Water has always had such a calming effect on me, and as someone who often is in desperate need of calm, I have taken up swimming. I swim laps at the rec center near my apartment and have found such peace and solace in the water. I usually swim 2/3-1 mile, but even just a few slow laps of the breast stroke brings a comfort I can’t find anywhere else. Swimming has become my zen and therapy and touch stone.

I used to struggle with creating time to do anything that was just “for me”. Unfortunately that meant that exercise and meditation of any kind would fall by the wayside for days to weeks at a time. I always felt like there was something else I should be doing. Some work to finish up, someone to do something for. Turning thirty changed that for me somehow. There is still always something or someone I could or should be giving to, but now I include myself in that pool of people. When three decades come and go, you realize the days will keep spilling into weeks and months, and that if you don’t make some changes in your life to be better to yourself and others now, it might never happen. So, as a thirty one year old woman, I take time for myself. I create quiet moments for myself to sit and breath and take in the moment. I swim and take long walks with the dogs and go to the gym more often and take baths. I am more focused in my work and have a more grounded self to give those I love. Doing this for myself has resulted in me being able to give and be better for everyone. Before I know it I’ll wake up and have kids and I’ll be exhausted and won’t have time or energy to give to anyone but my little ones. That will be lovely. But I am glad I have this moment right now, where I can connect with myself.

Do you ever struggle with this balance? It’s hard for everyone, but women especially seem to struggle with this. How do you find moments of peace and calm in your lives?

(Chateau by Jeremy Kohm, Orb 3 by Carlo Van de Roer from
Available at the amazing 20×200.)