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Sailing Solo. Thursday May 12, 2016

In my year of healing wounds from Cupid's arrows, and while I dare not surrender to any more, I've noticed something in my own arsenal that has been growing sharper by the day.

Let's say I'm on a sailing boat. I've been swept up in a combination of racing and battles for longer than I care to remember. There have been times when the sails are perfectly trimmed, the boat is healed right over and I'm slicing through the waves at speed, my hand on the wheel, the sun on my face and my boat on top of the world. There have been storms. Times when all I've been able to do is batten down the hatches, head down below and crouch there waiting for my boat to either sink or be smashed against the rocks. There have also been times I have willingly entrusted others with my permission to board, only to find that they were pirates who would leave me for dead.

This year I've sailed out into the calmest waters I could find on this eventful sea I inhabit, meaning I'm no longer racing and I'm no longer giving anyone permission to board. What I've noticed is that away from all the chaos, I'm refining my ability to read the weather.

I see clouds coming in and I react. Quick as anything. I notice my boat getting pulled into a coming storm. One turn of the wheel in the wrong direction naturally leads to another but I stop it. I'm learning how to turn away from it before it overpowers me.

The more I practice this in calm waters, the easier it gets. Now I even notice the waves, long before the clouds even come in. Some days little flickers on the surface of the sea become ever so slightly disturbed. So I trim, I turn I consult my charts and I plot my course accordingly.

This week, however, an almighty storm blew in from afar that I was unable to navigate away from. It shook my little boat to it's core and I was terrified it would do some lasting damage, but it didn't. When it hit I let it shake me. I stayed at the wheel, let the salt water flood over my face and rather than giving in to it I simply observed how it affected me: There was a bit of damage to my boat and what I noticed was that my habitual reaction was to smash the whole boat up a bit more in order to make it even – to punish myself for the storm.

For the first time, from my new place on the sea, I realised what a crazy notion that was, and how that has been my habitual reaction for decades. How ever I learnt that reaction or whomever I learnt it from doesn't matter. What matters now is that I'm aware of it and I can change it. This is my boat. It's all I've got. I need to look after it in every way I can.

It's a little bit lonely out here on my own but I know it's what I need. Right now I've just dropped anchor and it's calm again. The sun is out and I'm eating a sweet, ripe water melon as I listen to the waves lapping against the sides. I might even go for a swim later.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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the room above the garage Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 6:11am

It starts with you, wonderful! Not only do I like what you've written but I like how you've written it. Keep on Anna, love ratg X.

Cathy Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 6:40am

Thank you. This posting really helped me today. I love the sail boat metaphor. Have a happy Thursday. X

Hopeful One Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 6:59am

Hi Anna- what a wonderful analogy and the way you have written it one felt one was a invisible passenger on that boat. Good luck in what ever seas you sail I guarantee you that you will survive to tell the tale!

g mentioned the subject of nymphomania yesterday (please direct all your queries to g !)but the upshot was that it gave the Joke Squadron a target. I said that I would write a nymphomania joke. However the Squadron realised that discretion was the better part of valour after its experience with the 'that's once' joke and nymphomania could be a politically incorrect subject for this forum . So I am sorry but I decided to pull out for now.Instead I will carry on with my true funny story series.

A recent article in the Daily Post reported that a man,Dave Harper,has sued St Paul’s Hospital saying that after his wife had surgery there,she lost all interest in sex. A hospital spokesman replied " Mrs Harper was admitted for cataract surgery. All we did was correct her eyesight.”

Sally Ann Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 7:02am

I like that one!

Paul Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 7:24am

A really positive and well written blog today well done Anna glad your on an even keel. I could almost smell the watermelon. Hopefull one keep them jokes coming I really look forward to them. I don't agree with some of the comments you have received these are jokes not real. I think laughter is a great tonic when you are feeling low. But it does not suite everyone. May I suggest a warning please don't read if your feeling sensitive. Paul

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 10:28am

Lolilol! Ha ha HO...please keep putting the jokes in....I agree with Paul, peeps shouldn't take your jokes so seriously, we all know you don't mean any harm by them, we need a smile or a lol!

g Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 8:42pm

Annna - you do wake up in me the green beast of jealousy and yours is the final stroke on an ever raising mountain of exquisitely written blogs making sure that I will never even try to write one and please please I do not need any of you telling me how you would love to read something from the heart even if incoherent and ridden with typos etc. HO - I do not understand who the SQUODRON are ? nobody wrote anything about is so is it some censor in your head ? and why are you choosing to be discriminatory against nymphomaniacs ? The joke you offer instead is making fun of non main stream accepted valors anyway ...... Nymphomaniac Convention A man boarded an airplane and took his seat. As he settled in, he glanced up and saw the most beautiful woman boarding the plane. He soon realized she was heading straight towards his seat... As fate would have it, she took the seat right beside his. Eager to strike up a conversation he blurted out, "Business trip or pleasure?" She turned, smiled and said, "Business. I'm going to the Annual Nymphomaniacs of America Convention in Boston" He swallowed hard. Here was the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen sitting next to him, and she was going to a meeting of nymphomaniacs. Struggling to maintain his composure, he calmly asked, "What's your business role at this convention?" "Lecturer," she responded. "I use information that I have learned from my personal experiences to debunk some of the popular myths about sexuality." "Really?" he said. "And what kind of myths are there?" "Well," she explained, "one popular myth is that African-American men are the most well-endowed of all men, when in fact it is the Native American Indian who is most likely to possess that trait. Another popular myth is that Frenchmen are the best lovers, when actually it is men of Jewish descent who are the best. I have also discovered that the lover with absolutely the best stamina is the Southern Redneck." Suddenly the woman became a little uncomfortable and blushed. "I'm sorry," she said, "I shouldn't really be discussing all of this with you. I don't even know your name.." "Tonto," the man said, "Tonto Goldstein, but my friends call me Bubba."

Eva Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 11:04pm

Hi Bubba ;)

Night Owl Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 11:54pm

I find the jokes lift me at the end of a long day. Thanks HO, Paul and co.

Sally Ann Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 7:06am

That's worth saving to read in low times and beautifully written. Very cheering. Brill!

Sal Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 8:41am

Terrific blog Anna, thank you so much for sharing it. What a fine analogy and beautifully written. I really like what you've said about your experience of the latest storm, and your former reaction to smash up the boat a bit. I can relate to that - though I usually fall back on the tired cliche of 'might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb'. I'm reflecting on your observation that you don't need to know where the habit came from. When I notice a pattern at work I do usually poke around looking for the origin (or sometimes the recognition goes with, aha, that's where that started), but maybe I don't need to. Thanks again, do please write more blogs when you're ready.

Wendy Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 8:51am

Thankyou, this has been so well written!! I am keeping this one.

Angela Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 9:14am

Hi Anna, really identified with your blog & I don't know how to sail! thank you xx

Paul Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 9:20am

Hi Anna. You have written this so well, encapsulating the "intentional handicap conundrum", and it's resolution perfectly! Well done. I believe you have helped many people (not just depressives) steer through and around the stormiest of emotional weather. Thank you!

Anna Fri, May 13th 2016 @ 1:30pm

This really touched me Paul, thank you. It means an awful lot x

Richard Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 9:49am

Thank you Anna. This is wonderful.
Peace & Love,

Sue Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 10:03am

How helpful. I realised if I sense a breeze I immediately fear the boat will sink. Love this analogy and will try to learn from it.

Still picking figs Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 10:12am

Hi Anna. I enjoyed reading your post very much. I've been a bad-tempered pirate wreaking havoc on and off these past couple of years, a result of taking too much on and not having the inner resources to deal with it. Now that the pressure of life are currently easing, I find my Jolly Roger has been folded neatly away and I am reclining in my paddle boat, which, despite having a tendency to go round in circles, doesn't get pounded by waves. If I see you on your sailboat, I'll be sure to wave. Let me know if you discover a desert island selling watermelon cocktails...

Anna Fri, May 13th 2016 @ 1:29pm

Lovely! Watermelon cocktails are on me! X

Mary Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 10:29am

What a brilliant metaphor and yes - beautifully written too. (we're a talented lot here at Moodscope, aren't we!)I can see that I purposely head my boat out into troubled emotional waters because I enjoy the challenge of the sea spray on my face and the excitement of navigating the waves. But then, when my energy all drains away and I need to batten down I rely too much on my crew to keep my little ship safe.... Not quite sure if I'm prepared to head for the quiet waters just yet though....

Night Owl Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 11:56pm

When I get tired (or cold or hungry), I get seasick, even in just a slight chop. In real sailing, and now I see, in life-navigation too. NO x

Anna Fri, May 13th 2016 @ 1:28pm

I totally get that Mary. For me the calm as come from simply ejecting myself from any kind of romance. Thanks for your kind words x

Skyblue Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 10:34am

Terrific in every way, Anna, many thanks. Xx

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 10:40am

Hi Cap'n Anna...permission to pop aboard for a minute or two just to say a big thankees for a superbly written and well-thought out blog.
I'm sure you must find it such a help to see that what you've written is being enjoyed by us all here...and that's because many of us will identity with you...especially the 'blaming yourself' part and Sal's 'I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb'...when anything goes wrong, I immediately think it is something I have done by upsetting someone or not doing what others want. I forget that they might be having a rough day or they might be just be taking things out on me or whoever! But for now, my storm has blown over and I don't feel like I have to walk the gang plank, phew!

Hopefully the pirates are in the Caribbean (!) and you are lolling in calm waters again, perhaps a sheltered spot off the south of France or it past wine o'clock....has the sun passed the yard arm??? If so, wherever you are, I'm raising my springtime cuppa to say cheers and well done.
Big Bear hug x x x

Anna Fri, May 13th 2016 @ 1:27pm

Thanks for the lovely response and the bear hug! X

mandy Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 12:37pm

Hello Anna,

What can I say? Never have I resonated with a blog such as yours ... Beautifully and cleverly written I am in admiration at your creativity ... I understand fully now why I've been feeling the way I have ... Thank you ... Aye Aye Captain ... Love and Light ... Mandy xx

Anna Fri, May 13th 2016 @ 1:26pm

That's wonderful to hear Mandy. Thank you! X

The Gardener Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 12:58pm

A lovely blog - so evocative. All I look for, yearn for, is some safe anchorage from time to time, where for however little time I am freee from endlands demands - I've met some physically, little sandy inlets, cliffs to shield from winds, sun, a sea which I won't drowm in (poor swimmer, convinvced that somwthing I can see through cannot support me. I suppose a warm, secented bath with a good book and a drink meets the bill.

The Gardener Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 1:02pm

Love HO's today. Childhood in village full of viragos (my Aunt worst). A not very attractive girl got herself married - guy bolted after 2 days. Gossips said he was drunk throughout courtship and marriage, when sober took one look and fled!

Lexi Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 2:05pm

Thank you Anna. A beautiful blog. It resonates perfectly with me today. I am not a sailor but the analogy was spot on. I am taking rest in calm waters now too (also healing from the wounds of cupid's arrow) so that I can focus on healing myself. Cheers to you brave sailor. May you find your peace always, even in the mist of a storm. Lexi

the room above the garage Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 6:43pm

Hello Lexi, how are you doing today? Lifted any from the weekend? I've seen you here most days and I'm glad you are staying close. Love ratg x

Night Owl Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 11:59pm

You beautiful people, taking care of one another.... Xxx

the room above the garage Fri, May 13th 2016 @ 8:47am

Good to see you Night Owl X.

Anna Fri, May 13th 2016 @ 1:25pm

Thank you Lexi. I hope your wounds heal soon x

Zareen Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 4:47pm

I loved reading your blog which was very graphic & clearly expressed your thoughts about your life & changes in your perspectives. Thanks so much for it!

Eva Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 11:03pm

Hey Ho Anna, what a conceptual blog, if responses were a net, you'd have a net full o' fishes. I particularly have given thought and will examine further wether I rock and wreck the boat more after some storm damage, that's a useful thing to know and potentially bear in mind.

Night Owl Thu, May 12th 2016 @ 11:45pm

Hi Anna, Hi All,
Sailed past all the comments again, as I just wanted to say, what a lovely analogy. Will print it and stil it up somewhere!!
I happen to love sailing... You sound like you can sail too. I miss it dreadfully... Gentle inshore messing about in sail boats; fun, social getaways from everyday life, long weekends with hubby and a relaxed crew, BC (before child - darling though he is, 3nights away solo is unheard of, one as a couple a rarity...for now at least...).
I try to keep steering course for calm waters. There is a storm that blows up from within my boat, (having chosen married life, I need to think about solo sailing in flotilla?? I know I do sometimes start my own storms. And I do sometimes add to the damage.
Yes, fab analogy. Lots to think about.
Beautifully written too. Thank you, Anna!
Sweet dreams all. NO x

Anna Fri, May 13th 2016 @ 12:22am

Wow. What can I say? I want to reply to so many of you and will do, but just for now, thank you from the heart for making me feel so special and so not alone. I have just arrived on Kefalonia for, believe it or not, a sailing holiday :-) I will respond more individually when I can x

Anna Fri, May 13th 2016 @ 12:22am

Wow. What can I say? I want to reply to so many of you and will do, but just for now, thank you from the heart for making me feel so special and so not alone. I have just arrived on Kefalonia for, believe it or not, a sailing holiday :-) I will respond more individually when I can x

Anna Fri, May 13th 2016 @ 12:23am

Wow. What can I say? I want to reply to so many of you and will do, but just for now, thank you from the heart for making me feel so special and so not alone. I have just arrived on Kefalonia for, believe it or not, a sailing holiday :-) I will respond more individually when I can x

Anna Fri, May 13th 2016 @ 12:23am

Wwow. What can I say? I want to reply to so many of you and will do, but just for now, thank you from the heart for making me feel so special and so not alone. I have just arrived on Kefalonia for, believe it or not, a sailing holiday :-) I will respond more individually when I can x

Marmaladegirl Fri, May 13th 2016 @ 8:21am

Dear Anna - For a long time I have found it helpful to picture myself sailing my ship and it was brilliant to read your blog that described it so well. Do you know the poem called "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley? The last line says "I am the captain of my soul" - I think it was reading this poem that started me on seeing myself as the captain of my own ship. "I am the master of my fate". I wouldn't normally recommend poetry but if any of you Moodscopers out there have not read "Invictus", give it a Google! It has helped me hang on through some of the darkest times.

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