Jack Step Back
October is winding down and this week I find myself on my boat on the south Texas coast. Corpus Christi Bay is our where we’ve made our home port for salt life. And right now, on this late October morning the world is waking up around me. Let me set the scene.
The sun has crested the eastern horizon over the bay and I’m watching it come up among the forest of palm trees and sailboat masts while I’m sitting in the cockpit of our boat, Tilted Compass with a laptop in front of me and a fresh cup of coffee beside me. It’s 70 degrees with a light breeze out of the southeast. Small fish are jumping all around the boat and so the sound of traffic on the nearby road is mixed with the splash of water and the chatter of seagulls and grackles.
Sailboat life is an extension of cabin life. It’s still a self-reliant life confined to a small place, but with the ability to cast off lines and feed a gypsy soul. Its smallness demands setting priorities. As with the cabin, this is a very deliberate and crafted life decision. Some people have to have a new suburban and a massive house. We choose small and deliberate.
And part of what we must choose is the rhythm and tempo of the life we are going to live.
We choose our priorities rather than letting others place them upon us. Right now, I have papers to grade, e-mails to answer, lesson plans to upload, chores to do. But, instead I find myself here, because at the end of it all, this is what I really need to be doing. I’ll get to those things, but they aren’t going to take priority even if someone else thinks they should. Because if all my time is spent dealing with the plans of other people I never get around to chasing my own.
I suppose what is consistent with anyone who carves their own path, there will be those who attempt to derail you because it doesn’t fit what they wish you were doing. There will also be those who want to offer unsolicited advice even though they’ve never attempted what you’re doing.
So to all of you trying to make your thing happen, let me be clear. It’s okay to tell whomever it is to take a step back. It’s okay to tell the co-worker who walks around the office like a neurotic mess to stay in her lane when she complains to the boss about how she doesn’t like how you work different hours than her. It’s okay to ignore all those people who spend their lives keeping up with the Joneses and are more than happy to tell you how they’d do it different. And it’s perfectly okay exile the toxic voices from your life. Don’t take advice from those who have nothing to offer. You had the foresight and the balls to live your dream. They didn’t.
This is your song. This is your life. You get to choose how your days unfold. No one else. Find clarity. Find your path and do what it takes to travel it.