The Digital Chronicles
“A stranded sailor. No other sight quite so sad. The longing for the horizons far beyond your reach. A soul ready to soar the oceans and winds. A spirit waiting to leave and return home.” ~ Maria Lehtman
I never understood the pleasure of sailing until I had a few chances to go sailing with a friend of mine across the Baltic Sea. We were favored by the weather. Not in the normal seafaring way – winds were mild, sometimes unusually warm for August – but perfect for my taste of summer relaxation. After a while, the sense of time disappears until there is only you and the waives.
When do you feel you are immobilized?
We tend to get used to action, movement, dynamics, change – the cycle of to-dos. I always thought I was calm, with a normal pace, even slower than most who I saw driving through with unrelenting force in their careers.
I felt trapped if I was stuck in the same project or a role for too long. I had colleagues who took several months off to travel the world, only to come back to the job they left. I could not understand it. How would you leave for so long and not change – not want something else coming back?
Most of the time, I did not need to look for the change. The change came to me with new opportunities or changes in the environment, the workplace, the roles. My outlet was always the vacation time. It was the only time I always left my PC home and even my mobile to the hotel or in the car.
What if you slowed down – your wind became a quiet breeze?
Some of us have vacations to slow down, and others to have adventures, shopping sprees, family outings, busy cultural schedules to see dozens of sites in a week.
I tend to combine the vacation days with slow and fast energy tasks. First days, I might just rest – sleep in, go to the beach. Then pick up my camera and start looking for places to photograph before noon and in the evenings. During the day I would rent a sunbed and read books – usually rotating four books at a time depending on my mood.
I rarely spend time by the pool. We both prefer the ocean, the greater horizon, the calming sound of tumbled rocks clicking against each other lulled by the waves.
Mostly, I have passed the time waiting for my husband to kitesurf. And sometimes – the wind has died out, or never really picking up – and he would remain next to me watching the ocean, keeping a constant eye out for the kiters who fought to keep surfing despite the condition. I would learn the kites they took out, right sizes for each weather condition – the movement of the kite, the choppiness of the water.
The perfect weather for him – is the worst for me, so I prefer the rocky beaches. It saves me from having to scoop out sand from my clothing and hair coming back.
And if the wind in your life becomes still? Waiting?
“A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think, I too, have known autumn too long.” ~ e. e. cummings
In time, the changes came. The changes inside. The self-transformation that understands why someone would travel the world to come back home in every meaning of the word: same house, same job, same hobbies. And why others would continue forward to new things keeping on with the change cycle. I understood that change became in many forms.
My wind slowed down until it became still. Waiting.
I was phased with a complete transformation in physical and mental capabilities. My usual “bus stop”, the nearest airport, became a distant memory. My health dictated what I ate when I ate, how long I had to rest, how much I could speak per day and if I had the strength to drive a car.
In a leadership seminar, a coach talked about crisis management and corrected me when I referred to the cycle of overcoming grief. They are different, and yet, to an emotional being – very similar. A major change in life drives us through the same cycle of
- denial – isolation
What the list excludes is the most important one: fear.
What if the wind never picks up again and you are stranded on the beach, or in the middle of the ocean – drifting without a direction, a useless compass in your hand?
Be patient. “Nothing is permanent – not even the crisis.”
- If you find yourself in a situation requiring to slow down and your physical and mental state requires the wait, adhere to your inner guidance. No matter how long it takes.
- In the meantime, work with tools to overcome the fear of ‘permanent strandedness’. Our mind is a wondrous tool. It keeps us alive against many odds. I remember during one of the longer health episodes I wanted to see a movie I had waited for a year. My physique
held together the entire five hours we needed to see the movie and driving back and forth. After that my inflammation sparked back up for the evening. The pure motivation to see the movie had kept me intact.
- Acknowledge that your earlier slow-down mode is not enough. A major change, crisis management, energy drop, requires an immense amount of energy. I realized quite soon that I needed a rest period of 12 hours. And despite different phases of recovery and draw-backs, that requirement stayed the same for a long time.
- Hope. hope. hope. I cannot say anything more important than this. Search whatever methods offer and sustain your hope, even if it is based on pure self-endurance most days. You will shift between different phases of the cycle. Note down what the ‘white days’ gave you. What gave you that hope. Write it on a post-it note, stick it to your mirror. Hangup images, photos, drawings – collect samples from nature. Provide yourself that horizon.
All the lessons are in nature. You look at the way rocks are formed – the wind and the water hitting them, shaping them, making them what they are. Things take time, you know? ~ Diane Lane
Ref. Weekly Photo-Challenge by Daily Post: Waiting