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  • Writer's pictureJayna Newbold

Jumping Into The Deep End

Dear Hearts,

How about this month of August, eh? hot! Hot! HOT!

Over here on the left coast of northern California, the entire summer has been a scorcher; with August topping the charts as a perpetual heat wave.

Oh, it’s great weather if you’re able to live on the beach for these thirty-one days - an unlikely situation for most of us. So, we do our best by hanging out in air conditioned stores, offices, or movie theaters.

The BEST place to be is in the pool! If you don’t have one, perhaps your gym or your neighbor does. Our community happens to have several of them available to the public at a nominal fee.


I love to swim. It’s the only sport I do well. I can’t run (which pretty much leaves out most sports). Even though I trained for the Nike Women’s Marathon several years back (which was fun because I enjoyed meeting so many great ladies all over the Bay Area every week during the six months of training prior to the event), I swore I would never run another one (and I haven’t).

But swimming? That’s my jam! I learned how at an extremely young age. Not on purpose, mind you.

At the tender age of three, and full of spit and vinegar, apparently, I was running around the swimming pool when my mother shouted my name followed by the firm command, “Get in the pool!”.

I knew she meant business so I immediately jumped in - which happened to be the deep end. Naturally, my mother made a beeline for me but stopped when she saw that I was actually swimming! She hung out nearby but allowed me to go it alone.

And I’ve been swimming ever since.

The story of my life, “Jumping Into the Deep End” could someday be a fitting title of my personal memoir.

Everything I have ever tackled has been approached in the same way I learned to swim. I don’t necessarily recommend this method, Dear Hearts. However, although learning and accomplishing things in this manner is not for everyone, it’s the only way I know how to go about it.

From mastering the violin to singing opera and teaching voice, falling in love, parenting, writing novels, sailing in races, to approximately a year ago when I woke up one day and surprised myself by saying (aloud), “I want a doctorate” - this is how I operate. It’s a bit of a crazy way to go through life, I’ll admit.

Even now, as I study, read, and write my doctoral dissertation toward a PhD in Pastoral Psychology, I frequently ask myself, “What were you thinking?” and “Whatever possessed you?”.

August is my birth month; and when I recently wrote my latest short story - “Scarred for Life” - a childhood memory of a particular birthday - I was once again reminded of some of the crazy things I’ve done (or thought I could do).

But no matter. As unbalanced as my approach to life may be - and I’ve certainly had my share of failures (I don’t cook any better than I can run) - it has served me well. I really don’t know any other way to deal with the many fascinating topics and activities life has to offer.

Dear Hearts: Whatever your interests, and however you delve into them, if your method works for you, go for it!

Meanwhile, stay cool in this heat!

Get in the pool!

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