Archive for July 2017

Finding My Balance

July 24, 2017

IMG_1501One of the terms I really dislike is “work-life balance”. I’ve never subscribed to that because work is a part of life. We can’t throw a switch when we walk into work, forgetting all of our “outside of work” problems – the broken washing machine, the kid’s struggle with the bully at school or the elderly parent that needs extra help from us. And when we punch out after our shift – either figuratively or literally – we don’t leave behind the frustrations of the work day.

I have struggled with life balance for a long time. I realized a few years ago that it has nothing to do with how much time is spent on an endeavour, but rather how much energy is spent in those activities. If I had an exhausting day at work, I would have used up my energy for that day so home life suffered – and my butt would be spending the evening on the sofa. If I was dealing with something stressful in my personal life, it was harder to put as much effort into my work tasks. The trick was to balance that energy so that I had some available for each area of my life. Sometimes priorities would mean that one area had to get more than its fair share in order to deal with more pressing demands.

Even though I took early retirement last year, I’m still struggling with finding my balance. Right now, health issues and cancelled dreams are competing with the need to control the stress I feel and find a way to contribute to the household demands – financial and operational. All of this has thrown me off balance. Totally and completely.

Second Wind has always been my sanctuary, although it has been harder this year to feel the calmness and respite when there. I need to make changes to get back to that feeling. So today, I start making changes. I reclaim that feeling of calmness when I am on the boat. I renew my energy. I stop worrying about things that can’t be handled when I am on Second Wind and instead immerse myself in the restorative energy of the water, the scenery, the friendships. Today, I find my balance again.

 

[I have a companion blog – Second Wind Sailing. See a related post “Keeping My Balance“.]

Launching and Relaunching

July 8, 2017

IMG_3212I’ve been away from all of my blogs for quite a while, and it is way past time to get back to them. I’ve missed them. A couple of days ago, I relaunched my Second Wind blog. Today, it is Second Thoughts’ turn.

What took me so long? So many things. But it boils down to “waiting for things to be perfect”. And how wrong that belief was. I realized that when we launched our boat Second Wind for the season on June 6th this year.

There were so many delays with this year’s launch. The season itself was delayed – lots of rain, historically high lake levels, many marinas closed or damaged. Fortunately, most of our marina is operational since we have floating docks. Other delays happened as well. We decided to change the type of paint we use on the bottom of the boat so that took extra time and effort – especially since we had to work around all that rain. (It’s hard to paint in the rain!) David had a lot of days where he was working and I had several days where my health wasn’t up to snuff. We squeezed things into the schedule as best we could and got done what we could get done when we could.

Finally, we got to the point where we were ready to put her back in the water. The rest of the work, such as stowing and cleaning, could be done in our slip. We finally had an agreed-upon time with the marina. And that day dawned rainy and stormy. Not just a drizzle, but a downpour. Not just a breeze, but high winds. It was crazy.

We decided to launch anyway because friends were there to help us and we had the time booked, and the time off work. So we dropped her in. Well, actually, we had the marina folks gently set her into the water. David and Keith set off to take Second Wind over to her slip for the summer. Keith’s wife, Lyn, and I met them on the dock to catch lines and tie up. We had two dock hands there as well since it was so windy.

David and I have developed a docking process over the last few seasons. It has reduced a lot of stress for both of us since it makes docking a lot easier. We were prepared. We had the necessary lines ready. I understood that he’d be coming in faster than usual to counteract the cross winds. I was still nervous. So was he.

And then docking happened. Perfectly. Perfect speed. Perfect positioning. Perfect placement of that first line that makes all the difference.

We had decided to not wait until everything was perfect for us to launch. It turned out well in spite of that perfectness not happening. And that has made me realize that I can’t wait for life to be perfect for things to happen. So I’m moving forward with life. And one step is moving forward with this blog. Because things don’t happen because life is perfect. Life is perfect because we make things happen.