bar·na·cle  (bärn-kl)


1. Any of various marine crustaceans of the subclass Cirripedia that in the adult stage form a hard shell and remain attached to submerged surfaces, such as rocks and ships’ bottoms.
Or… a common swearword on the Nickelodeon show Spongebob Squarepants.
However, this post is not about the study of marine crustaceans. As a little girl, I always referred to the distracting things in my life as ‘barnacles on the bottom of my ship.’ My parents thought it was adorable. My teachers thought it was intelligent. And everyone else just thought I was a really weird kid.
Let me paint a picture of my mind’s reasoning: you are a beautiful ship. The kind of ship you see in the movies, in paintings, and in storybook drawings. Your sail is full with the wind, your flag is raised high on your mast, and your bow is pointed in the direction you want to go. There may be sea monsters, storms, and sand bars in your way, but your crew is determined to overcome all obstacles. You dream of the day you’ll hear the words ‘land, ahoy!’ and your anchor will drop in the port of destination. However, there’s a slight problem. A smattering of small creatures have “hitched a ride” on the bottom of your boat. Barnacles! (In both meanings of the word.)
At face value, these little hard-shelled crustaceans are harmless. There are no leaks in your boat. You still want to get where you want to go. Then you begin to notice that you’ve been traveling for a longer period of time than expected. You are not where you wanted to be yet.  Your ship is dragging. It is taking much more work and time to get to that port. Now, you could leave the barnacles there and trudge on. You may still make it to your port. But you have a goal and every real goal has a deadline. So you decide to have the barnacles scraped off of your hull.
It is tedious and grueling work. But once they are gone, your boat moves swifter. You reach your destination with weight lifted off of your hull!
In real life, we have a plethora of different things we do, places we go, and people we see. We need to figure out what our port of destination is, our crew members, and what supplies we need to get there.
Let’s determine the barnacles in our life, and then scrape them off.
– Jenni

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