This last week, my husband, Doug, and I went to one of our favorite yearly get-a-ways. The place is called Roaring Gold Camp in Pine Grove, California. Most of the four days were spent floating on the river. One day as we were lounging in our cozy, yellow inflatable, we watched a group of 10 year-old boys playing on a big rubber raft. One boy sat on the front of the raft steering the boat with a long paddle. He wore a blue cowboy style hat on his head which he called his pirate hat. The other four boys were crowded into this green-army raft participating in the pirate themed game. One of the boys in the boat yells,” Abandon Ship!” and the boys one-by-one jumped out of the boat into the chilly water. The boy who was steering the boat says, ” I can’t abandon ship , I have my hat on!”. That phase from a ten year-old starting me thinking about how life is for many of us, especially during this time.
You are paddling your boat down the river of life. The water is choppy at times. The boat gets crowded with people’s needs, job demands, financial worries, health concerns, and your boat gets harder and harder to steer. In the back of your mind you think, “Abandon Ship!”, but then you remember that you have your hat on. This hat may represent responsibility, loyalty, integrity, image, self-esteem or whatever else that keeps you from jumping in the water. You realize that if you abandon ship, your boat will be at the mercy of the river. If you were to jump out, you might ruin your hat and it will be a lot harder to get back in control of the boat once your out of the boat.
So hang in there captain! Although there are choppy waters ahead, it is better to be in the boat safe and dry then to be out of the boat treading water and going no where.
Before you abandon ship, remember your hat.