For the past several years, I have found serenity by living in the moment.
Living in the moment was an intention that provided a place to return, when I got too wrapped up in prodding the past for answers or too anxious longing for the future.
Disruptions were invitations to pause and center myself in the moment, a gift of observing and noticing that happiness can happen. Serenity followed me.
This current “disruption” feels different. I don’t want to talk about it. I want it to leave me alone, but it can’t and won’t and really shouldn’t.
When I feel frustrated or disappointed, I try to put a smiley face on it.
Going out on our boat is a welcome escape from the routine of life. The boat symbolizes retreat and refuge and often is our mode of vacation. This year vacation has been elusive. This year, I feel robbed of my chances to vacate…to leave home for a respite. To escape reality for a few days, maybe a week.
This year, our boat said no to one vacation. The engine needed unexpected repairs. Obviously, the virus deterred us from our plans, but once the boat was repaired, I told myself even if we can’t vacation, we can escape on the boat for a few days. I told myself this would work, but to be honest going out on the boat hasn’t been the same.
The river has also played a role in my disappointments. In the spring it was flooding, but we took the boat out anyway. And even though it wasn’t an ideal getaway, I thought we’d try again. The weather was perfect this time. And the river wasn’t at flood stage.
We’d take the boat out and enjoy the weekend. We’d extend our time on the boat by working from the boat on Monday. We were proceeding along with our planned escape, but something was missing.
We made it out onto the river, and let down our anchor for the evening. Yet, I didn’t feel serene. Everything was great, but I couldn’t escape my own inner angst. We thought the internet signal would be strong, but it wasn’t reliable enough to log into work on Monday, barely strong enough for me to post photos on social media. I was not happy.
We managed to relax on Saturday evening, but we both knew we’d have to make some kind of adjustment to stay put through Monday. Maybe the marina would have better internet, maybe another section of the river, maybe we should just go home. Sunday morning we mulled over these options. Disappointment lurked in my heart. I knew the marina wouldn’t be an escape from social distancing protocols and we didn’t have the energy to take the boat upriver.
Normally, I rally to the occasion and fight to stay out on the boat longer. But it seemed too much effort.
After breakfast on Sunday, we decided that we could spend the rest of the day on the river and go home in the evening. But first, we needed to pull up anchor and let the dog go ashore for her morning walk. We drove the boat over to the dock at Hideaway Harbor, where we also had parked the truck and trailer. The inlet is shallow, but this time the readings were at 1.5 feet, and we were worried that getting into the inlet later may prove problematic.
It was decided, pretty quickly that our escape was over. Time to load the boat on the trailer and head home. Relief mingled with disappointment, yet by the time we pulled the boat out and packed up our belongings into our truck, serenity had found us.
Serenity to accept the obstacles, courage to change our course, even when it wasn’t the desired outcome, and noticing that wisdom knew the difference it would make to say no. I realized that serenity can mean calm and quiet, but it can also manifest as confidence in light of making a difficult, disappointing decision.
I’m home now. Satisfied with our decision. Doing things I would have done if we were still out on the river. Relaxing, enjoying a rainstorm, playing with my art supplies. Contemplating serenity, and it’s various forms.