GM Passage Key to Finding Your Work Flow

Passage Key to Finding Your Work Flow

Bathing Suits Not Required; However…

It turns out there really is a clothing-optional beach in south Tampa Bay. Passage Key rises and falls with the tide. A narrow sliver of sand a few hundred yards long at high tide and a much larger boat-friendly wading area is exposed during an outgoing tide. It turns out the sand isn’t the only exposure at Passage Key, depending on the day!

The Unexpected Cinco de Mayo

We’ve anchored near Passage Key several times, enjoying the laziness of hundreds of boats at anchor, music, grills, drink koozie in hand, occasionally setting beach chairs up and just taking it in. The rumors of it also being a place for adults who prefer birthday suits to bathing suits seemed to be just that, rumors. Until Cinco de Mayo.

We approached the sandbar slowly that day, recognizing that there were A LOT more boats than usual, perhaps understandable on a pseudo-holiday weekend. It became clear we had missed the memo that this day would be THE day that many other people would be celebrating Cinco de Mayo sans clothing. There were hundreds of boats present and dozens of people on the exposed (I couldn’t resist the pun) sand bar. 

Anchoring Your Boat

Searching for the perfect spot to drop the anchor is always a bit of art and science. Which way is the current and wind going to shift on us once anchored? Do we want the second anchor out so we don’t swing (not a pun) into other boats? How close to the loud music?  

Disclaimer. We don’t partake in the optional part of clothing optional. Zero interest. For those who do, that’s a choice with an apparent longstanding tradition at Passage Key. 

I turned to my son-in-law, who was driving the boat and selecting the anchorage spot, “There’s probably nothing you don’t want to see more than a bunch of middle-aged people without clothes.” He snickered, not just because of my use of a double negative. Like other boats with families on board, we stayed back from the main action. We could easily have shifted to another beach, but it wouldn’t be the same clear waist-deep stretch of water. We would stay in the family-friendlier zone.

We recently saw an adult manatee successfully maneuvering through the anchorage, slipping past anchor lines and people, not bothering anyone but just checking things out. For those not familiar, a manatee can be as large as a small Volkswagen, but they are gentle creatures simply in search of vegetation to snack on. You leave them alone and are not allowed to touch them or water them with the freshwater they love. 

Finding Your Flow at Work

“How the heck is Gene going to tie this to a business lesson?” you may be wondering.  I thought the same thing when I had the idea to write about this. Here it comes.

As we just passed Memorial Day, there was a flicker of acknowledgment among all of us that our nation enjoys special privileges. During my recent C-SPAN interview, I echoed my often-stated observation that “we live in a great country.” There are so many differences among us, but we enjoy the freedom of choice and have the liberty to live our lives mostly as we please. 

That means accepting the harmless and infrequent gatherings of middle-aged people searching for their lost youth without clothes. It means finding your place in the anchorage, as close or as far from the action as you are comfortable. It means appreciating the majesty of the lone manatee finding its way among the very confusing array of anchor lines in its playground on this one day.

As is always the case, the tide eventually shifts, and the sandbar begins to get smaller. The sun sets slowly in the west, and the boats depart and find their way home. The manatee moves on to other equally warm water, searching for even more food. And the pop-up traveling road show of the weekend anchorage will reconvene another day.

Lately, I hear much said of the word flow, usually in the context of focus. Don’t get distracted by the noise. Finding one’s flow state with the presence and intention of a child is a worthy condition. What happens at Passage Key can allow some to be more “in flow” than others. It’s ok to be “in flow” or not, but you should occasionally consider whether you are moving with the flow, creating the flow, or just flowing along.

Anchoring Yourself at Work

Pause here to close your eyes and imagine your workplace for a moment. 

  • Where do you choose to anchor your boat in the raft up of your workplace? 
  • Are you close to the action? 
  • Do you stand off? Maybe you’re just close enough to lurk but not participate. 
  • Do you have a manatee in your midst just meandering around? 
  • Are you the manatee?

You read this far. Congratulations. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to the questions above. 

Except that clothing isn’t optional. Enjoy the start of summer.

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