The hardest thing I do each week is not some kind of writing or professional work. I love what I do, even when it's sometimes overwhelming, sometimes frustrating, sometimes boring. Mostly, I like telling stories about how things work, and how they affect people who use them.The hardest thing I do each week doesn't involve my children, Rex and Ben, who are wonderful and exasperating and magnificent. The hardest thing I do each week is not get up in the morning (any morning). The hardest thing I do each week is have a swim lesson. I do not know how to swim, though that is changing. I don't fault my parents, who tried to get me trained up as a kid. My mom swam well and was a lifeguard at some point in her early life. It never took. I was simply too afraid of being suspended in water and being underwater. I would go into pools and splash about, but I never liked being underwater, and I never got to a point where I could even float. After a decade or more of saying, geez, I should just learn to swim, I watched Ben progress in his lessons over the last several months, and signed up at his swim place with his marvelous instructor. Who a few weeks later moved away, more's the pity! But I got in four lessons with him, and have had about three with another fellow at the same instruction place. In the first three lessons, I made more progress than in 30 years. I stalled a bit, no surprise, but today, I was able to float more or less unsupported for what I think was the first time ever. I have a very odd center of buoyance, so that my float position is apparently unlike anything the swim instructor has seen before (legs half bent, under water, yet, I am floating). A normal float for most people does nothing for me. I look forward to and have trepidation for each lesson, but today was a pretty huge milestone.