Tai chi Y2D155: the tide doesn’t wait

It’s getting easier to do ten push-ups every morning. It’s still not easy. But it’s easier.

This morning I didn’t do tai chi. High tide. I got my kayak in the water, and took a short jaunt; and went for a walk with my mother, instead.

It weighed on me all day. I had one thing to do today, and it took me until 5:30 in the afternoon to get it done. And it was not done as well as it could have been.

The tide doesn’t wait. I mean, consider: every day, there are two high tides, 12 hours apart. Between them, there are two low tides, 12 hours apart. They rotate around the day, in accordance with the motions of the moon. You can think of them as the ebb and flow of the ocean — because that’s what they are. And they’re fixed patterns. Around here, they’ll be an hour later every day. Nothing changes that; if you want to go swimming at the beach, you go at high tide. The beach will be crowded — more of it is underwater, and thus it’s not good for sunbathing — but it’s a shorter walk from the car park to the ocean at the end of the lane (total Neil Gaiman reference there; did you notice?).

But the tide can’t be ignored. You can work around it, or with it; you can stay up on the main roads and pretend the ocean isn’t there. But sooner or later the ocean returns, and you have to cope with it —put off the tai chi until later in the day, because the ocean is right there, and you have to deal with it. Sometimes that means grabbing the baby and fleeing to higher ground; sometimes it’s putting the kayak in the water.

But don’t mistake your supervisor’s challenges for deep ocean coming knocking at your door. I mean, if the tide is high, go surf or kayak or sail or swim. Cope with the waves lapping at your feet or your chin, and celebrate it. But do the work of mortals later, even something as insistent and persistent as “stuff for work”. Trust me, it will be there when you get back. If you get back — it is ocean, after all.

But at last, tai chi. And so it was done. Meanwhile, I’m at home one more morning, and there’s another high tide early in the day. Time to put the boat in the water before I head for home.

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