One of the big differences between taking a dinghy out for half an hour on a rowing lake, and setting off across an ocean in a cruise-ship is that in one you have to take your own sandwiches, while in the other, food to suit all tastes and appetites is available on tap, around the clock.
Another difference, of course, is the question of direction.
In the rowing boat you’ll spend thirty minutes going round and round in circles, while the cruise-ship generally has a destination in its sights, even if after a long voyage it too takes you back where you started.
I’m sure most of us go through periods of life when it feels as though we’re on the rowing lake, with limited horizons and the feeling we’re getting nowhere.
Perhaps there will be other times, however, when life seems to cut through the water like a sleek liner.
It gives us a strong sense of direction, and feels as if we’re making continual progress towards our goals.
It’s not always much fun being on the rowing lake, but remembering that things would feel different if you were on a cruise-ship might actually help.
Even on a little lake, you can set yourself goals (which apart from the food, seems to be one of the principal differences).
Could you make five complete circuits in your half-hour? Try it.
Perhaps you’ll treat yourself and your companions to an ice-cream when you disembark?
Maybe you could build up a head of steam by rowing fast, then see how far the boat will glide with the oars out of the water?
Setting yourself small objectives can help on days when bigger ones feel impossible.
When it seems as though there’s little to look forward to, why not create one or two modest goals of your own, even if you have to make them up?