I’m back from an intense fishing season, and I must say, life is feeling pretty sweet. I’m sitting in a comfortable chair, drinking a glass of wine, and typing at my laptop with properly moisturized hands. Perhaps most importantly, I’m not wearing raingear. I’ve also just gotten the news regarding another positive trade review for WORDLESS, which I’ll be able to share soon, and everything feels pretty marvelous leading up to my book launch.
None of these things that feel good right now are terribly spectacular in and of themselves. But I think this is why, sometimes, it’s good to feel really not good. It makes you appreciate, with exquisite clarity, the moments that don’t suck.
Not that fishing totally sucks. I’ve told you, I love it. I’ve also told you that it can be really hard. This season was hard as a kick in the teeth because of the schedule: we fished two tides per day, which adds up to most hours in the day, for about two weeks. Sleeping for 3 – 4 hours a day—broken up, even—for this length of time could really get to anybody. It would be hard enough if you had to be awake that long while warm, dry and not exerting yourself, but try being cold, wet and aching all over at the same time, which you most always are during the peak of the fishing season, and you’ve got a recipe for some pretty intense exhaustion. Like, bone-deep exhaustion. Nay, soul-deep exhaustion. The kind of exhaustion where you wake up from your 45 minute nap at 4 AM and question all of the life decisions that have led you to this point. The kind of exhaustion that makes you want to throw in the towel and declare to the world that you quit, it (the world) sucks, and you never want to open your eyes again.
But I didn’t quit. I survived, and it’s all okay. Not only that, without those miniature, miserable black-holes to pepper my summer, this chair would not feel nearly as comfortable. This shirt that I’m wearing would not feel nearly as warm and dry. This white wine would not be nearly as refreshing (especially since it’s pretty cheap wine, as these things go). And this is even several weeks after experiencing such deep exhaustion. You can imagine what I felt right after. The shower I took after sweating, getting fish-slimed, and not showering for two weeks was, literally, the best shower of my life. I’m pretty sure it was nearly the best damned shower ever, in all of time. The first full six hours of sleep I had, coming off of that heinous schedule, were more restful than twelve hours at any other time. My body needed sleep more than it needed food or water, or practically air, and so never have I slept more deeply. My first real meal, boat spaghetti with canned tomatoes and Italian dried salami, was better than the blue cheese and pear gnocchi I had at a phenomenal restaurant in Florence.
I feel pretty fortunate, really. Because I got to have the best shower, the best sleep, and the best meal of my life, and experience such joy for many days afterward… why? Because I put up with a tough time.
So, here’s to the moments that suck. *raises her wineglass*