COVID tests at work, we’ll know right away if they ever do get it. God, what if they do? It would ruin so many things…work, school, swim…. and. it. would. all. be. my. fault. I’m the mom, I know better. I shouldn’t have allowed it. But, they are in school together every day. At least two of them have had COVID, three of them are tested twice a week….and on and on an on.

I knew that little dinner party would cost me….not just the money for the food and a night in my bedroom while they had the run of the house, but at least a week of sleep. And a few miles of worrying while I swam that week.

When I sufficiently worried about that topic, I moved onto the upcoming presidential inauguration and the pending impeachment and fretted about government and politics for awhile.

How on EARTH will we ever reach these delusional Trump supporters? Some are in my own family. Are his followers just lost forever? Can we get them back? Do we want them back? How do we reach them? Should we even try or just write them all off as mentally ill, having been brainwashed by a manipulative, washed up reality TV star? Maybe they will form their own party. That would be ideal. Put all the nutjobs in one house….and on and on and on.

Suddenly, I wonder: What DID I think about before COVID and politics/government took up a good portion of my brain space every day? Running? The kids? What we had to do or get done? Money? My weight? The weather? Work? Stories I want to write?

I honestly don’t even remember what occupied my mind before November of 2016. I make a mental note to check my blog archives.

And, I swim on.


About Just Write: Just Write is my adaptation of free writing, a technique in which a person writes continuously and quickly without little regard for spelling, grammar, or topic. It helps writers overcome blocks of apathy and explore everything from meaningful topics to mundane observations with the same effort and without the pressure of crafting perfect prose. I just start writing.