Minimalism, Old Diary

A Guy Channeling Greer Garson

“If your ship hasn’t come in, sometimes you have to row out to it.”

Greer GarsonThose words are attributed to Greer Garson at a point in time when her career was in transition.  The concept worked for her, but is it a universal panacea for all awaited ships?

If you spend any time on Facebook you’ll notice all sorts of slogans and sayings and quotations.  On and off Facebook we American have causes of all sorts and campaigns. Equal Rights, Women’s Rights, Gay Rights, Animal Rights… etc., etc., etc. We are investigating all manner of cures: for cancer, for accident prevention, for air quality. We throw ourselves into everything.  That is, we throw ourselves into everything for a moment.  Too often we think that we can fix something just by talking about it, or by pasting a pink ribbon on a car, or quoting a saying.  As a nation we seem to have a short attention span. And certainly if you look at Congress we are currently having a hard time committing to do lasting good for all our citizens.

Historically, one might think that the U.S. was and continues to be populated by the most dissatisfied malcontents on earth. Our predecessors came to this world because they were dissatisfied with where they lived and the circumstances of their lives there — and we haven’t changed much.  From Columbus in 1492, or the Pilgrims in 1620, we still lust after change: anywhere and everywhere. If we cannot achieve it here we intrude on countries around the world with our ideas and ideals so as to start them on the same path of discontent.

Getting Back to Garson

Greer Garson

But I wander from my point.  And I HAVE been thinking about her comment.

If I didn’t know better I would have thought that Garson lived in the days of GPS and radar.  Today we go out and pursue any outcome we want because we think we know where we are.  But, in the old days sailors regularly monitored their location by compass and sextant because they weren’t so sure where they were. And it’s important to know where you are when you’re out on the waves sailing from point to point.  There are currents and winds and shallows — it doesn’t do to run aground on a reef or capsize in a blow. Today it’s easier to be a sailor, or a pilot (using radar). Heck, even cars have GPS.

Maritime Radar

Maritime Radar

We in the U.S. don’t think the same way about monitoring our course. There’s just this assumption (whether nation, or corporation, or family, or individual)  that we can do anything we want, and we go about our lives as if that was true.  I can’t help think about the slogan the Woman’s movement has been using: that women can “Have it All.”  The reference is only a passing comment, but without antagonizing all the women in the world, I’m not sure it’s possible for any human to have it all.  Reality doesn’t have anything to do with popular ideas;  concepts which millions have dedicated themselves to achieving.  And perhaps achieving heartbreak along the road.

Sexton and Compass Wallp TLG

Sextant and Compass

For Peg and I it’s a simpler situation. We kind of like the old ways!  We like checking our course from time to time with our version of a compass and sextant.  We’re ordinary people.  Don’t think of us harshly if I admit that our compass and sextant are (in part) our bank account and our health.  We always make plans based on what we can afford and whether we are able to use or do what we are planning.

At present, the boat on which we are waiting to arrive happens to be a sold school.  No secret about that, if you are a regular reader.  What does Greer Garson have to do with that, or with us?

It’s simple.  I’ve decided that Greer Garson isn’t always right.  Sometimes rowing doesn’t help. We could simplify the point using this graphic.headed in the wrong direction

People of modest means can’t go around living two lives.  We can afford RV’ing.  We can afford our school and the life we have here.  Affording them both at the same time, now that’s a different story — so we have temporarily “holed up” in Cudahy hoping we could do something to expedite the sale.

I’ve been wondering if we cold row harder as far as the home sale.

  • Could we fix something to make the house more sale able?
  • Could we lower the price and get a quicker sale?
  • What else could we do?
  • Or can we do anything?

We’ve been talking about this among ourselves for a year.  The biggest single factor in our mind — and it’s been mostly reinforced by both Real Estate Agents we’ve worked with has been this:  price is important but more important is finding the buyer who needs a property as unique as ours.   What we cannot change, what we cannot do anything about is the fact that this is a very unique property and it will take a really unique buyer.

On the other side of the coin is how we fill our time while waiting.  It was a hard choice to decide to come back to Cudahy in the first place.  We have an agreement with our family so that the house would be looked after in our absence — we don’t HAVE to be here.  We could be off in the RV.  But RV’ing adds to the cost of living. And there’s the whole thing of haivng downsized; do we go out and buy more things for a time indeterminate until we sell — doing that seems like giving up our dream of mobility and it’s certainly an added expense.

None of this means we’re upset or despondent.  I’m just talking through the realities of why we are still here and why we’re still talking about all this nonsense.  There are things you can change.  There are things you cannot change.

And that’s why Greer Garson was an actress and not a guidance counsellor.

Our solution is simple.  Do what we can with what we have.  Enjoy each day.