Adjusting the sails
The pessimist complains about the wind: the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
Wiiliam Arthur Ward
In the first two boats there is no action on the part of the sailor. It is the wind that dictates the destination. In Ward’s realist’s boat, the sailor simply accepts and moves on. I am really trying hard to be the realist. I am looking at things now with an attempt, not only to understand the situation, but to play my part in directing and choosing my destinations and to actively participate in getting there.
My husband is a sailor at heart. I have been a reluctant passenger in his voyages a few times but have left those adventures mostly for he and my eldest sons to enjoy. Now those two are off to college but the dreams of a bigger boat with longer, more leisurely sails is beckoning my spouse even more. I can literally make this happen for him. I can be the realist in his boat who helps him move things forward.
I see an opportunity to spend lots of peaceful, quality time with my best friend and I am eager to get started. I have been plagued by anxiety and fear for many years – I was the pessimist who complained bitterly, and once in awhile I tried my hand at hoping for a change but I finally think I understand the active role I must play in having these new adventures together.
It doesn’t happen often that a metaphor actually becomes the literal. I will use the words of William Arthur Ward to measure my development.
What kind of a sailor are you?