Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Water Slide with Sharks

If you have ever been to the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas, you know that it has many water slides. One of the water slides is surrounded by a shark tank. You board the slide at the top and along the journey through the tube to the deep water, you zoom passed some sharks! This experience is simultaneously thrilling and unnerving! The last month I feel like I have been on this water slide.

I love the thrills and the speed and the fun that comes with this unique attraction at the largest hotel on Paradise Island. There is no way I can say the last month has not been filled with thrills and speed and fun! I have been traveling almost every weekend to visit friends or to spend the weekend in NYC to see a show, celebrate FOCUS' 50th anniversary, and savor a super expensive but totally worth it brunch at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel. This past weekend I also enjoyed seeing Les Mis at the Kennedy Center and spending some quality time with good family friends. Life has done anything but move in slow motion as I have jam packed my schedule with fun knowing that "house arrest" and a slower pace is just around the corner!

Amidst the thrills and the speed and the fun are the "sharks". When you zoom down this water slide at Atlantis, you intellectually know that you will survive. The sharks are not going to eat you as you zoom by them. But they are there. And you acknowledge them. And emotionally you get a little nervous that the highly unlikely situation of ending up in the mouth of a shark might actually happen. In the end, you do survive and are glad you rode the slide. I am blessed to have been joyfully dancing through life the last month, but the sharks have tried to butt in and break my stride.  And in some cases, have succeeded. 

Health problems have plagued me and my parents. My renter moved out of my condo, but left it a mess. Much has to be cleaned up before I can move back in. Surgery is in a week and I have yet to purchase "my wheels". Work is rapidly changing and I am the only person doing my job. I have been trying to be conscientious about completing as many tasks as possible while also leaving the files organized in such a way that someone can take over if need be. I spend too much time thinking about the things I am not going to be able to do for the 8 weeks that I have to hit the pause button on life as I currently know it. On the flip side, thought is put into the things I feel I can and should accomplish while on "house arrest". The argument in my head over what to do about online dating during this time period resembles a ping-pong match. The "sharks" are there. I know it.  I see them. 

If I reflect on the water slide at The Atlantis, it is the combination of the fun, thrills, speed AND sharks that make the ride what it is. The sharks are present, but they do not kill those who embark on the adventure.  As you exit the tube, you plunge into the pool with joy! The joy overcomes the fear the sharks momentarily aroused in you as you zoomed by.

While I have had variations of my upcoming surgery five times during my lifetime, it seems different this time.  Not only have I not had major surgery in 7 years, life seems more complicated this time around.  Surgery is roughly one week away.  I must remember not be to overcome by the sharks. I'm confident my friends will come and visit me. In fact, I already have some special, out of town guests lined up! I have been and will continue to be surrounded by joy and blessings. My upcoming surgery and recovery seems like a mighty big plunge! But, I am hopeful I will look back on the experience acknowledging the sharks, but being overcome with joy.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jess! This is Alison H. from high school! I saw your blog on facebook and decided to take a look. I love the title, as Philippians is my favorite book of the Bible. I have prayer group with my co-workers every Tuesday morning, and we will pray about your surgery next week! I hope it goes wonderfully!


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