trying to sail through life
You know that feeling when you have an idea in your head of something happening - a hobby, a relationship, a career, but you seem to be fighting against Murphy's law. Gravity. Like a casual stroll along the beach ends up turning into a never ending backpacking trip with seemingly no end, just switchback after switchback. Or maybe there aren’t even switchbacks. It’s just straight up.
A few months ago, I was working on this project that seemed to be just like that. An uphill battle with escalations, and more escalations, every week we seemed to continue going up the totem pole, and yet seemingly going nowhere. A combination of playing ping pong while climbing up a ladder. A nightmare.
Then there is always another layer or dimension to the story, which increases the sense of urgency and the pressure just builds. In our case it was the clock ticking, bringing us closer and closer to our deadline we needed to hit.
In relationships, the other dimension is often the passing of time - your youth slowing slipping away, or your biological clock continuing to count down. Or the feeling that you’re getting left behind in quicksand and all your friends are spending away. Together.
A colleague who I respect deeply told me that life is like sailing. That it is a lot easier making small adjustments over time, than trying to do a hard right turn at the end.
Since then I’ve been thinking about this sailing analogy, and how to live more like I would sail (if I sailed). Trying to let go and better adapt to situations. It’s like that quote from the Disney movie Mulan:
The Emperor: No matter how the wind howls, the mountain cannot bow to it.
Years ago someone told me this concept about how no matter how hard you try, you can’t grasp onto water. I’m now unclear what the saying actually was since it’s been years, and also might have passed through some layers of telephone, but that’s how it landed and has stuck with me. And that’s ok.