First of all, apologies for the deadness of this blog of late. To be honest, I’m apologizing to myself as I find this sort of writing very soothing and I’ve missed it. As many of you know I’ve been back among the workforce, writing copy for a product on Bing called MSN Answers. If you use Bing you may have seen a larger than normal photo pop up with some copy to the side that then leads you to a full news story. I write those, along with a couple of other cats. After 8 hours of non-stop writing though, I’ve found myself less than eager to jump behind the wheel of this blog. But I’m changing that as of now. So with that preamble over, let the real blogging begin…
As a former scuba diver, I know the value of decompression stops. When we dive, nitrogen is absorbed into the body tissues. The deeper the depth, the more pressure is exerted on the body and therefore more nitrogen is absorbed. If you surface too quickly the nitrogen can turn to bubbles (think opening a bottle of beer your ‘buddy’ shook up) and those bubbles can then lodge in the bloodstream and joints resulting in the bends. Bad juju those bends. Good divers never forget to stop. Dead divers do.
Our daily lives are much the same as a deep dive. Pressure baby. Pressure from work responsibilities. Pressure from home. Money pressure. Partner pressure. Social pressure. Family pressure. It builds man, it builds fast. And if we’re not careful, pop go the bubbles.
Decompression stops. We need decompression stops for life’s pressures. Not just rest periods, but full blown decomp stops man. Time to just hang there at 15 feet and… well, hang.
Yesterday Beth and I did our favorite decomp stop. An overnight camping trip to the mountains. First of the year and man did we need it. We’ve both been diving at 150 feet for several months now and needed a stop. So yesterday we packed the car, including our newest family member Maggie, and headed east to Lake Chelan.
It was beautiful out when we arrived. 70, sunny… just spot on perfect. Spring came late to the mountains this year and things were still budding and blooming. Lake was down, probably on purpose to help contain what is expected to be a larger than normal melt off, but it was still beautiful. We set up camp and we started to hang at 15 feet. Maggie had a little bit of a hard time adjusting to the sun, she is a Seattle pup after all, but after a little buddy breathing she settled down.
After a dinner of brats and chips, we listened to the earth for a bit then called it a day when the sun decided to do the same. A couple of hours later I was jolted awake by a series of light flashes, like someone was taking flash photos outside our tent. I was trying to figure out how the paparazzi found my happy place when the thunderous applause of thousands broke out. Right when I was ready to start signing autographs, Maggie yelped, started licking my ear and I came to the realization that we were smack dab in the middle of one humdinger of a thunderstorm. I laid awake as the storm moved through, its thunder echoing across the mountains. The rain slowed to a steady beat against the tent and I was soon lulled back to sleep.
We woke when the sun did. Set about dealing with wet items left out, starting a fire for coffee and watching Maggie enjoy a romp through the wet foliage. Other camps were stirring as well and sounds of disappointment started to fall on the damp ground. Disappointment? Man. I will never understand why some folks love to have thunderstorms on their nature-sounds clock radios but are disappointed with the real thing. It was a symphony man. Sights, sounds, smells… the whole thing. I just smiled and hung out at 15 feet a little longer.
Time came to head to the surface, so we packed up the car and headed back home. Nature did let us hang just a little longer however, offering up spectacular scenes for our drive back over the pass. We pulled into the driveway, surfaced and starting packing things away. Stowed until we need them. Ready for the next stop.
Decompression stops. They really aren’t just a good idea. They are survival.