In the past few weeks, I’ve been doing things I haven’t done in a while. Swimming, retainers, praying, dancing. All of these things, in one way or another, were things that I needed to start doing. However, they didn’t come back easy.
Last Friday I went swimming as a de-stressor after a hard week before all of my exams. I was so excited when my mom asked if I wanted to go. It’s been three months since I last swam! I swimsuit still fit, my swim bag was familiar in my hand, and that chlorine-y smell was pulling me closer to the pool. I jumped in and the temperate water felt so good, like a hug from someone you haven’t seen in a while. Then I started to swim. Let me tell you, after a three day weekend I had a bit of a struggle getting back into rhythm, and after a three month period I nearly had to start over. My limbs ached and my lungs near burst. My brain still thought I was in prime condition, but my muscles kept telling me they couldn’t do it. I am so out of shape. Yet, I still had so much fun. I was doing what I loved, and even if I was going half the speed I used to go, I was still lapping everyone on the couch. It was awesome, and I realized that if I truly love something, a) I should continually do it and b) even if I’m not as good, I’ll still enjoy it.
Shifting focus, a week ago I started wearing my retainers again. For those of you who are familiar with retainers, one gets them after braces, and they’re kind of like molds to keep your teeth in place. They’re not flexible. And teeth shift quickly. I had been about two to three weeks since I had last worn my retainers. Not good. Not good at all. My teeth had moved so much, I almost couldn’t get them on. (That wouldn’t have been good at all!!) And once I did get them on, they hurt sooooo bad. It was like getting teeth pulled, and I’ve had that done before. It. Was. Bad. Even today, a week later, it still hurts a bit when I put them in, but I know I have to keep going because they make my (literally) thousand dollar smile stay pretty. Eventually, if I keep up the habit, it won’t hurt anymore. But because I strayed from the good habit, I got some pain when I started it up again. Trust me, it’s better to just stick with the habit.
Let’s examine a different part of my life: praying. I’ve been an on-and-off prayer for my whole life. When I was little, my parents prayed with me. When I got a bit older, it was left up to me, and since I was little and didn’t get the complete meaning, praying didn’t have a great significance in my life. When I moved, I hadn’t been praying for quite a few years. But I had that life-changing moment, and I purposely prayed. For a little while. Then, life took over and I didn’t have time to pray. My priorities are starting to come through, aren’t they. From then until now, my praying has been sporatic. A couple months here, a couple weeks there. I’m not sure if I’ve gotten through more than six months of regular prayer in a long time. But I started it back up again a few weeks ago, and though I’m not super strong in my prayers, it’s taking its place in my life again. I pray before my exams, I pray in the morning. Prayer is coming back into my life, and I am so much better because of it. I’m closer to God, and my life just has so much life, joy, and purpose in it. They may not be the deepest prayers, and they may have a bit of doubt, but the practice will help me grow in my faith.
Now for dancing! I started dancing when I was three years old. I danced until I was sixteen (last year), so that’s a total of thirteen years dancing. Yeah, I know, it’s a lot. And because of that long time, dancing is a part of me. Put on a dance-y song and I’ll be wiggling and twirling and hopping and skipping in no time. My body loves to dance. I haven’t been dancing lately though. It’s only been the past month or two, but like stated before, a month or two is detrimental to a habit. Dancing may not seem like a habit, but it’s a huge part of my life, and I (usually) do it quite often, so I’m going to call it a habit. I had become so stressed though, that I didn’t have time for dancing. I didn’t have time to release my soul and lift off my burdens. But don’t worry, I started dancing again. It’s just a little twirl here or there, but it’s enough that my soul is lighter and I’m happier. Just a little thing like dancing in my room can make so much difference in my life.
So, to wrap things up, I just want to restate how swimming, retainers, praying, and dancing are super important areas in my life, and the quality of my life is greatly impacted by them. Some of them I love doing, and they bring joy to my life which helps me get through the tough areas. Some of them are healthy habits I’ve let go, and it’s been painful to start the up again. However, I know it’ll get easier if I continue on, and the end result will be wonderous. So I will continue towards my goal for I know that at then end of my race is the prize of my lifetime.
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 3:14