Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Your Dream

January 10th 2012

Position N 27° 22.225’,
               W 82° 37.075’.

Longboat Key Club Moorings, FL   

Last weekend was the memorial of our son-in-law Joey Harrison and we spent the time with our daughter, three grandchildren and all the other family members who had gathered in Pensacola. I think the weekend went well and that we gave Joey a great send off. Joey will always be remembered and obviously will be sorely missed by his family. The fact that he died at the age of 41 is a stark reminder of the fragility of life but one thing that was echoed by all is that he lived his life the way he wanted and that was the focus I came away with. Nothing much has been happening with ‘Partners' but I still have the urge to write about something. Obviously the Admiral and I are very enthusiastic about our forthcoming retirement and cruising adventure. In the meantime we are both being tormented by the possibilities yet are still having to manage the worrying about a missed phone call, rushing for an appointment etc., these are common dirt dwelling problems that all of us have suffered with or are still suffering from now. I am and it is stressful! The only difference for the time being is that instead of living in a house we live on a boat. Until the lines are finally cast off we are stuck with these landlubber problems. Don’t get me wrong, I have always had a good work ethic and have been admonished for putting in too many hours. In fact it was the major factor in the dissolution of a marriage. With a wife and four children the attention I gave the family was not in balance with the time I gave the ‘job’. Just remember it is definitely necessary to have a balance and we all hear that “family is the most important thing”...how many of us really put the job before the family?

Passage making most certainly affords one time and on our trip from NC to FL I reflect on a moment when a seagull landed on our bow pulpit and I remember ‘stressing’ that I hoped the bird would stay settled long enough for me to get my camera and record the moment. He did stay long enough. I am now able to remind myself of that moment when I look at the picture of the seagull taking a short rest before continuing on his journey to wherever. The part you don’t see here is that after taking the picture I walked up to within two feet of the bird without so much of a nervous flapping of his wings, he just calmly looked at me and remained at peace taking his (or her) rest. The point here is that this all took place 50 mile from shore while I actually had time to absorb the alternative to a land bases stressful living and the cruising life my Admiral and I are planning for our future. The life around us, it has become apparent, can completely fill and replace the attentions of the mind. One does not need all trappings of a successful life ashore. The phrase “stop and smell the roses”, the person who wrote that was definitely onto something. At the moment I was standing on my bow just observing our very own seagull I felt healthy, I felt free, I felt challenged by the nature around me, indeed scared at the responsibility of self sufficiency and the decisions’ that will have to be made every day to perpetuate ‘Partners’ future of travel and discovery. What a problem? The difference is alarming and eye opening...do we all spend too long having the one life we are allowed controlled by social expectations and a lifestyle that everyone thinks they want but only a few attain. Don’t live someone else’s dream chase your own and remember you are the only ‘judge’ that matters. Don’t judge anyone else and don’t worry about who and how others may ‘judge’ you. Control your own life, don’t be controlled.

I remember chairing a meeting once where I had the privilege of being surrounded with a staff of people that I had chosen as employees and therefore had the right to share my expectations with. My dream has been alive for a very long time, decades in fact; every since Lavinia and I were married on a small island offshore St. Vincent in the Caribbean, I told Lavinia that one day we would sail back to the Island but this time it would be under our own steam, we’re not quite there yet but a lot closer than when I uttered those words. In the meeting I was enlisting support for my dream and made reference to it which may have sounded selfish. On reflection it was not; everyone has the right to the fulfilment of their dreams, their life, and their way. I explained to the gathering that only those who perpetuated and subscribed to my dream were of value, we were a team trying to achieve a result which in turn would produce the revenue to achieve my objective, my dream. Any one of those people had choices and all chose to put their shoulders to the wheel and work hard towards our common goal which just happened to contribute funding to my dream. Just to have an audience to talk to about a dream is a privilege; I hope to this day that my talk of a goal and dream plus the motivation it provided me will have rubbed off on some or all of those employees and that they were encouraged to make dreams and goals of their own. I get the feeling so many times that so many people are just drifting along without a purpose. Have a goal, have a dream; the fulfilment of the ‘dream’ is indescribable...One last sobering thought for you all. I was having breakfast with two friends a few months ago and one of them said to me “you are the only person I know that is living their dream”. My reply "really?!" How many people do you know? 

The strange thing is that I did not realize that taking time to smell the roses would be so rewarding, all I can think of is how much I have missed for so long. One life, only so many times around the sun, I am not saying a cruising life is the answer for everyone, far from it, I am just advocating a balance in and during life. I chose my dream and am beginning to experience little tastes of it and am on the brink of living it full time. I am so excited...

Acceptance of one’s dream is relevant too. It is obviously important to seek approval from those close to you, friends and family. Support for as opposed to criticism against is desirable. In our case where we are leaving the proximity for significant periods and an understanding from friends and especially family is important to us. Conditioning to ones dream over time is a good thing, being ‘public’ with it is a self motivation to fulfil it too. See what I mean. My two sons, although ‘conditioned’ to Lavinia and I taking off, both asked me if I thought I was up to it! The point here is not questioning that we were going to go cruising but if we were capable of doing it!

Dolphins on the bow 30 miles off shore in the North Atlantic

Choose your dream..