Knowing When to Run
THREE WEEKS AT SEA
I spent three weeks at sea in October of 2005 on the Norwegian Sun (NCL) cruise ship, and I spent most of that time in the atrium of the ship. The ship had sailed out of Houston Texas right after Hurricane Wilma had come through the Caribbean and spent some time over the island of Cozumel where we were headed. So we spent most of that time at sea. And we spent most of that time in the atrium. For, on that ship, at that time, it was the only place we could get wireless Internet service. I enjoy a good sea day here and there, but we didn’t actually land anywhere but Houston for the first week. And I learned that the cruise staff had a distorted view of Americans in part, but Texans specifically. And like all great historical lessons, this one came in the form of music and song.
While there, we experienced the occasional relief of a band or two. The cruise staff played the famous song “The Gambler,” sung by Kenny Rogers, over and over and over and over again. I enjoy the song as much as the next guy or gal, but when you can’t escape the song for a period of three weeks, you really want to get up and walk away. But, you can’t.
STUCK AT SEA
We were stuck at sea, except every seventh day when we would get off the ship in Houston. On the third week of the cruise, we were finally able to get off the ship in Cozumel, Mexico and witness the devastation. It seemed like that song has stuck with me since that time, on that ship, on that sea, during that hurricane season. And, from time to time, I take the time and play it again and reminisce about that experience and the poor people on that island that lived through the experience of Hurricane Wilma.
WE COULD RUN
I used to sail on cruise ships during hurricane season because it was less expensive, and, like the prize at the bottom of a cereal box, you never knew what you were going to get. I even survived a night on the Holland America Zaandam in a mini-hurricane off the coast of Nicaragua. But that’s another story for a different day. The ships can tell when hurricanes are approaching, normally, and the ships will run away or skirt the direct paths of the waves. But the following trip can make for exciting times and rough seas. The captains just knew when to walk away, or, in this case, run…
I won’t bore you with all of the lyrics of the song “The Gambler,” as I want to focus on this part specifically; you can read more about the history of the song at the link listed below. “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, Know when to fold ’em, Know when to walk away, And know when to run.”
MY TWILIGHT YEARS
As I approach the twilight years, and enjoy more of the experiences around me, I find that it is much easier to know when to walk away. Like many people, I have a growing list of things that I’d still like to do if I’m granted the heart beats and time, but the list of things I definitely don’t want to do continues to grow and become more defined. I’ve been adding items to this list, and it’s usually for one of these reasons.
- Not enough energy.
- Not enough desire.
- Already done it, and once was enough.
- I’ve found better ways to generate pain, that are more fulfilling.
- Doesn’t help anyone else.
- Waste of time.
- Better things to do.
I’ve refined the process I go through when making decisions as to how to occupy my time. I don’t spend or invest much time just idling along at low speed. I tend to always be up to something or doing something. I’m attempting to redeem the time. And, eventually, I’ll slow down more, forget more things, rest more, and take it easier. Until my time is no more.
I hope I’ve helped you think more about the things, places, and people you walk away from. Sometimes, you have to know when to walk away, and you have to know when to run. I’m going to enjoy the rest of my days on this side of the soil reminiscing about times, both good and bad. And when I ascend to my home beyond the sky, and they plant my remains below the earth, I will have done my best. Feel free to follow my ramblings at the links listed below: