"Personal Buoyancy"

Having just read the most captivating article in the January 2014 issue of Maine magazine about Dr. Edison Liu, President and CEO of Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor, I have latched onto and borrowed his term for his unique theory on “doing good” -- personal buoyancy.

Now picture a lobster pot bobbing on the frigid winter waves or a large red metal buoy in Casco Bay that the island ferries navigate around. Their buoyancy allows them to be fluid, going up and down with the tides, not rigidly cemented. They go up, they go down, again and again.

Dr. Liu says in the article: “What’s best for you in your life? Being three feet under water or thirty feet? We each swim best when we’re buoyant. To find your personal buoyancy you have to know what your composition is and what equipment you have that allows you to swim.”

At middle age, I’ve become too rigid. Past experiences have begun to weigh me down, and I’m carrying them as though they were the truth. When I was young, I was more the sponge – taking it all in, trying to determine the truth. I was learning and growing. After so many years, I’ve come to some conclusions…..when I think perhaps I shouldn’t have. I know now they’re not necessarily true.

I should remain the sponge. I should let some of the weight of these beliefs go and try to return to the innocence of the novice. The novice bobbed along the waves – fluid, with an ability to bounce back quickly, forgive, change course. The novice had a demeanor of buoyancy….and hope, optimism.

My 2014 resolution has morphed. I now seek buoyancy – knowing what I’m composed of and what my equipment is so that I can float…and ultimately, fly.

Photo: Perkins Cove, Ogunquit, Maine

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