It’s Not Forever

Many of you may know our Jessie Richardson Schwer as a loving mom and wife and a tough, strong cyclist. She’s into a lot of other things as well like yoga and writing and hiking. She has a blog that she contributes to regularly aptly called “Life on the Big Chain Ring”. As many of you are training and trying to get through that last interval and striving for balance in your life, here are some wise words from Jessie …

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It’s an incantation I often recite when an interval hurts on the bike. Just a little longer. Just one more spin of my wheels. Just a little more effort.

“It’s not forever, it’s not forever, it’s not forever.”

Things have been kind of crappy for me lately, I guess. My health nose-dive affected my plans for the beginning of my season, and really scared me in general. Obviously, I’ve done my fair share of worrying. If I had tied a knot in a rope for all the sleepless moments, the days spent frenetically worried for my future as a human being, much less a cyclist… well, I’d have a knotted mess.

Alternately, I’ve been working hard at managing how I feel inside. Each moment spent unknotting the mass of twists and turns, ripping out the seams, has been nearly therapeutic. I feel like from this experience I’ve learned to go inside myself and be okay even when things aren’t quite right. To tell myself, over and over, that what I’m experiencing is transient. It isn’t overtaking me. And if it is, I’ll learn to grow into it.

“It isn’t forever, it isn’t forever, it isn’t forever.”

Like Kimmy Schmidt turning away at the handcrank ten times, ten times, ten times, because “anyone can handle anything for ten seconds…” I’ve found myself working through things in the same way an elephant becomes a feast: step by step, bite by bite.*

“It’s not forever, it isn’t forever.”

I wish someone had told me this five years ago, when the early mom days felt endless and a lot more like work than I could have expected. I think people did, though, and through the blur of bleary eyes and tired heart from too much love, I just couldn’t hear them, or didn’t understand the language they spoke. But it really wasn’t forever, and part of me feels like a sweet little part of my life is slipping away like little grains of sand. I’m trying to enjoy that bittersweet moment in time, too, though, because all things are beautiful in their windswept movement, this perpetual chasing of life in the face of entropy.

“It’s not forever, it’s not forever, it’s not forever…”

On and on I’ll say this to myself. When I feel frantic, restless, like a stranger lost at sea, or a wanderer in a neverending land that has no map. When I feel happy, loved, full. One incantation.

“It’s not forever, it’s not forever, it’s not forever.”

In the moments when parenting feels hard. In the moments when parenting feels rewarding.

“It’s not forever, it’s not forever, it’s not forever.”

After the pedal strokes begin to burn my legs and heart and lungs. After the summit comes.

“It’s not forever, it’s not forever, it’s not forever. It’s not forever.”

It’s just a moment in time. On the edge of the precipice, hanging on tight.  I don’t remember the darkness that hovered over me. I remember the triumph. I remember the moments where I gave that little bit more effort. I remember the reward. I see the end product, and I remember that I got there by telling myself one thing. One incantation, one sweet refrain…

*No elephants were harmed in the making of this post. Just tons of Lucky Charms. I’m not so sure I’d want to eat an elephant anyway.

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