Getting Practical On a Boat

IRENE on the dock in Chesapeake, Virginia.

PSA: This post includes cussing. (I got you, Amanda ;-O)

I heard someone talking about business recently and the speaker referenced an expression, “Never leave money on the table”. Life hack question, ”How come we leave so much joy on the table”?

Sometimes I have panic attacks. Not hyperventilating melt downs, but heart racing moments and big emotions. Sometimes it’s just straight up fear. Now, I was taught and guided through ”therapy” and ”education” to ameliorate these events by breathing deeply, doing quiet meditation, going inside myself, journaling, repeating certain mantras, visualizing beautiful things. Basically, get real serious. But, the more I live and the more I experience moments that induce anxiety, focusing on these strategies is more likely to lead me to getting stuck in a ”down” space. What I learned from life on IRENE is that in these moments, I need the energy of UPliftment! UP energy. To the point that I have actually asked David to tell me to “Lighten UP” when he sees me going into a cognitive death spiral. It’s helpful.

You know what else is helpful? Getting shit out. Get it all out where you can see it so it doesn’t get stuck in ya. Breathing like a champion breather. Saying the things. Moving the body. Going outside. Dancing, singing, walking, laughing, creating. How’d we all get so repressed and serious? It reminds me of a certain radio program I used to love, but lately, not so much. The hushed voices and whisper talking just seems pretentious, like some exclusive bull shit. I mean it’s difficult enough to hear things clearly, let alone objectively, when the sphincter muscle is getting squeezed all the way up the throat and out the ears.

For some context on this BETHESHIP soapbox, today I had a mini meltdown as we were entering a narrow, shallow channel, in Norfolk, VA. One of the green channel markers, clearly on all of our charts and software, was just friggin’ missing (same place that another piece of software showed excessive shoaling). I shifted IRENE into neutral and sat in the channel. I froze. David yelled at me, “Just steer the boat”. I yelled back, “You just steer the fucking boat”. Silence. Moment passes. We float by the spot and I let it go, and I laughed. I laughed out of relief. I laughed at myself for freaking out and yelling something kind of mean. I laughed at the absurdity of fake fighting over real shit that could benefit from a calm demeanor and a trouble-shooting conversation.

We could have walked away from the proverbial table after I let the F bomb fly, but we didn’t. There was too much joy on the table. Like, a new bay (Willoughby Bay) we’d never seen before, sea gulls flying low, ships, tugs, the end to a long day on the water, calm seas around the corner as we became protected from a strong southeast wind, and more… The joy of preparing a good meal. The joy of writing to express shit. The joy of napping. The joy of listening to music. The joy of being safe. Each one worth pulling up a seat at the joy table.


Perhaps you were taught serious and reverent reflections such as, “May you be happy. May you be well. May you be safe. May you be peaceful and at ease.” (Author unknown) It is lovely. There are times when prolonged practice of deep meditation and introspection are important. At this time however; I believe we need an unstuck, more active, empowering, and loving mantra that we can embody. I offer you this: May you move yourself into higher and higher frequencies. May you be joyful and uplifted. May you be attuned to love. May you move your ass like there’s no tomorrow. (Me)

Postcard from North Hero: Beautiful Leda turned 10 xoxoxoxoxoxo

5 thoughts on “Getting Practical On a Boat

  1. kathyyost01

    Love it!  It is poison to keep all that high emotion bottled up!  You go girl fire her up grab that energy♥️♥️Glad you are safe, dinner nutrition good, you and David enjoy a safe harbor. I love you think of you often throughout the day.  Stay safe, know you are loved♥️♥️ 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

  2. Wendy McGrath

    Rock on river riders!!! You definitely have a book in ya 😉 I love this post so much and omg, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that gorgeous little painting 😍

    1. betheship Post author

      Thank you ♥️👆🏽 Today we leave Norfolk. The wind is finally subsiding. Heading up the Chesapeake. I’m going to text you with our stops and dates asap (maybe tonight, Saturday night). Have an awesome day 🌈

  3. Wendy Hobbins McGrath

    I just read this and thought it might resonate:

    “So let’s not talk about theories or concepts. I just know that joy is the what and the jazz of unscripted living is the how. What we love doesn’t seem to matter. It’s all a holy excuse to love the world and ourselves back together.”
    Mark Nepo, Things That Join The Sea And The Sky p. xv


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