Dont Miss The Boat

Picture this....there are a pair of twin siblings, Bobby and Suzie. They are typical teenagers, 17 years of age to be exact, and they are participating in a school field trip.  Bobby and Suzie, along with their classmates and teachers, are waiting together on a dock, anticipating a ferry boat ride to Boblo Island, an amusement park just outside of Detroit, Michigan.  It's a beautiful spring day, with clear blue skies, and the clouds are letting the sun shine through.  While the students are waiting on the dock, they take out their brown bag lunches to eat before they embark on their ferry ride to Boblo.  Bobby and Suzie have packed lunches with salad, pita bread and hummus.  Bobby opens up his hummus packaging, ready to dip his pita bread in it.  Suzie begins to comment saying, "Hey Bobbie, your hummus has diced peppers on it.  I hate peppers in my hummus."  Bobby replies, "I'm just trying eat my lunch Suzie, leave me alone. Besides, the red peppers are not diced, they are sliced peppers."  Suzie says, "You know, Bobby, you think you're such a know it all, and I'm really sick of it."  Bobby replies, "Oh, you think I'm a know it all, look in the mirror! Every time I make an observation, you're always the one who has the last word soliciting you opinions which you always seem to think you're right. Half the time, I just keep my mouth shut. I'm not the only one who thinks that way."  Suzie begins to pick at her Greek salad, pulling the tomatoes aside as she always does. She hates tomatoes.  Suzie put her fork down, and sets her salad on the bench her and Bobby are sharing and states, "Now that we're on the subject of what our friends say about us, I hear from our friends that it is you that can put your foot in your mouth, and offend other people. Just the other day, Billy told me that you were blabbing on and on about how much you know about baseball, and how you think that the Detroit Tigers suck! Billy thought that was so obnoxious.  Billy loves the Tigers, and has season tickets to all the games.  One of his favorite things to do is to go with his family to the games. Start paying attention to what comes out of your mouth."  Bobby exclaims, "I can't wait until we graduate high school and go away to college, because then I wont' have to see you everyday and deal with your bull crap."  Suzie says, " That's funny because I was thinking the same damn thing!" As Suzie reaches for her pita to dip into her sliced pepper covered hummus, she looks around, and it's only her and Bobby waiting on the dock!  In a deep state of panic Suzie shouts, "Bobby, where did everyone go?"  Bobby replies, "Oh fudge, I think our group left without us.  We weren't paying attention that the group boarded the ferry while we were having this ridiculous argument!"  Suzie says, "Bobby, we missed the boat."

Can you relate to this story? When in your life do you feel you've " missed the boat "?  Perhaps you are in a relationship where you could be the one to take the iniative to get closer to your mate by showing more enthusiasm or affection. You're not sure why your holding back. Maybe it's because of your ego, fear of disappointment, or harbored resentments from the past. You know what you need to do to improve the relationship, but going from thoughts to action seems to be an impossible task.  Perhaps in a workplace setting, you feel you deserve a promotion, but you think your boss is not recognizing your successes. You want to speak up, and assert you desires for advancement, but you feel paralyzed to say something. A note to parents: maybe your parenting teenage kids yourself, or are an empty nester.  It's never too late to improve your relationship with your kids.  Be the model of " seizing the day ", so that you give them the message that you are being proactive about reaching your goals.  Then it's more likely you kids will follow suit, regardless of how old your kids may be.

There's a game that all of play at some point in our lives. It's the blame game . Do you find yourself making excuses for not taking action in your life?  You blame the circumstance, the timing, your partner, your family member, or even your own perceived limitations on why you're not able to move forward in your life.  Perhaps you are subconsciously clinging on to old negative beliefs that you don't deserve happiness, or would not know how to maintain it once you achieve it.  I know this can be a heavy subject to ponder on.  Find your bravery, and take a closer look at what exactly might be slowing you down from improving your life, and your relationships.  When we avoid looking at ourselves, and ways we can break out of our habits, we are running away from taking charge of our lives.  We could say to ourselves, "I want to work out the gym but....." or "I'd like to quit smoking but....." or "I want to be closer to my mate but....." or "I wish that I could advance in my career but....".  It's so easy to skirt around these issues, and bury them under the carpet.  When the issues are buried, it is "out of sight, out mind". The issues get neglected, they begin to collect dust, and they soon become forgotten all together. Today, take control of the choices you make in your life.  What situation sounds better to you?  To say to yourself, "could have, should have, would have" or to say. "I'm proud of myself for taking on this challenge, owning up to my adulthood responsibilities, and seeing the benefits to my investments."  It's better to try to make things better than to live with regret with not trying at all.  Consider, what is at stake for what you could lose it you don't take action now in your life? More importantly, envision the great pay offs of what could happen as a result of empowering yourself to strive for self-improvement.  When we better ourselves, everyone else around us also reaps the benefit.

As a mother of three teenage kids, I see how fast they are growing up. I used to say to myself, "I can't wait for them to grow up already."  When my kids were little, I would have to run after them at malls, and clean up their little messes.  Now that they are bigger, yes I drop them off at the mall with their friends, and yes, I am still cleaning up their messes, they are just bigger messes.  I'm trying not to miss the boat to help them learn how to clean up their own messes, both on a literal and symbolic level before the fly the nest. So when they are grown and independent, they know how to be self-sufficient.  So now as I am watching them turn into big people with growing responsibilities and expectations placed on them, I am saying to myself, "I can wait for them to grow up" because time is flying by, and all too soon they will be all grown up.  During the next half a decade, I have a duty to provide this message of "plugging ourselves in to our reality".  I am starting with myself as the one to initiate this process.  Kids follow in their parents footsteps, and as parents, we strive to create an optimal path for our kids to travel.

When I was in high school, I had to take Government as a required course for graduation.  I dreaded beginning this class. I was thrilled when it was over.  During the time I took this class, I took little interest in the subjects which I regrettably learned later on in my adulthood were so crucial for knowing to understand how our country operates.  I ended up taking this class pass/fail.  Although I did pass the class, I wish that I would have forced myself to get past my limited thinking, and gain a greater appreciation of what our government is about.  I realized that I was at a major disadvantage of catching up on my awareness of how government works, and how the different parts of government affect different areas of peoples' lives.  In college, when students would rally for certain Bills to be voted on, and hopefully be passed in congress, or topics of government/politics would come up at social gatherings, I would take a passive attitude.  Today, I am still catching up. Understanding how government functions is not rocket science.  As an adult, I now know how important it is to educate ourselves in being a proactive member of a democratic society, how to be a knowledgeable voter, and how we can advocate for one another in a country where the people have a say in how they wish to make their lives more fair. I wish that I knew then what I know now.

It's never too late.  It's never too late to not "miss the boat" in life, and get on your boat.  You are the captain of your own ship. You hold the wheel. You are the one who gets to navigate your ship in whichever direction you choose. You can keep your boat still, and drop an anchor in the water. You can pull that anchor onto the boat when your feel ready, and continue to set sail in where ever the winds blow.  You can play it by ear, and say to yourself, "I will see what the weather will bring.  Maybe it will be windy, and the water will be choppy. Maybe it will be a perfect day for taking a long trip at sea.  Right now, I will be where I am at, and that is ok with me.  I will wait until tomorrow to decide."  When tomorrow comes, be ready to continue to keep moving forward in your life in a positive direction.

I'd like to conclude with a poem that I wrote recently titled,

" I'm a Low-Key Gal Living in a High-Tech World "

There is to be much more fun
before my time is done.

I feel there is more...
more to come.

Put my finger on it,
and point to the sun.

This will be my daily mantra.
It's not everyday
you meet a Frank Sinatra.

Off I go
ready or not
to a place unknown
yet holds my lot.

Wrong turn left,
Wrong turn right.
Misguided, misdirected
The blueprint or imprint...
is nowhere is sight.

Figure it out
no choice in the matter.

My thoughts of limits
begin the scatter.
Getting smaller and smaller
in the world at large
Cycles of negativity
are trying to barge.

Free will steps in
takes front and center stage
It's stronger than habit
choosing to turn to a new page.

I look out at the distance
destination I can't see
My heart grows
in the place I want to be.


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