A Personal Note from Kindra CEO, Catherine
It’s the dead of summer and I was lucky enough to find myself alone in a swimming pool for a moment this weekend. I like to float on my back and put my ears just under the water when I swim. The feeling of the cool water lapping over my body and that intensely silent sound of being one with the water feels so calming. During this rare sliver of zen, all I could think of was how precious these fleeting moments of peace really are and how I wished this summer didn’t have to end.
Some of you know that my husband became quite ill at the beginning of the summer. It was pretty scary for our whole family, but—as they always say in these challenging comeback moments—he’s a fighter. And he truly is. In fact, we all are. And together we willed our way back to a new normal that I am not ready to let go of. While this is not at all the summer we planned, I am trying to savor the moments. The calm after the storm. Before the next inevitable storm. Somehow I imagined “savoring the moment” would come easier to me as I got older and (hopefully) wiser. But I am still running from family activities and obligations to work activities and obligations in a same-as-it-ever-was loop.
And yet, if I’m being honest, I also don’t want to slow down. I’ve got this internal momentum that just won’t quit and part of my savoring is squeezing everything I can out of this one hard and wonderful life of ours. I have to ask myself … will I ever really want to slow down? You know, for more than a few stolen moments floating blissfully in a summer pool.
Perhaps, if we’re really being honest, the answer is no. My body constantly reminds me that I am aging via the sciatic pain I feel in the night, my aching feet at the end of the day, and my inability to sleep deeply and awake fully refreshed. Yet, the greatest ache I feel is the need to keep moving. Keep living. Every day.
Which reminds me of another fighter who inspired me this summer. Last week my girlfriends and I were rapt by this viral footage of 78-years-young brain aneurysm survivor and living legend Joni Mitchell performing the beloved song “Both Sides, Now” live with a few friends you might recognize. If you didn’t catch it, I highly recommend seeing and hearing this special performance for yourself. When I listen to her sing, “well something's lost, but something's gained, in living every day,” I am floating in the silence of the pool once more with only my inner most thoughts—caught between the push and pull of the life I am living and the life I imagine I could be living.
When our summer plans got re-routed, and after I got the kids’ big little lives sorted out (no easy task!), I decided it was time for ME to find some summer fun, too. So much to everyone’s surprise, I took a tennis lesson. I was incredibly nervous heading out to the court. I felt like I might get out there and miss every ball. But as I looked around my classmates, I realized we were all pretty different and we were also all out there smiling, talking, laughing, connecting, trying, living. Yes, there were a few intense players out there, but it was mostly a bunch of people who decided to slow down for a moment and make having fun together the priority.
Since that first lesson, I have sweated through clinics, classes and even a mother-son tournament. What can I say? I’m still a go-getter once I set my mind to something. But you know what else happened? I started savoring the moments. All of them! This fighter did not have to be the best player on the court (which a younger me might not have been able to live with). I just had to play—really let myself play with abandon—and the summer was mine again.
But, listen, I’m the first to admit tennis or even dunking your head underwater isn’t for everyone. So I’m asking—how might you choose to live a little today? What will you do to make the rest of this summer yours? Tell me. I’d love to hear your summer comeback stories, plans, or ideas. And if you're a little too busy to share them, I totally get that too. I’m just happy we’re all out there living them. Every day.
We are not alone. We are Kindra.