One of the Awkward Squad

Once, in another life, I was privileged to walk along a beach near a school, group or colony of Sea Lions. I’m not sure of the correct technical term. What intrigued me about them was how fat, clumsy and lazy they looked whilst they were on land. Of course, once they enter the water they become an almost a different species, able to swim at up to 25 miles and hour and dive to incredible depths in search of food. If we knew less about them and merely saw them on the beach we would wonder what they were all about, but once in the water their strength, agility and power are one of the wonders of nature

So many of us struggle to fit into lives for which we are ill equipped and which ask us questions to which we have no answer, leaving us, as it were, on the beach. We struggle on gamely doing our best to be useful and take care of those who look to us for support, or vanish into a world of drink drugs and oblivion, depending on our circumstances and outlook.  Events throw up different requirements . During wars many men who seemed to live obscure un noteworthy existences in peacetime can suddenly display levels of courage and initiative which mark them out as extraordinary individuals. Without that terrible event they would have passed unremarked  through the world which now applauds them for their deeds.

We are all ordinary but have the extraordinary within us. We yearn for the chance to express it and often wonder what it is anyway. Sadly many of us never find out, and it is only in unsung moments of response or attitude that this extraordinary beings shines out from within the baffled  exterior  of our every day lives.We spend years waiting for the moment or situation which will suddenly make sense of it all and us at the same time. Till then most of us struggle on, getting by on the basis of our most basic competencies.

Some of us can change a lightbulb under almost any circumstances, or fix a machine others thought beyond repair. Show patience with an individual who exasperates all others who meet them or find beauty in a desert of mundane anxieties

My purpose or function in life is not entirely clear. I have discovered that I am quite good at certain tasks and my children love me. As to rest, as with so many of us, the map of life remains largely uncharted. That being said, the voyage of discovery is intoxicating and I enjoy it. With that in mind I voyage off to greet the new year, and wish my fellow bloggers much good fortune.



About Peter Wells aka Countingducks

Trying to remember what my future is
This entry was posted in character, community, creative writing, Environment, Life, life2 and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to One of the Awkward Squad

  1. backonmyown says:

    “We are all ordinary but have the extraordinary within us.” Now that’s a magnificent thought. I think I’ll adopt it and carry it with me in the coming year. Thank you, Ducks. And I also wish you much good fortune in 2013.


  2. e says:

    “Show patience with an individual who exasperates all others who meet them or find beauty in a desert of mundane anxieties”

    I am trying! Happy New Year, Ducks….



  3. Abby says:

    I have no clue what I’m doing, but I just keep doing it anyway–mistakes and scars included. This was a great post and a great way to start off the new year, my friend. So glad that I found your words in 2012!


  4. I heard somewhere “keep on keeping on” – so I do. What else is there except to not keep on
    Keeping on?

    I once vanished into oblivion via the seduction of alcohol, a friend who assured me that if I stuck by him/her/it, all would be well. Fortunately I was able to break free and came to some sort of understanding as to what my life was about, or so I thought. I meandered contentedly along my new path of peace within recovery and suddenly slap, bang in the middle of that path hit a massive boulder which called itself MS. i now have no idea what anything is about o I just keep on keeping on.


  5. I didn’t mean to press “post comment”!! wanted to say I really enjoyed tour post! You gave me something to think about, but I’m not sure what it is yet!!

    I wish you a very peaceful new year and look forward to lots of your new posts! 🙂



  6. nelle says:

    And to you, a wonderful 2013.

    Love the sea lion story. I’ve thought this of penguins as well, so awkward in their walking, manoeuvring bullets in the water.


  7. The nice thing is that as each of us are juggling our versions of life we at least get the chance to share. Here’s to 2013, the Blogosphere and folks like yourself who not only tell it like it is but make I ponder things a while and also have a bit of a chuckle. I wish the best for you and yours for this coming year.


  8. ~~~Peter,
    you are like my own personal guru.

    I absoutley love the parallel between us and the sea lion.

    –On land, she is quite fat and awkward, yet when she swims…she’s Pavlova or Fontein or Baryishnikov!

    How brilliant. How beautiful.

    I am that sea lion.

    Love to you, dear Peter. Xx


  9. catterel says:

    Exquisitely expressed – thank you again for finding the right words and images. As yet another sea lion stranded just a little bit too far from the water, I wish you a happy new year and hope you’ll also be able to let your light shine out in 2013. (is that a cocktail of metaphors?)


  10. babs50nfab says:

    I think your pupose in life is to make us think, and laugh, and ponder llife’s oddities through your words. Keep on keepin’ on my friend! I am so looking forward to your words of wry wisdom in 2013!


  11. Caroline says:

    Finding out what “The Extraordinary” is within us is a wonderful thing to do. Something I found through the recent events life threw at me and what I now do with those who come to me for Coaching.

    It’s all there within us – the key is to unlock the door in our minds and have a look inside.

    Here’s to a special 2013


  12. Christine says:

    I’m a proud member of the awe – kward squad. Your words inspire, irritate ( in a good way ), and invoke. My cyber~space community in 2012 grew, but the intimate connections shrank. I’m deeply grateful for the connection I feel with you and a few others. Thank you 🙂


  13. Happy New Year! All the best to you in your voyage 🙂 I’m very much looking forward to reading your posts in the coming year.


  14. Happy New Year and thank you for your message 🙂 Made my day!
    I have to say that 2012 has been an amazing year for me in terms of personal growth, opportunities and love. I’m learning that even the struggles can be a thing of beauty because there is always a silver lining and it always, aways works out in the end.

    Cheers to 2013 and living ordinary lives, extraordinarily well xx


  15. Oh and I forgot to mention – my new site goes live in a couple of days, if you want to come and visit me at my fresh new diggs –


  16. Here here! Lovely thoughts. As others have mentioned – your great line – the idea that we all have the extraordinary within us is a wonderful way to view ourselves and those around us. I think you have found your extraordinary niche by making us think, maybe see a different perspective, and with your positive outlook. Happy New Year!


  17. winsomebella says:

    Good wishes for your new year! I have seen sea lions wallowing along the beach and thought the same thing… lazy they look. We all find our niche and once there, we (hopefully) rise to the occasion. I hope 2013 goes swimmingly for you and yours and I will look forward to more of your musings here.


  18. Here’s to you, Peter, and finding the extraordinary in each and every moment, and each and every word.


  19. Something I often explore in my writing is the extraordinary in the ordinary, the significance of the seemingly insignificant, that being nowhere is sometimes the most essential place to be.

    This really resonated with me at the moment:
    ‘So many of us struggle to fit into lives for which we are ill equipped and which ask us questions to which we have no answer, leaving us, as it were, on the beach.

    In one aspect of my life I have been ‘beached’ as it were – but am realizing that the view from there is, looking out to a wider and more creative horizon, is the true outlook for me afterall.

    Wishing you and yours a blessed New Year!


  20. eof737 says:

    Beautifully shared… “We are all ordinary but have the extraordinary within us.” I love this line… How so true. Here’s to many wonderful adventures in 2-13. 🙂


  21. eof737 says:

    Oops! Here’s to many wonderful adventures in 2013. 🙂


  22. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Quite good at many tasks & your children love you is GREAT 🙂 My purpose isn’t clear either, but I have a will to go forward, which is promising in the least.

    It is sad how many don’t realise the extraordinary within us, very true. Life IS difficult, on different levels for different individuals coming from different raisings in different times.

    But here’s to LIFE.



  23. renxkyoko says:

    As ever, excellent post, counting ducks.

    As you very well know,I’m still in school, and though I know what I’m majoring in, I really don’t know if I’ll be good in it. It’s hard to tell the future.


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