There’s always some basic maintenance that needs doing. Boats get dinged, spring leaks and need repair. So do people.

Unless we live our lives in drydock.

I don’t know many people who enjoy scraping paint, trimming toenails or washing dishes. Some can afford to pay others to do the job. The rest of us do the best we can, hopefully taking some pride in how well we do it.

There’s a better way. It’s called sharing. Sharing friendships, sharing skills, sharing respect.

Some people love to plan – making checklists, comparing options and the rest. It’s great as long as they don’t fall into the trap of paralysis by analysis. Others can’t be bothered and take joy in plunging into the unknown. Both are right. Both choose the best way. For themselves. Even the full-speed-ahead people need to stop for food and find a place to stay for the night, just like the planners.

Give me a map and a guidebook. I might scan them before getting bored – unless you get me interested in the map makers’ agendas and writers’ real experiences. For me, they’re better tools to use once I get somewhere and know what my questions are. I have wonderful friends who memorize their guidebooks and are surprised – and sometimes disappointed – when today’s reality doesn’t match yesterday’s story.

Where am I going with this piece? Damned if I know. What I’ve learned through life is that we can’t do everything on our own. We’re all in this together and we need to find people with the skills we need – and to develop skills to share with others. And the most important skills are the ones we can’t measure with numbers: respect, sympathy and empathy.

Once we learn these, everything else falls into place.