How old would you be, if you had no idea how old you really were?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Sailing Upwind

There is an old Jim Croce song that say's
You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
That makes good sense to me and maybe gives us a hint about how to live a full life in the face of lifes little (and big) challenges. It's not a good idea to spit into the wind. You can't sail directly into the wind. Under sail you have to tack your way back and forth at an angle to the wind to reach that upwind destination. You have to work a little harder, but sailing upwind is actually the most exciting sailing, with the boat heeled over and the spray coming up over the bow.

Same way on land. If you've got a nasty problem, one that you really can't solve with a direct attack, try an end run. For example, right now I've bunged up my hip, probably by playing too much racquet ball. It really honks me off that now, when I have the time and resources to play, that I can't, or shouldn't. So what am I doing? Swimming. Not quite as much fun. Lonely compared to a foursome of old farts in a racquet ball court. But I am still doing something that helps me stay fit. That wasn't hard.

But what do you do when the doctor tells you that you have slowly progressing sort of cancer. One that will probably get worse. One that could kill you some day. But at the same time a very slow and treatable condition. Not curable but treatable. Well you can dive in and learn all you can about the condition, and try to do whatever to keep the thing in check. But there is a point where it doesn't help to think about it all day long. Time to move on. Live life. And how do you do that?

For starters you say, "How am I feeling right now? Am I in pain? Fatigued? Nauseous?" And if the answers add up to, "Hey, today, not bad at all," then that's what you focus on. What's going on today that's good and makes you smile

Finally, humor and meditation, are a couple of tacks that I know that help me stay focused on what's going on right now, and help to keep things in perspective. More on both in the future. For now check out what happened to a picture of this old salt when he played around on a web site promoting the new Simpson's movie, and Simpsonized himself.

You really can sail upwind, if you are willing to try a new tack.

No comments: