Flotsam is defined as debris in the water that was not deliberately thrown overboard, often as a
result from a shipwreck or accident. Jetsam describes debris that was deliberately thrown overboard
by a crew of a ship in distress, most often to lighten the ship's load.
It’s a long way from Rochester, New York to San Francisco, California and last night, it got 90 minutes longer as my plane sat on the runway while the maintenance crew worked to make sure we’d make to the other coast. (Funny how you can be grouchy about that when they’re working to save our lives!)
It was 9 pm in Chicago when they started working and I was not thrilled to think I’d arrive in SF around 3:30 am Rochester time. I had my book and Crostic puzzle, but had already done some of the latter and read much of the former getting to Chicago. So I looked at my e-mails on my phone and decided it might be a good time to delete those that I no longer needed. Down that rabbit hole I went and when the plane’s engine roared to life around 10:30, I had reviewed the last seven months of my e-mail life, tossing most of a couple of hundred out and archiving a few.
Interesting all the things we get that are useful for the moment and then we’re done with them. Flight announcements, workshop arrangements, class schedules, monies paid, Audible books purchased and read, invoices received or sent, online class announcements and follow-ups— not to mention the political pleas that I daily throw overboard. All the flotsam and jetsam of daily life that has its short mayfly moment, but is not worthy to keep to re-visit.
Of course, having used those words, I had no idea what they actually meant and so, the quote above. Seems like I mostly threw out jetsam— not that I’m in distress, but I deliberately threw it overboard into the ether (less ecological impact) to lighten the load. Hopefully, there’s no flotsam out there!