Submitted by April Blogger of the Month, Katherine Mason
There’s a phrase in the sport of rowing called “missing water.” It’s where you extend your oar like any normal pre-stroke recovery and just before you drop the blade into the water to take a stroke, you hesitate a bit. Most novice rowers don’t realize they’re doing it, but it’s a common thing to do. It’s bad, by the way. You don’t want to miss water. When you “miss water” you lose valuable speed for the boat. Experienced rowers work diligently at perfecting this, along with their timing, form, and about 3.5 million other things that challenge rowers one stroke after the next.
I used to row competitively. It was, hands down, the most rewarding sport and commitment that I’ve ever been a part of. Rowing taught me lessons in life that I still to this day find parallels to. “Missing water” is just one of them. It’s also called “hesitating at the catch.”
So you’re probably like “Cool story, Kath….soooo…what does this have to do with this month’s theme, ‘renew,’ and where’s the parallel here?”
I’m so glad you asked ☺.
I went running yesterday and realized that I hesitate a bit before I plant my foot on the ground after each stride. It immediately reminded me about how important not hesitating at the catch in rowing was to me back in my rowing life…and then it hit me…I’m missing it! I’m missing my opportunity not only to improve my stride, but to improve my strength, and ultimately my speed.
This post isn’t an attempt to tell you how to row or run. If it helps with either of those – sweet! Instead, it’s simply a suggestion on how to not miss the opportunities in life; to not hesitate when you know you have something good, something beautiful in front of you that can better you if you choose to learn from it. That’s where my “I love life” book comes in. It helps me not to “miss it.”
My “I love life” book is an endless list that I started back in high school after picking up the book 14,000 Things to Be Happy About, by Barbara Ann Kipfer. HIGHLY recommended little coffee table book, by the way. I keep it on my desk at work. It’s literally what it sounds like: a list of 14,000 things that the author has documented as making her happy. How brilliant of her! In its simplest form, life is celebrated just as it should be – through both the little and big things that make her happy. I adore this book, y’all; so much that I started my own years ago. After years throughout high school, college, my post-college years in Seattle, Chestertown, and Washington, D.C., and of course…falling in love and life as a married woman – it’s all there. Things that make me happy. I got up to 1,500 things before our move out West here to Oklahoma and guess what – I lost the book in the move. I was so sad.
That won’t stop me though, no ma’am. I recently bought a new journal from Barnes & Noble and started making my list. Here…I’ll let you peak at a few pages just to give you an idea of what I’ve included:
So now, it’s your turn. I dare you to start your own “I love life” (or whatever you wanna call it) book/list so that you don’t miss it; the little things surrounding you and ultimately propel you into well-deserved happiness. In this month’s theme of “renew,” I promise you that it’s one of the most rewarding daily practices where you keep yourself accountable for your own happiness, embrace each day, and keep track of true goodness wherever you are. Now…in true Katherine-post style…I’d like to hear about your happiness! Please reply to this post in a comment and list 5 things (or more…go crazy if you want!) that make you happy. I can’t wait to read them!
Happy listing, ladies!
Katherine Mason is the owner/freelance writer for Newlie Creative, LLC and author to her blog, “Newlie.” By day she works in Admissions at Clary Sage College in Tulsa. She was born in Charlotte, NC, grew up near Philadelphia, PA, and is a proud graduate of Washington College in MD.