Row Your Own Boat

Last Update: July 16, 2020

So Ive been struggling lately...

As many of you know I have a son who is a tennis player, and pre-covid we would travel the world for him to play internationally... he has done so well that he has achieved his first life goal of getting a tennis and academic scholarship to a D1 school in the USA.

But then along came Covid.... We have everything set up except for the F1 visa. We had appointments but sadly they have been cancelled and we have to wait until the consulate in London opens again. Very frustrating and stressful, especially as it may mean deferring until January. Nothing I can do you would say, well yes there is nothing but that doesnt stop me stressing and along with the toll the lockdown has had on us in the UK and the stress my landlord from Spain has put on me, I am feeling rather fragile and I decided to hand over this problem to my husband. I was feeling rather weak about doing this until my son said, being strong is also realising when you have got to the end of the road with something and handing the issue on.

My boy is amazing... he is very stoical, very 'control the controllables' which definitely comes into business too... Controlling what you can about your business and letting go on the things you can't..

He told me a story...

You are in a boat, which represents your familylife, your goals and dreams. Your oars are your energy, drive, determination, attitude and your compass sums up the person you are and those around you.

You are constantly going down the river, but you always have your back to the direction you are travelling in so you can never see where you are going, so cannot control what will happen ahead of you but you will always see what has happened. Storms will come, river rapids, waterfalls. They come whether you have a strong boat or not but your family, support system, belief in yourself, your internal fight (your oar strength) and your compass. If you are always on a path you dont want, check your compass.

Most people stop rowing during a storm, they chip away at the boat, lose an oar, not fix their compass.

You must keep rowing and focus on that. Learn from the present, the rapids you are in, the waterfall and let go of the urge to see where you are trying to go. The future doesnt help you right now in the present. Let the river take you.

My boy loves American Football... I know you guys just call it football but we have football in the UK that you call soccer... so he loves American Football, can discuss with you everythying and anything about college teams. He bought a toy for his niece and called it Duvreney The Dragon after the quaterback of the Longhorns....

So he reads a lot and the head coach of Minnesota State - PJ Fleck uses this analogy with his team, he has turned the team round and my boy expects they will win a national championship. He has an insane amount of energy.

I hope this analogy helps you control the controllables.

Ive not been able to do much work on my website since my granddaughter arrived in Finland I am helping her, so I control what i can and let go of the rest... for now. Next week Im back to the UK and I can get back to normal.

Have a good day and remember, row your boat in the present. s

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FKelso Premium
Yes, you are right...stay present and control what you can control. Let the rest go. You can't change it anyway. No sense stressing about it.

How easy that is to say -- but, believe me, I do understand. We often stress about the uncontrollables and just wear ourselves out in the process. I hope your return to normal is helpful.
Helen123 Premium
Thanks Fran, i have to remember every day though, its easy to slip back.
FKelso Premium
Keep reminding yourself. It takes 21 days to make a habit.
Helen123 Premium
That is very true... I rang the office at the US embassy today, because a new directive came out last night - National Interest Exception saying that F1 students wanting a visa may be able to get this NIE and be able to go,.. but the embassy said no... I calmly carried on paddling my boat.
gnoose Premium
Your son is forward thinking and wise for his age Helen, you are proud of him as is evidenced in your writing. Oft times, I've learned that my young ones, (not so young these days), have a wisdom that astounds me. Good post today, thanks for sharing.

Helen123 Premium
That’s the thing.. they’re so wise, looking through younger eyes. I guess whatever your age, we can learn from each other. He really helped me.
Talk2Ray Premium
That is a great analogy to remember Helen. This is probably the hardest time to adapt for our generation. Keep hoping and rowing.
Thanks for sharing.
Helen123 Premium
Thanks Ray, I think you are right. We have never had to behave this way, have our freedom controlled. Goes against everything you feel.
Claudiojuan Premium
I am lucky to also have a great mother like you. Both are worthy of my fullest admiration.
I really liked the history of the boat.
I think that is how our lives go.
I advise you to take your much-deserved rest.
Don't forget about yourself.
Take care.
Thanks Helen!
Helen123 Premium
Thankyou Claudio! I do forget about myself sometimes. I think because I come from Yorkshire (county in the UK) we are known for being very practical and just getting on with things and I do that but I think it is wise to occasionally take stock of yourself.
Joes946 Premium
He’ll get it done Helen.
Helen123 Premium
Thankyou Joe, I know he will get there, the timescale isn't important.