Living in a Time Bubble

By Anja Kruska | Adventure

Time Bubble

Living in a Time Bubble

I am living in a time bubble: 4 hours on watch, 8 hours off. It doesn?t matter what time of day. Waking up at 4 o’clock in the morning, at 8 o’clock just after breakfast or at midnight when waking up can be quite tough. The dog watch. You learn quickly why it’s called that. Sometimes the weather is grim, blasting cold wind, waves dashing over board or rain “sandblasting” my face (natural facelift ;-)) and I wish to be back in my cosy bunk. After some days at sea I learn to accept this because the reward comes double-back on other days: when I get on deck into a star sparkling night. When under full sail the Southern Cross is my compass. Or when the full moon shines across the calm sea. Then it is a dream to be awake at this hour, and being out there.

My life is set on the ship around meal times and the watches.

I am in team Red: thirteen people of different nationalities, who had never met before. After us, team White, then team Blue. Steering and keeping us on the right course for four hours. Looking out for small icebergs or containers that are not detected by the radar, we don’t want to play ‘Titanic’. We hoist the sails, or take them down whenever the wind is changing. Four hours we are together responsible as a team for the other 40 people on board. They sleep, cook or do other things. We go for it, if it’s sunny, cold and windy, it may be raining or the sea is dashing across the ship.

With heavy weather steering the sailing ship is a challenge. They’re counting on me. There is always the captain or first mate taking care in the background, but they only check once in a while. On the rudder, I am the one holding the ship on course. While the ship moves up and down with big waves coming from behind, lifting us up, rolling under it and finally lifting the bow, I get a big smile on my face. This is fun, it makes my heart jump. Wind, waves, all sails are on and catching the strong wind. The fantastic ship and me being one with the elements and flying ahead. Playfully the colour of the sea is changing from very dark blue to an amazing turquoise at the crest of the waves. The ocean glistening in the sunlight. A whale suddenly appearing out of nowhere, right beside us. Blowing and showing his back, and then gone again. Wow. Isn’t this amazing?

Day after day after day I don?t see any ship or land.

The moment of the day is a huge iceberg. Majestically appearing on the horizon and turning up as big as a complete big-city apartment block. This really amazes me. We are living in a bubble, forgetting time and date. Sometimes somebody asks me which day it is. No clue. Does it matter? Nature is our rhythm.

When I am writing this, I briefly pop out of my bubble and realise that at home my life is also organised in a bubble. There, my business is dictating my daily life. The other bubble I live in. Today I asked myself: is that the right way of doing it? Is living around work the way of living? It is very different when nature is giving the pace of daily life. One day, we encountered very strong headwinds. The captain just decided it was okay to take down all sails and let us be blown by the wind. Was that a setback? Yes. We floated 12 nautical miles backwards to Argentina. Could we have fought against it? Yes! Putting up some sails and tacking against the wind. This might have kept our position or even gained a mile or so. But, at what cost? Tacking a Tallship is nothing like tacking a 6m dinghy. The whole watch team permanently on deck and sometimes even 2 teams. Becoming wet and tired. Hardly any time for sleep. More risk of damage to the sails or even people. Our captain knew that the meagre gain was not worth the risk and chose to let us float.

Do I let myself float in my business bubble when necessary?

I think much less, feeling often obliged to act, to do, to continue something. Standing still is ‘wasting’ time. I have a plan, I want to carry it out because that is what should lead to results. But focussing on your plan and getting on with your tasks, you sometimes forget that also in the business world there are moments where outside forces run against your plan. Then you have to choose: either you go for it and fight against it, or you consider what the cost would be, in terms of not only money but also time, energy, goodwill, frustration etc. Then you might decide to let go and float – at least for that very moment – and concentrate on something else that will benefit your business more.

So, the crucial thing is to be aware of the situation and the forces around you. Take note of them regularly. Learn the laws of business, accept the natural setbacks and adapt your plans to the forces affecting your business. Then living in your business bubble can make you as happy as I am at the moment in my time bubble on the Antarctic Ocean!

How about you? Please, share your favourite time bubble!

  • Gesuino says:

    Wow what a great story/stories, you are telling here Anja! Reading it, just makes me feel and know that this is the story you need to tell 🙂 And yes…time bubbles or other bubbles are also known to me. Sometimes I enter them deliberately, when I need to become creative again, but sometimes I realize that I am moving around in a bubble without even knowing it. These are the moments that life is telling me that I need to change.
    Wish you lots of adventures and hope to read more about them. xx

    • Anja Kruska says:

      Ciao Gesuino,
      Thank you my good friend and yes I really love to share these stories.
      That is a very nice observation that a time bubble indicates that you need to take a change in life. I experienced being in a time bubble gives a lot of peace of mind and therefore a clear view on things.

  • Judith says:

    My favourite bubble is my creative bubble … when I get on an idea and (usually) just write and write bouncing ideas around and coming up with brilliant things.

    Time flies by I often forget to eat because I’m so in the zone.

    Too many times I’m trying to do too much in a day so maybe sitting back more often might be good.

    Love your stories xx

    • Anja Kruska says:

      Hey Judith,
      Thank you for sharing your favourite bubble. Reading your comment makes me think that we often get caught in the overlaps of our time/creative/fun or work bubbles.
      We are to busy to allow ourselves to lean in deeply into a bubble like you in your creative one and to surface later on with a wonderful satisfied feeling.
      Let’s stop overlapping too many bubbles at the same time. Lean into just one at the time!

  • Ulla says:

    Hey Anja, it is really great to do, what you do right now. Step out of the daily routine, inquiring back your own rhythm, following nature.
    Realizing that you do need to think about what is life and what is living. Re-think your own needs, realize what resources you’ve got, feel the nature of yourself, find yourself, trust yourself.
    Thanks for writing all this. It’s good to be part of your journey and I can literally see your big fullfilled smile, watching the stars, greeting the whale, care for the icebergs.
    Look forward to your next story. :*

    • Anja Kruska says:

      Haha, thank you adventurous Ulla!
      Sometimes you go through life-changing adventures together as us in Lesotho.
      And then there are moments in life you have to do the re-thinking of life on your own. In any case challenges and opportunities are helping to accelerate the process to find and trust yourself.

  • Ailien says:

    Oh wow Anja, what an amazing post. Tears in my eyes. Tears because of the truth of your message, and how it makes me take a step back and think about how I think and act in my business. But also because of the beauty of your writing. You have found your voice. That is a lesson in itself, how much impact you have when we are ourselves, and not mimicking other successful entrepreneurs.
    Your writing lets me be on the adventure with you. And I am so grateful for that. I needed a bit of adventure in my life right now!

    • Anja Kruska says:

      Hey Ailien,
      I feel humbled and honored by your openness, thank you.
      Being ourselves and sharing our story is of real importance.
      Please, let me know if I can help you in any way.

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