Staying Captain of My Own Boat

I had a turbulent few days which rocked my boat this week. I aim to hold a steady course in life but life rarely stays calm enough for me to put the kettle on before a squall blows up and invariably I have to alter my tack to keep heading straight.

The ocean that my boat is navigating is a limitless quantity of  issues that have to be addressed, health and appointments, drugs and pharmacy preorders, accessible transport, insurance, supermarket shopping, calorie controlled meals, dog walking and combined social diaries, and everyday caring.

Imagine my daily interactions are the weather – some are calm, sunny and refreshing, some are choppy and occasionally there are arguments like storms with dark clouds, driving rain and lightning strikes.

My boat is my personal sanctuary , it’s my inner space and respite. Some-days my boat is an elegant yacht and some-days a working tug but it’s always safe and seaworthy.

The key is balancing the ocean’s demands, the unpredictable weather and my competence as captain of my small boat, steering myself towards peace of mind. Sailing life, I have to assess my daily demands, and manage my choices so I stay positive, focused, energetic and on my true course.

I had a week where there were a couple of pirates circling and I had to react so they didn’t board my boat, steering away from them to ensure my own sanity. The key if I’m troubled is having a flotilla of friends around to throw me a life line. My convoy of friends are people who support and understand me, smiles and a coffee can be all that is needed. 

So in this ocean of life I experience every combination of influences, demands and people, it is the way I steer through that makes me who I am. Imagine me in my boat steering towards Christmas, presents stowed as ballast providing me with a degree of comfort, as a job done, when suddenly pirates appear on the horizon. At this point all I want to do is moor up to the sofa, get off, and lie down for a week but I have to respond, chart a new course, duck the boom that repeatedly swings at me, and endeavor to steer on towards calmer waters. And calm waters are always there, the skill is seeing that sunny patch of sparkling water just ahead, where the clouds break and there’s blue sky. When pirates circle, when the demands of the ocean are challenging, and when all around me appears to be overwhelming, that is when I say to myself  “Keep calm and sail on.” I’m surrounded by my flotilla of family and friends and in my head I imagine catching a gentle breeze in my sails and gliding along-side my friends catamaran.  I’m safe in my own cabin,  calmly regenerating, getting ready for the next encounter whether it be with a pirate or a friend, staying captain of my own boat.

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