Build Your Boat

How many hearts were lost at sea?

Before we flew, we strung some old cloth to a bunch of dead trees, flung them in the ocean, and clung on tight. Fortunes were made and lost on the high seas. 

Many a maiden looked across the harbour, hoping to see the dove-white flash of a topsail on the horizon; their heart returned.

Most waited in vain. 

The thing about waiting for our ship to come in is there’s nothing we can do about it. We can gnash our teeth and wail and pray and beg, but that only makes us feel better about our helplessness.

Building a boat isn’t easy. It will take a long time, a year or two minimum. There will be many splinters and bruised thumbs and cursing along the way. Even if we finish it in time, there’s no telling that it will float.

And even if floats, that could spell the end for us.

We could drown, far away from where we began, wet and cold and alone and wishing we’d taken some navigation courses while we were building our boat.

But it sure beats waiting for your ship to come in.

 

 

 

Eke it out

A common misconception about being creative is that it’s enjoyable.

That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Being creative is fun. Creating for a living is work.

No muse appears for a deadline. We’ve just got to sit down and start working.

We won’t get calloused hands, but we’ll probably get repetitive strain injury. Our back won’t break from hauling stones, but it will creak from hours hunched over a table.

Being creative is rarely fun for long.

But it sure as hell is rewarding when you eke out something where there was nothing before — not even the desire to create.

 

 

 

Settle for Less

It often seems like the quickest way to get through a long to-do list is to rush through as many things as possible.

The hope is that at the end of a few hours, we can look back at a crossed-off list and feel content.

But the list constantly grows. And the little things turn out to be bigger and more tiresome than we predicted.

By the end of the day, only half the list is ticked, and we’re completely zonked.

On days when I settle for less — just the one big thing — I almost always find that I have the time and the energy to do a few of the small things too.

Settling for less often turns out to be way more productive.