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Published: September 9th 2011
I had a conversation the other day with someone about manic depression. They had worked with someone who suffered from this and was not medicated. The story told of the ups and downs of his mental state and I couldn’t help but wonder how this puzzle of ins and outs related to my own life.
My daily existence is up and down, never paced evenly and I fear this becomes passive aggressively addictive. Not that my state of mind changes, I am always happy. But my state of life changes, speeds like a roller-coaster and then slows like a snail.
My rollercoaster had me in Moorea a few weekends ago. An unauthorized partner in crime and myself snuck away to relish the pace the island offers. No real plan in mind – just simply to enjoy. Our beach bungalow over looked Cooks Bay, sitting on the patio you could see nothing but water, mountains and beach. The silence of being somewhere simple – no city noise, no hustle and bustle made me feel adequately calm inside. The grounds offered no fancy pools, no room service and no restaurants. You came with what you had and who you were with
and your night was humbly yours. Ironically offering nothing gives you more.
As dusk fell time passed and the moon lit the sky silhouetting the mountains and making for a picturesque backdrop. A night cruise on our scooter along the coast brought us to dinner on the water overlooking a bay of stingray.
A glass of red and the body warms craving for a bit more.
A word was spoken – surreal – and no other word would do it justice. I mean this in so many ways. It’s a spec of life, a moment in time when you gaze at your surroundings and feel lighter, both mentally and physically. Our daily lives consist of so much worry, planning, and rules. That spec I am talking about depletes of all negative emotion and flows effortlessly. I do not know how else to explain this “UP” for lack of a better word, other than a moment I wish could last longer. A moment you could freeze in time and go back to if you desire. Maybe it isn’t reality or maybe it could be. But either way the clock continues to tick and deep down I know the
rollercoaster is hitting its plateau.
Monday morning and the snail shows its face.
My first task on the work to do list is to bleach used toilet brushes in preparation for the 2-week charter we have coming up. Is this my reality? I can’t help but daydream about the weekend I just had and wonder how the balance is so off.
The snail isn’t about pace. The workweek is busy and keeps me running 8 hours a day. On charter I find myself on an even longer schedule. The snail would be considered the “DOWN”. When your back to the reality of a regular workweek and your daydreams consist of everything but the task at hand.
I know it’s the actual work I do. I am a glorified maid. My 19-hour days on charter include everything from scrubbing toilets to serving meals to pretty much saying YES to anything the guests or owner on board ask for. But the addiction or the gravitational force that keeps me here is the “UP”.
The down is what offers the up and this I fear becomes comforting. I get through the charters and trips and workweeks because I
know or feign for the weekend rollercoaster that I realize is coming; and always seems to save me a seat.
This weekend I find myself sitting in a gorgeous hotel room with a panoramic view of Tahiti and Moorea. The sun is setting, a breeze is blowing by as my hair sways to and fro. I sip on a bottle of red and the pace is slow and calm. This moment is an UP driven from the past DOWN - every roller-coaster has hills and I am at the peak.
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