Clearing the decks

I am typically not a "glass half full" type of person. It's probably a part of my DNA seeing as my family immigrated from Norway and trekked across the United States and farmed all their lives. Harsh weather conditions, early morning chores, work, work, and more work. I don't hear many stories of humor or joy, just many "it is what it is" stories. I don't even know if anyone in that branch of the family tree was really happy to live the life of a filbert nut farmer. I know that my grandfather was an amateur photographer and his photos of Oregon are truly breathtaking, but he was born the son of a farmer so he became a farmer. And he wasn't disappointed with his life, far from it, but I have often wondered if he would have been happy being able to share his photographs rather than to just have us find them hidden away in a closet after his death.

I am not now, nor have I ever been a "go with the flow" person. I am a planner. I over think. I create tempests in teapots. I am too sensitive and I cannot take any sort of criticism, even constructive, without thinking there is something worse that just hasn't been said. In fact, my glass is not only half-empty, it has a thin crack in it from which the water is leaking out and spilling all over the floor and darn it, there isn't a paper towel or mop in sight to clean it up with.

I fail to clear the decks. And if you don't clear the decks you don't see the blessings because you get too caught up in the clutter to notice what is really essential and important. And then you spend an extraordinary amount of time and energy on the little details that really didn't deserve your attention in the first place.

On any given morning I am blessed to: have shelter, have coffee, have clothing, have more coffee, and have enough common sense to feel ready to take on the challenges, whatever they may be, that the day will bring my way. I am surrounded by family and friends (and pets) who all care for me and express that in a multitude of ways. But I'll be honest, there is a moment, before the dawn, when I get caught up in the clutter. When I just can't embrace the day because I notice I have failed to clear the decks.

I look at the map of my life and can't stop thinking about where I have been instead of the where I am going. I complicate things that don't need (or shouldn't be complicated) and I cause a storm of frustration and disappointment where there ought to be clear skies and smooth seas.

So here I am, today, clearing my deck.

I am stopping, recognizing, and acknowledging, that at time no matter how nice, kind, caring, and considerate I am at any given time to others, I may not get that same treatment in return. And that isn't always about me (although I take it personally) it is about what others are capable of giving, and that isn't a negative on them either. I also have to realize that no matter how passionate I am about a cause, a project, a purpose, not everyone around me will feel the same way or support me in my endeavors. And ultimately, that sometimes an apology, no matter how necessary or heartfelt will not be received in that manner and that sometimes you have to say goodbye in order to be able to say a new hello.

I am:

  • not waiting for the phone to ring, for an email to come in, or just waiting in general. I know where I am, google maps always starts with me when I plot my trip, and those people know where I am. If they want me, I'm not that hard to track down, even when I'm out running a 5k;
  • not apologizing for liking Katy Perry and singing as loudly as I can to "Firework" even when it causes others around me to put their hands over their faces and cringe in embarrassment. I have a good voice. I like to sing. Opera Day is tomorrow. Deal with it. 
  • not putting off any longer cleaning out the basement of my house. Currently it should be featured on an episode of "Hoarders." I do not need a bread maker. So why do I have one? There will be no keep boxes, it will all be trash or give away. If I really needed it, it would be upstairs in the pile of stuff next to my bed.
  • not going to be a cheerleader for everyone else without being a cheerleader for myself. It is okay to support others, but save some back patting for your own shoulders. Carrying the weight of the world, especially with a torn ligament in your left wrist deserves props, if from no one else, certainly myrself. Yea Me!
  • not going to explain my weight loss or my health. If it's your business I'll share. Since I haven't it's obviously not. I certainly am appreciative of care and concern, but it's time to let it go. I'm tiny and going to stay that way. 
Wow. Nice to clear the deck. 

And once we clear the decks we are better able to focus on the purpose and design of our ship. We are able to see what a good ship we have. How perfectly designed it is to handle any situation. We are able to be truly thankful for good health, for good friends, for good food, for just the general goodness that we encounter every day.

It doesn't mean I will be any less cynical, sarcastic, overly apologetic for things I don't need to apologize for, it just means that I will be more aware of really how good life and appreciate what is on my deck now that I have cleared my deck.

It just means that I know my ship will be ready for smooth seas or rough weather ahead.

Because if I never leave the port, what good is having a ship in the first place?


  1. "I am stopping, recognizing, and acknowledging, that at time no matter how nice, kind, caring, and considerate I am at any given time to others, I may not get that same treatment in return. " I have a friend up here who likes to joke with me that our tombstones will read "Somehow I don't feel I was afforded the same courtesies that I extended to others"

    1. Mine will say "Oh, when she's angry, she is keen and shrewd! She was a vixen when she went to school. And though she be but little, she is fierce."