Balancing Act

by | Sep 25, 2023 | Ground Work, Venus & Mars Go Sailing | 1 comment

It was 2:52 a.m. and I was lying awake, orchestrating the next three days and seven hours (roughly the time between then and when we would pull into the ferry line). I was planning, hour by hour, the time I had to finish getting my sailboat, Kagán, put to bed for her winter slumber. Since it’s dewy in the mornings, I would clean the fridge and do laundry until the cockpit enclosure dried the next day, at which point we would take it down. The day after, pack suitcases until the boat dried out, then put the cover on. The minute-by-minute organizing felt like quite the contrast to going with the flow, as we did so much of this sailing season.

This life in two places is a balancing act. It gets pretty tippy at the transitions from one place to the other. Like now. And it all seems to go better with a good plan.

It was also a balancing act, that night—let go and sleep, snuggled and warm in Kagán’s v-berth or switch the light on, pull a sweatshirt over my head, and grab a pen and notebook in order to not lose the words that had started forming these very sentences (knowing they would elude me in the morning, if I didn’t)?

Plan or play? Consistency or spontaneity? I am so fortunate, and grateful, that these are the balancing acts I get to live these days.

Speaking of consistency, since August, I have been posting my ramblings on the 10th and 25th of the month. Two months is not a long run, I know, but being consistent starts somewhere. The plan is to continue, and I feel determined.

As I also discovered in the wee hours that morning, when the words come spontaneously, I should capture them, even if it would be easier to turn over and tug the covers up to my chin. By 3:20 a.m. that late summer night, I decided I had scribbled enough. It was time to turn the light out and let Kagán’s gentle motion rock me back to sleep.

When I woke the next day, plan in hand, I let myself savor a steaming cup of green tea before clicking my (metaphorical) stopwatch on with its countdown to the ferry. After all, there are pluses and minuses to both planning and playing, consistency and spontaneity. I’d like to maximize the plus side of my ongoing balancing act.

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1 Comment

  1. Jenn

    Yes, planning and playing, consistency and spontaneity. The constant struggle. Thanks for sharing yours.


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Geologists study the earth and the processes that shape it. Writers study the human heart and the processes that shape it. The GeologistWriter builds a bridge between the two. Come across it with me!

GROUND WORK: Wander the outdoors with me.

VENUS & MARS GO SAILING: Life. Intensified. On the Salish Sea.

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