For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice – no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service.

~ John Burroughs

A couple of seemingly unrelated events have got me thinking…

The first was a dream, on Friday night, a ‘concrete’ dream.  It was a very innocent kind of dream, one that found me wandering around Eileen as a completed boat. The boys bunks were installed; the table was set for a meal; the day bed a cosy book-lined nook; the windows thrown open and the boat inlanding purposefully…

It all seemed so tangible that I woke up genuinely excited and then, almost in the same moment, the optimism and excitement turned to disappointment when reality dawned and I knew the boat wasn’t as I’d dreamed it at all.

The second was whilst watching Kevin McCloud’s series Man Made Home. It struck me that, although I was enjoying the programme, the more Kevin got done, the more guilty I became. Not guilty because I was sat on my backside drinking a glass of wine, watching a wealthy and influential designer buy a piece of Somerset idyll and build an off-grid shed to relax in, but guilty because I wasn’t getting on with my own project ‘Project Eileen’.

Guilt and disappointment are not the best of feelings to wake up to. Both are a consequence of my lack of patience. If I’m to rid myself of that feeling, I’ve got to ‘cut myself some slack’, and recognise that I simply don’t have the resources that a Kevin McCloud can draw upon – after all Channel 4 aren’t backing ‘Project Eileen’ (I wish!!!). Nor do I have McCloud’s ability to source a seemingly endless supply of hugely talented blokes possessing arcane skills that vary from hand-forming oak shingles to splitting timber with explosives. No, I have to learn to be more patient, and realise that I’m taking part in a ‘long game’ when it comes to our renovation project.

The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.

~ Ralph Marston

I have to come to terms with the fact that work commitments, family life, lack of funds, and distance from the boat all combine to slow the renovation of Eileen down to a snail’s pace; and I’ve got to learn to enjoy each small step for what they are – little pieces of progress.

Attention and focus and patience can take a sneeze and turn it into a page from a diary. It can take a packet of Munchies and turn it into a museum. 

~ James Ward

Each brush stroke; each sketch; each idea; each conversation; each micro-voyage; and yes, each visit to the chandlery really do act incrementally to move our project forward.

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.

~ Carl Jung

And, patience is no bad thing eh? People who rush projects do so at their peril. As the owners of this (below) former ‘Grand Design’ project would testify. They found, to their huge cost, both financial and emotional, that a headlong and underfunded charge for completion can end in utter failure.

Or a boat cast adrift, vandalised and unloved…

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.

~ Napoleon Hill


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