Skip to content

That Stroke! It’s Gorgeous and It Works

Decades ago, Angie taught me to swim. I trusted her from day one.

It was not long before we discovered the overlaps in our lives and began to speak our truths to each other. This happened often as we stood together waist-deep in water, wet hair flattened toward the back of our heads.

When we see each other, we pick up where we left off. It doesn’t matter if it’s been two months or two years between visits. We’ve checked in through breakups, marriages, losses, and career transitions. We’ve hit the laundromats together, eaten pie many times, and swam. There has been a lot of loud laughing. My first open-water venture with her at Joe’s Pond turned into one of the best stories of my life.

Angie is honest, forthright, and funny. She’s open and compassionate about the human condition. Angie has survived—and learned to take care of herself—through challenging circumstances and life-threatening disease. Her movement through the water and her perspective remain both effective and smooth as silk. (Cause or correlation? There is a relationship.)

It’s no surprise to me that Angie’s interview for my self-care series is succinct and direct—no wasted effort.

Angie shared this favorite piece of artwork with me over pie one day. Maybe the understanding will happen during one of her quiet morning swims?

What are the healthiest things you consistently do?

The healthiest things I consistently TRY to do are to get enough sleep, think of others, connect with powers greater than me, and shut up.

When thinking things through: Better alone, or the more the merrier?

When thinking things through I trust my intuition, check with a FEW others and then trust myself again. Sometimes I stop thinking it through, don’t act, and see what happens. There is never a wrong answer.

Who is on your side?

Me, people who do not judge me, people who love me as I am, people who I have known a long time and —though human—do not usually hurt me, and the Universe.

Do you have spiritual practices? What are they?

My spiritual practices are twelve-step meetings, listening, reading, being quiet, swimming, walking, nature, eating pie, and wishing I would meditate more. I listen for my heart’s desires. Not so hot at praying.

When all else fails, I

. . say “what the hell god?”, cry, and let the chips fall where they may.

Read Susan McDowell’s blog
See the Self-Care Series

Contact Susan to start your reach toward better self-care.