We've been taught that Salmon swim upstream as part of their life cycle. They do it to procreate, to keep the species alive.
Why do I feel I'm a Salmon? Is it because my "stream" consists of deadlines, housecleaning, bills and endless workouts and diets?
It's like groundhog day. Brush teeth, wash face, make coffee, check FB, check Twitter, check emails. Wake up 7 year-old daughter, make her brush her teeth, help her get ready, make her breakfast, pack her lunch, drive her to school. And all of this happens before 8:00 am! Every day! Monday through Friday. The same routine.
And as a woman who is getting older, the amount of creams, lotions, potions and gadgets I need to use on my face before I even leave the house has also increased, putting more of a demand on my daily routine. The kicker: I STILL get zits! What?! I thought I would grow out of that phase after my Teenage years! No bueno!
I need to work out more than I ever needed to! Because my metabolism is slower, my body will not accommodate extra "surprise" calories that often lurk behind friendly lunch meetings, spontaneous Happy Hour invites and celebratory cupcakes from the office. I've been in broadcasting for the last 15 years, and on-camera I need to look just as good as that young 23 year old fresh off her Media Training classes and swimming around me like a Shark. Snap! Meanwhile, I'm just a poor Salmon trying to swim upstream.
Get home and realize the dirty plate you forgot to put in the dishwasher and the dirty jeans you threw in the hamper seem to have duplicated like Gremlins splashed with water. (if you get this reference that means you're probably around my age). Then, I need to not only finish the work I couldn't finish at the office but also help my daughter with all HER homework. And, the bed was never made from the morning when I rushed out! Should I even bother? I'm about to un-make it in about two hours anyway.
Can I just say, "AHHHHHhhhhhhhhhh"!!!! I can't even comfort myself with chocolate ice cream.
But, like the Salmon I just cant GIVE UP. I need to keep going, like the feisty little fish that battles fierce currents, strong waves, and endless miles to get to its destination. Only in my world the challenges come in the form of rejection letters, gaining 5 pounds at the drop of a hat, unexpected dings on my credit score, cavities, an old car that needs a fixin, ... and oh yea... can you say parking ticket ? Not to mention keeping up with my daughters life too! Making sure her C doesn't turn into a D and that despite my disheveled and unorganized life, she still grows up to be a sane human being that will also one day strive to Swim upstream and fulfill HER destiny.
The lesson here: I don't know. What I do know is that I did have a period where I gave up. I didn't care to swim upstream. I was tired, exhausted, fatigued, over it, sick of it and mad at it. So I just lay there, belly flopped like a dead fish in the water.
But then I realized lazy people work the hardest. I mean, homeless people work 12 hour days and get less than minimum wage in the street corner with their coin cup in hand. Sure, they don't pay taxes but they also don't go to Paris, U2 concerts, Napa Valley or Olive Garden (well maybe they do go to Olive Garden).
Hard working people get the most out of life. Just like the Salmon, the more momentum they have the faster they fulfill their destiny.
It took that ONE determined Sperm amongst Millions to penetrate the Egg that eventually made YOU. Imagine if that little guy would have given up? Sure, another Sperm would have eventually made it but then it wouldn't be you. It would be a completely different set of DNA that would have ended up looking like your brother or sister. But it wouldn't be YOU.
So, I decided to dust off the old fins and start swimming. Not just normal swimming, Salmon swimmng. Hey, this may actually be fun. And there MAY be something to Darwin's Theory of Survival of the Fittest after all.