An Unruffled State

Calm. Without rough motion; not windy or stormy.
Calm implies an unruffled state. Quiet, peaceful. 
Collected, composed & in the absence of agitation.

I walked away from NYC. I walked away from the crazy and the hard and the nonstop running you have to do just to keep up. I knew I could be leaving money, responsibility & recognition on the table. I knew it would be a challenge. I knew some days I would wonder 'what if?!'. 

But I moved. I picked calm. 

Mind you, this version of 'calm' is a not a make-your-own-schedule kind of life. I work hard. (REALLY hard). But I don't commute. I work long, productive hours. Though most days it is not in business attire. And I'm reachable all the time. Just not in person. 

My life is simply not complicated. So when the guilt sets in, I inject complications into situations just to spice things up. But during a recent weekend wine-phone-BFF date night, this story was shared with me. And the flickering light bulb in my mind finally fully lit up. It is perfectly okay to be happy with a calm life.


An investment banker stood at the pier of a small coastal village when a small boat with one fisherman docked. Inside the boat were several very large fish. The banker complimented the fisherman on his catch and asked how long it took to catch them.

The fisherman replied, “Only a little while.”

The banker then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish.

The fisherman said he had enough to support his family’s needs.

The banker then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The fisherman said, “I sleep late, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full life.”

The investor scoffed. "You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, and eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would then sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution! You would need to move to the capital city. Then the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions!”

The fisherman asked, “But how long will this all take?”

To which the banker replied, “Perhaps 20 to 25 years.”

Okay, then what?” wondered the fisherman.

“Then you would retire. You could move to a small coastal village where you would sleep late, go fishing, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play guitar with your amigos...”


If you need me I'll be sipping wine with my amigos in the sunshine, under a palm tree ... after work, of course. 


Abby Downing