Enjoy The Present By; TJ Shea

In this country, we are conditioned to constantly run at a million miles an hour; juggle five different balls while balancing a melon on our head.  If we’re not, then we are falling behind.  I am just as guilty of this as the next person.  Without that drive, I most likely would not be where I am today. What I have come to question is at what cost do these accomplishments come?  What is the mental toll to run this race?   Where does it stop?  Or, if it can’t stop for some of us, where can sacred spaces which bring peace and living for the present be found?

Two cherished friends of mine knew exactly where that place was.  They found it each time we left the dock, leaving their busyness behind.  The minute they steered the boat West for the day, you could just see the joy in their eyes. You could see peace.  The ocean was their happy place and disruptions were not invited. For so long, I was very envious of the shift each of them made. I needed to produce. I needed to spear the big fish or fill up the fish box.  I needed perfect conditions for my time to be worth the trip; ideal visibility, cooperating weather and happy clients. It was difficult for me to appreciate how lucky I was to be present in those moments.

Sadly, I have lost these friends to their demons, as their love of the ocean and its spoils couldn’t reach their pain. I hold on to the memories made over many years on and in the water.  Being human, all we can do is learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others to hopefully make better choices.  Every day, I am fortunate enough to step on a boat, to rock with the wind and the waves. I will not forget where I am and, more importantly, why I am here.

I now see the lessons they were trying to teach me all along. Take in the present, find joy just being surrounded by the big, blue sea. I hope to impress upon each of my crew and our clients this very mindset shared by my dear friends. A day on the water should be a day away from all your cares, all your worries; even when the fishing isn’t as good as you had hoped; even when the visibility isn’t as clear as you anticipated.  And, above all, when things don’t go according to plan, remember the big picture. My hope is that you too can pause your race and embrace the present, as well.