The Mystery of the Goggle Marks
I’ve been swimming seriously now for almost three years. By “seriously” I mean 1 to 3 times a week, most weeks. I got started in Caracas, with a group and a coach, and now I continue at ECU’s pool, on my own. Today I swam 70 laps, which I’m told is a mile.
I love swimming. Even more, I love having swum. I rejoice when I can smell chlorine on my skin.
But, I’ve had this serious problem with swimming: red goggle marks on my face. Very scary looking.
The goggles always left these deep red marks around my eyes, and it always took many hours for them to fade away. I attributed these to my oh-so-delicate skin.
While swimming, I would dream up cures for this serious disfigurement. I thought of special goggles for me, putting silicon between the goggles and my skin, or finding some miracle cream that would make them disappear faster. Maybe I would make lots of money when I found the cure.
Then one day this week, I got advice from someone I thought was a semi-professional swimmer. Then I realized it was my daughter, Miranda.
We were swimming in adjacent lanes and all of a sudden Miranda asks the miraculous question, “Mom, have you tried loosening your goggles?”
Wow, what brilliant insight! I never thought of that. I thought looser goggles would let in the water. But, I loosened the band that goes around your head by one full inch, the water still stays out, and you can hardly see my goggle marks. Plus it’s a lot less painful.
So, why do some people like to complicate things, or refuse to see simple, obvious solutions? Here are two possible answers:
1. Thinking that what you’re doing is more complicated makes it seem more important, and by extension, you feel more important.
2. Some people fear asking for help because they associate getting help with losing independence. So these people isolate themselves, and there’s no one around to point out the obvious solution, like loostening your goggles.
Both of these possibilities point to a distorted sense of self – one who solves complicated problems without anyone’s help. While the lonely hero may make good movie plots, it’s not a very nice way to live.