I was trying to explain to a friend the other day how I am handling the whole stress of daily crap mixed with the economy and spiced with motherhood. Some of my headlines on facebook were starting to worry her and she was very concerned for my mental state of being. I'm a very optimistic person normally and I suppose that this was not shining through in my less than encouraging headlines. My thoughts were overwhelming and there was a part of my soul that needed to bleed out my thoughts and this is what came out-
Sometimes I feel like the captain of a pearl boat.
Each morning I wake up early and get the boat ready. I make sure that all the tanks have air, that all the lines are coiled nice and neat and then I get my divers. I have one that is good for a pearl, two that are learning to look for pearls but are still just avoiding the sharp shells and one who has just learned to swim. I also have one in the boat with me because he is not quite ready to go in the water. The sun is not up nor is it high as I drop their air lines in the water after them each day. I send them off with all that they need for their day and I turn to the rest of my responsibilities on the boat. While my divers are off I am in charge of making sure that there is plenty of air for them to stay down there. It is my job to make sure their lines don't tangle and kink. I spend my day fending off the seagulls and fighting the many pirates that attack us for our pearls. I worry about the one on my boat who cant swim yet and fear for the ones that go into the waters each day- I see the sharks swimming in circles and can do nothing to protect them. I know that my head diver is capable of large collections of oysters, he has brought many in the past. Sadly we have not been blessed withs a pearl in quite some time and I can only hold off the pirates for so long before they decide to just take my boat and leave us floating alone in deep waters. My days are long and filled with fears and stress. I give all my shade and water to my little one that I keep away from the edges of the boat and as a result I am sun burnt and dehydrated. I am tired and weak and desperate for the shade, desperate for the oysters that will sustain me and hopeful for that pearl.
I spend my days jealous of that diver who gets to cool off each day, who gets to see beautiful coral and chase schools of fish. Who dines on the raw fish (sushi) and comes home after the sun has gone down. Sure he may slice his finger here and there on a sharp shell and he sometimes has to avoid sharks that lurk in the beds but all in all it seems to be a better life than that of the captain. And then at the end of each day he comes home, tired of swimming, hungry for the oysters of his day. He is sick of collecting them and does not want to prepare them but would eat them none the less. He cant seem to understand how worried that captain was all day, how fearful for her divers and how tiresome pirates can be or how worn out and dehydrated the day makes her. The diver did not see the sun all day. It was not up before he left and it is setting as he returns to the boat, he wishes he could "just bathe in the sun all day" and holds his own jealousy against the captain. He feels the same pressures of getting that elusive pearl and knows that if only he could find one if not many that he could take a few days off from the waters and rest his tired legs, perhaps breathe some fresh air. He enjoys the raw fish and the coral reefs. He sometimes enjoys dodging the sharks and jelly fish but tires of it. After all it happens every day and feels that its all just a part of diving for oysters, nothing to feel envious of. And so the diver and the captain disagree and both are tired - both are riding the storms and rough waters. Each has its trials of the day and each longs for that day of plenty.
So then my friend says," sounds like you need your turn in the water"
"No" I answer- its not my job to do that. I know my job and what is expected of me. I know what each day holds and I know that its all just part of my path. If I go into the water who will watch the boat? Who will keep the lines straight and the tanks full? Who will protect the little swimmer and guide the ones in the water. No, I'm tired, I'm burnt and I'm worn out- but I'm doing my part for my crew. Someday I will heal and some day I will be able to rest- right now I'm just leading my crew and doing what I can. It will all be fine some day- we will find a pearl eventually. If nothing else we eat a lot of oyster stew and sleep on the rough waters. I can see the shore and know its there, I just cant return to it just yet. Knowing its there and believing in our return is part of the faith of that pearl- you have to believe it is there- and it could always be worse. At least we are not the irritated oyster that is choking on sand only to lose the fruits of its labor to divers like us- LOL