Build Your Boat

Jethro Gibbs a character in the TV show NCIS builds a boat in his basement with no other door except the one he climbs down from.

How does he get it out? Well that’s one of the mysteries of the show.

In the show, Gibbs is a Navy cop who leads a team in catching murders and terrorists, so you can imagine the stress that he goes through on a daily basis. His way of relieving stress is building boats in his basement by hand. No power tools what so ever. This gets him grounded and focused. There is just something about the feel of the wood, the smell of saw dust, and the feeling of simply working on something. So after whatever goes on at work during the day, he comes home, goes down to his basement and builds his boat.

Though we may not have the same stresses as a Navy cop does, we all have our own personal struggles. Piled on top of it are the chaos that surrounds us, the virus that has taken plenty of lives and has become more of a political issue than a health issue, add on whatever is going on with our personal lives, health, relationships, job and so on. It seems that there is no end to the madness. If it goes unchecked, we can easily spiral down and loose it.

Sure there are things we can control and problems we can actually do something about but when it is beyond our purview or the idea to solve it has not come yet, one way to get back our grip on things is to build our boat. It has been proven that when we get busy and focus on something else, something that we can make or build from scratch, it alleviates our tensions, elevates our mood, and even sparks creativity which in turn helps us solve what ever it is we are mulling over. And one way to get a grip is to build our boat. Of course I don’t mean a literal boat, but if you have the space and the means, why not! What I mean is take on a project. Something a little bigger than a weekend activity. Something that will take a bit more time and patience. It may even be something that we totally do not know anything about. The mere effort of actually learning something new is a bonus.

Writing perhaps? Start a journal, a dream log, a book, short stories, songs?

It could also be learning to play a musical instrument. There is so much stuff that goes on into playing a musical instrument that some say it extends ones life by 5 to 10 years.

There is also gardening. It is perhaps one of the most under rated form of therapy but it encompasses all of life. It teaches us that everything has its season. Gently lets us know that we may give our best but there is still no guarantee that the seed will sprout nor survive the elements long enough for it to bear fruit, and that we have to let go and let God. It forces us to be in touch with the soil that literally grounds us while our exchange of breaths with the plants reminds us that we are all connected with nature and the universe.

If old fashioned writing, music and gardening are not your thing, then you can also hop on the band wagon of creating content for podcasts and Youtube. It’s a slippery slope though, the process of creating is challenging but the sensitive public may grill you for the most idiotic stuff. In such an endeavor, there is a built in tendency to crave for validation so it might do more harm than good depending on your self esteem. When the focus shifts on gaining followers and likes instead of the creating part of it, then it becomes another hole that we got to climb out of.

Find what floats your boat and go do it. Pardon the pun. Just enjoy the process.

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