defined: periscopes.

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
— English Proverb

No matter what stage of life you are in, there will always be obstacles. Mastering long division seems like child's play when it comes time to tackle calculus. Griping about life's responsibilities as a single adult seems laughable when it comes time to juggle a hectic family schedule. For the most part, we are able to navigate life's choppy waters, but there are still moments when even the most experienced sailor capsizes.

Periscopes are there for when we sink. It is the tool we use to remain focused when obstacles block our view. Their extended lens gives us the capability to view what lies above the surface, around the corner, or on the other side of a wall. Periscopes give us the strength to fight through setbacks, because their sights help us properly align for a comeback. 

Life's obstacles can be classified into two categories. The ones we choose, and the ones we are handed. At certain moments, we change course and challenge ourselves. We knowingly steer into rough waters. It might not be the most graceful journey, but we grow from the experience and sharpen our skill sets. In these scenarios, we get to determine just how far we want to push ourselves. Rarely, do we end up in over our head, and when we do, there is a life preserver near by. 

More often than not, we face the second kind of obstacle: the unforeseen and unavoidable. Somehow, we manage to not only survive them, but - with time - we also recognize their value. However, there are a few occasions when we can no longer keep our head above the water. The relentless waves of setbacks eventually pull us under. Sometimes we sink so far beneath the surface, that we lose sight of everything. Caught in the darkness, we no longer see our goals, see what truly matters, or see ourselves. These are the obstacles that threaten to take everything. No matter how hard or how long we kick, we still sink. 

Failure is part of life. There will come a time when we will hit rock bottom, and we will wonder if it is possible to make it back. The thought will cross our mind if there is anything left worth fighting for. The answer is yes. There is always something worth the flight. Ourself. We often forget that we don't have to be any better than the person we were yesterday. Each day is an opportunity for self improvement. Another step - no matter how big or small - in becoming the person we want to be. Sometimes capsizing in a rough sea is the only way to (re)learn that lesson. 

Periscopes is about comebacks, and how we use life's setbacks for their foundation. It's having faith that we are never given more than we can handle. It's remembering that the best sailors have weathered some of the worst storms. Life preservers are a great insurance policy, but floating doesn't force us to improve. It's sinking that makes us stronger. 

Periscopes: the Scope used to 1) see beyond life's obstacles and 2) embrace the moments when we capsize 

Sidenote: the National Museum of the United States Navy is very persnickety about visitors. Thus, pictures with a periscope will arrive at a later date. One of life's small obstacles 😏 Until then, please enjoy my great friend Robin, and I giving you a little life lesson with a lisp...we blame the nitrous.