One delay after another. Attempt to change one part, and something else in the system’s bolloxed. Or a crucial boat part (the infamous cutlass bearing) is still undelivered. As someone who studied astrology back in the day, I can look at the daunting collection of planetary transits and simply say to myself, Of course there are delays. Just remain patient. Most of the time, that’s enough explanation. A lot of the time I can do just that.
Right now though – and for some time actually - it’s like wading through treacle and the Turkish dream appears to be a mirage, tantalizing yet illusory. Or that’s what it feels like at the moment. And I consider myself the upbeat crew member of A B Sea! I can only imagine half of what Baz is going through.
The other night, he shared the enormity of his anxious thoughts and concerns (by way of explaining the depth of his emotions too) and I have to say, I felt humbled. And (for the first time in years), silenced.
I’d been quietly feeling a tad resentful that I wasn’t getting enough positive feedback from my man; who in an ideal world is ‘supposed’ to love and nurture me. As I write this now, that way of thinking sounds silly, but a juvenile part of me was taking centre stage at the time. I guess I unconsciously wanted Baz to fill the void that I was experiencing as a result of not being able to do anything useful to help fix A B Sea, and thus feeling powerless. But when he opened up to explain his level of anxiety and the constant great weight of responsibility of being the only one who can put A B Sea back together so that she doesn’t sink or lose power – and how he is awake for hours at night (unless he doses himself with Greek cask wine) worrying about all of the minute details that he needs to remember to rebuild each system – I totally got it.
“How can I support you?” I finally asked, thinking selfish bitch, how did you not see that? But to my dismay, he said, “You can’t.”
That left me feeling powerless again. Doubly so. But what can I do? As Baz said, he’s the only one who can fix the boat and until he does that, nothing I can do or say can take away his stress. Bugger.
So I’m left with dealing with my sense of powerlessness and having to helplessly stand by while he goes through his internal Dante’s inferno.
Back to basics
So really, what can I do?
I can respect his space. Leave him to deal with his stress in his own way. Not put any demands on him. Give him healthy meals. And then come back to my centre. Stay as grounded as I can in the present moment, which you’ll know if you’ve tried to do that, how difficult it is when past memories and future worries clamour to whisk you off down mental routes, right out of the here and now.
I’m sitting with my feelings, whatever’s going on in here, and getting on with life.
It’s the uncertainty
No one likes that the future is a big unknown void. Everyone likes to think they have control over what happens. And in part of course, that is possible. But if we’re realistic, uncertainty is a constant companion – it has to be – because we really don’t know what the future brings. It’s just that when things are ‘normal’ (think pre-covid) we can pretend that we’ve got it all sorted and that tomorrow will pan out after today in the direction we expect.
But we’re in times that are delivering great uncertainty from many fronts. And Baz and I are no exception. While we’ve been sheltered from much of the covid anxiety, isolated here in Sipiada, on Evia Island in Greece, we’ve probably had less upheaval than many people who live in the cities and have seen the panic, empty stores and deserted, carless freeways.
Change is happening though. We all know it, or feel it on some deep level that’s just out of reach of our conscious mind. Astrologers can at least reflect on the planets to gain some inkling of how we are being challenged to deal with these changes, even though the details are played out differently in each individual. But it doesn’t take away the uncertainty.
For me, it’s: Will Baz cope with his load? Will things get worse before they get better? Will there be more delays (looking at the astrology side of things), and how will we fare if there are delays? Will we get to Turkey in July?
I can imagine for Baz it is more immediate, and practical-wise overwhelming: When will the part arrive? Will I remember how to put the engine back together? Will the key fit in the prop shaft? Will I be able to burp the stern gland when we’re back in the water so the boat doesn’t sink? Will the engine work after I’ve put it together? … And there are so many what if’s in that scenario.
We are being challenged to grow
Well for me it’s more like ‘grow up’. I’m discovering immature aspects of my personality that could definitely do with a makeover. Well less makeover, more overhaul in terms of expectations and learning to self-nurture. Maybe for Baz it’s learning to sit with the largest and most complex responsibility he’s been faced with. I don’t know. That’s for him and his wise inner being to know.
Prof. Jordan B Peterson, whose work I’m lapping up at the moment, has talked at length about many things and one is that Carl Jung the great psychiatrist, proposed that we each have a future self who embodies all of the qualities that we currently hold in potential. He suggested that this future self comes back and puts in front of us opportunities that will help us grow into that potential. And we know these opportunities because we’re attracted to them. We were both drawn to sell our house, buy a boat, learn to sail (and for me learn to scuba dive), leave the comfort of suburban living and embrace the adventures that come from fulltime living on a yacht.
Boy, if what Carl Jung said is true, then our future selves have put us both on a fast track to evolve! In fact, looking at the crises and challenges that we’re currently facing as a global community, I’d say all of our future selves are throwing us into a collective evolutionary pot with a sink or swim attitude.
I think that those of us who have been born in first world countries post WWII by en large have had incredibly fortunate lives up to date (personal difficulties notwithstanding), and I think we are being challenged now as a species to evolve. And I think we can. We have the potential. We have the opportunity to turn so much of what isn’t working into something better. But it must happen at a personal level. Because that’s (all) we have to work with.
One bite at a time
Baz talks about eating an elephant one bite at a time. In his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey discusses two circles: a circle of concern and a circle of control or influence. It seems that right now all of us have a massive circle of concern that is encompassing many areas of our lives, or at least very important areas in our lives that need attending to. Many of us are also looking, for instance, at global issues, corporate corruption and unbelievable political governance in the countries we look to for leadership and these seem far too massive to be able to have any personal impact upon.
So let’s get back to our circle of control. What is it that we can affect? What is it that we can personally impact? It doesn’t even have to be a global issue. It might be as simple as getting up each day and being a slightly more complete or competent individual than we were yesterday. Each of us has our own ‘coal face’ to tackle. For Baz and myself that coal face is A B Sea.
What is it for you? And how can you rise to the challenges that you’re being presented with right now? I truly believe that if it’s in our face, we have the ability to overcome it. It might require learning some skills. It’ll definitely mean stepping out of our comfort zones. But that’s how we grow and evolve isn’t it?
One day we’ll look back at these times
And hopefully meet the memories with a sense of awe, gratitude, maybe a few tears, and hopefully bags of laughter.
But for now
I’m going to upload this blog. Check on the boatyard kittens. And then go and make a cup of tea.
If you’d like to read what’s been happening this week, check out Barry’s blog #135. If you’d like to see the video that inspired this blog just click here.
Until next week, I wish you a very pleasant week and that you get a little closer to your dreams and aspirations.