Finding Joy in the Slow Lane

Waves crashingThis morning I swam my first miler in WEEKS. The pool was crowded, but somehow I felt the Zen. Maybe it was this bit I watched/read on MizFit about finding your joy. She asks:

And your joy? How do you find it? Are you already able to bring to mind these feelings (physical & emotional) with ease & at a moments notice? Or do you, as I did, need to practice this skill in order to transition more swiftly away from times of stress into moments of joy or calm?

When did I last experience pure joy? The first thing that came to my mind was Big Sur, California. Was that really the last time? That’s crazy. I am sure I experience pure joy every day, in all the little things like Bircher muesli and bedtime reading, but it seems I’m too distracted by life to actually notice it.

MizFit suggests we take time every day to recall these moments of joy and write them down. This ties in with Charlotte’s post about journaling the things we are grateful for. I wish I had done this in Big Sur, if only to give me something to reflect on when life in the real world happens to cloud my vision from all the joy around me. Because the truth is, I don’t need perfect sunsets and idyllic beaches to experience joy. So where can I find it? It suddenly dawned on me while commenting on MizFit’s post:

I’ll think about where I find my joy this morning in the pool. Wait a second. THAT’S where I experience pure joy every day – in the pool, when I have a lane to myself!

And guess what, it turns out I don’t even need a lane to myself to feel it. This morning I shared my lane with TWO people, but I didn’t care. I felt totally at peace, but energized at the same time. I swam a mile and didn’t look at the clock once. Being in the moment – that’s my pure joy.

Diary for Monday, February 23, 2009


Bircher muesli with bananas

Bircher Muesli with Banana

Had this with a pot of Rooibos Earl Grey and my latest read, Sky Burial: An Epic Love Story of Tibet by Xinran. All three items were fantastic, peace-giving ways to start the day.


As stated, one mile in about 50 minutes, freestyle and breaststroke. Glorious. I think the Bircher energized me, and the good-to-think morning reading.


Scrambled eggs on whole wheat no knead toast with avocado, tomato and steamed chard

Scrambled Eggs on Toast

I have Tim to thank for this one – he’s working at home today, and how lucky am I. Not only did he make lunch, but he made one of his specialties and my favorites – scrambled eggs. It went really well with the toast and avocado.

No Knead Whole Wheat Bread from a TinA note about this loaf of no knead: I baked this one in a bread tin using a the cold oven technique in which I kept the loaf in the oven while it pre-heated. The tin was a little large for the amount of dough, but the cold oven worked great. I didn’t need to mess around with flipping the dough into a pot or using a lid. I was able to just let it rise in the oven then turn it on when it was ready. I recommend this to any other no knead bread fans out there!


A three-parker with Tim (~7km). After this and a long swim, I wonder how my shin splints will feel tomorrow…


Tofu scramble with cavelo nero

Tofu scramble

Kavalo Nero with Onions and Garlic

The scramble: onion, garlic, tomato, potatoes, broccoli, turmeric, salt, pepper, oregano, fresh parsley, nutritional yeast flakes

The cavelo nero (i.e. black kale): blanched, then sauteed with onions and garlic

3 thoughts on “Finding Joy in the Slow Lane

  1. Sagan

    That’s wonderful that you’ve figured out where your joy can be found! And so nice that you could share it with the other swimmers.

    Tomorrow I’m going to have a gigantic thick scrambled egg sandwich. The picture just looks too good.

  2. Andrea [bella eats]

    Your food always looks so delicious. And you’ve now totally convinced me to find a local pool ASAP. I completely understand the joy you feel when swimming. Friends and co-workers don’t understand how I don’t find swimming back and forth, back and forth incredibly boring…they don’t get it. I find such peace and get so lost in my thoughts. Its like yoga for me, except instead of allowing myself to completely clear my mind I allow myself to let my mind wander to all of the places I don’t have time to wander to in a busy day. Its heavenly and I miss it SO much. Thanks for reminding me how great it is!

  3. monica

    @Sagan – OOH I used to LOVE scrambled egg sandwiches. I haven’t had one in ages… but I should. Mmm, with tomato and avocado. That’s how I like it. 🙂

    @Andrea – Thanks for the delicious compliment! I SO know what you mean about people not getting the whole lap swimming thing. I went to the pool with my dad last December and he just didn’t now what to do with the lane. But like you, I find the back and forth to be like meditation. It’s replaced running for me. Hope you find a pool!


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