Yep, I’m still here. Actually, I want to toot my own horn for posting anything at all during the last four weeks. We went from TDY deployment to house guests to me starting a new job to an epic tour of both North and South Carolina in a ridiculously short period of time and I’m worn slap out. I’ll (re)start my new job on Tuesday after we arrive back in Honolulu and The Gentleman and I are hopeful we’ll finally be able to establish a rhythm for our new norm.
Then again, after the last – oh – 18 months or so, it’s becoming clear that chaos might be our norm. If that’s the case, we’ll have to adjust our approach to life a little bit. The Gentleman recently spent dawn patrol (that’s surfing first thing in the morning for you land lubbers) with a more seasoned [crazy] surfer who rides the big waves in Hawaii. This experienced hanger-of-ten shared some strategies for surviving turbulent seas, one of which I’m calling the rag doll approach. Basically, if you’re caught in breaking big waves and can’t get past them, the best thing to do is to go limp, like a rag doll, let go of your board, and let the water take you where it will. If you fight the surf, you’ll wear yourself out and really end up in trouble.
It’s an uncomfortable strategy in practice. Imagine being pounded under the water, hurtled toward the shore or rocks or a reef and just relaxing, going with the flow when your greatest instinct is saying “Hold on to the board! Breathe! Swim!”. It’s not easy to let go and hope you’ll be able to resurface, but ultimately it’s the only option.
I’ve often thought God gives me chaos so I’ll loosen my white knuckle grip on the surf board, but I probably don’t take that far enough. If our norm is chaos, we need to ask God for a fearless calm in which we totally let go of the surf board and go with the flow, rag dolls in God’s hands.
As we prepare to fly back to Hawaii from our brief visit to North Carolina and South Carolina, I find myself focused on this strategy, and secretly hoping it applies to airport security lines as well.