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and furthermore…

August 9, 2011

This is the problem: I’m in charge of a ship. A ship that is capable of carrying 100 lbs of luggage. But right now I’m ignoring the maximum capacity warnings and hauling about 400 lbs of cargo. It’s not like carrying the few extra holiday pounds that go unnoticed until New Year’s resolutions kick in. It’s heftier than that. It’s the kind of surplus weight that puts too much pressure on the framework, poking holes and springing leaks all over the ship.

Left my phone on silent so the alarm never went off and I woke up 17 minutes after I was supposed to leave for work.

Hole.

Found one – just one – of my favorite sandals…on the sidewalk a block away from my apartment…that I hadn’t even realized I had lost.

Leak.

Had NO IDEA that preseason starts this weekend. Or that the Packers cut Nick Barnett. Or that Mason Crosby sprained his ankle.

Hole.

1000+ items in Google Reader.

Leak.

So far behind on professional photography jobs that I still haven’t edited personal photos from June.

Hole.

Speeding ticket.

Leak.

Totaled car.

BIG hole.

Haven’t been to church in a month.

Leak.

Haven’t been to the gym in a month.

Hole.

Empty bag of chocolate chips. Empty jar of peanut butter.

Leak (of emotions…into stomach).

It’s like a sprinkler system on deck. So I’m running around like crazy trying to repair the ship. Because I really like all of the cargo and I want to be the type of captain who can carry the full load without problems. I duct tape the leaks (occasionally literally) and pray that no others spring up before I have time to fix the current damage. But nothing’s changed, there’s still the same amount of weight on board, so new holes continue to appear by the minute. And I’m so consumed by my attempt to salvage what’s left of the ship without throwing any cargo overboard that I completely forget the most important part of my job as ship caretaker.

Steering the ship.

There’s no time for steering when all that matters is keeping the ship afloat for one more day. I can’t look up and take the wheel because as soon as I take my eyes off the deck another hole will poke through. Right now all I can do is fix what’s broken and hope for the best regardless of what direction we may be headed in. And forget any semblance of effectively managing the ship – making improvements on production, mapping out direct routes and backup plans, leading with humility and integrity. Child, please. I’m just trying not to sink.

But if I don’t know where I’m headed, if there’s no clear direction or destination, then what’s the point? I may be carrying more cargo than all of the other ships in the sea. I might even break a record if I manage to make it across this body of water in one piece. But more than likely I’ll end up sinking en route, so the record-breaking weight would be meaningless. And my ship repair skills might be increasing (exponentially!). There’s even a slight chance that I might make it to a nearby shore somewhere if I can keep up with the leaks for just a little while longer. But it’s not where I wanted to land when I first set sail. And certainly not in the condition I’d like to arrive in, collapsing onto dry land in utter exhaustion with a nearly capsized vessel.

On paper it seems like carrying more weight is the efficient choice. Who wouldn’t want to do 3x the work in just one trip?! But in reality it’s clear that the ships which choose to carry less weight (aka a normal, reasonable amount of weight) are able to do more than just stay afloat. They can navigate the seas, bond with the crew, bask in the breeze, and even go below deck at night for some rest. Not only that, they are arriving at their destination with their ship in tact, prepared for the adventures that await them on the land.

So, as the captain of the ship, I have two options. I can either keep all of the cargo I’m currently transporting and deal with the consequences that naturally result from an overage of weight, or I can start tossing things overboard.

Just some unresolved nautical thoughts on life as I know it.

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2011 12:27 am

    Beka, you are not the Titanic! You are a wonderful, talented, energetic person. Take a deep breath and do what is best for you! :-) I have faith that you will be ok regardless of how you transverse your current adventure. Miss You :-D

    • August 11, 2011 4:05 pm

      Stephanie, every time I think of the ship analogy for my life now I see Rose and Jack, flying in the breeze on the Titanic! :) Thanks for the good reminder and the good laugh. You are so wonderful and I miss YOU! Hope all is well (and hope you got my email about Thmore Days and Theo’s and can go visit!).

      • August 11, 2011 10:21 pm

        I definately got your email! I am trying to figure out a time between school and a vet appointment to pop over for a smore! I’ll let you know if I get there (fingers crossed) :-) PS Don’t let go Beka….. Don’t …. Let …. Goooo. (you can assure jack that you wont.)

  2. August 10, 2011 12:29 am

    Traverse

  3. Bethany permalink
    August 10, 2011 8:42 am

    Those holes and leaks are no good! Lose a job, girl! ;) You’re way more than just a floater in my book! :p Love you!

    • August 11, 2011 4:03 pm

      Thanks, Befty! And remember, there’s always room for a weekend crew member if you’d like to come visit! I’d love to have you on board for a few days :)

  4. Mary permalink
    August 10, 2011 6:54 pm

    Praying for you Beka and trusting that God will lead you. Remember He is the captain of your ship. Trust Him.

  5. August 10, 2011 8:52 pm

    Start tossin’ woman.
    You are amazing because what you DO, you excel at DOING.
    I hate thinking you are unable to excel and work how Beka works on things due to overload on jobs (such as photographer!).
    Love you.

    • August 11, 2011 4:01 pm

      This is true! My DO nature has been reduced to half, which makes it just a D, which is basically the grade I’m achieving in life right now. I hope that made more sense than I think it does. You’ll get it though, you’re good at that :) Thanks, Kelse! Love YOU!

Trackbacks

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