Sometimes life is not sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes days are hard and you can't help but rethink about decisions you've made, is this where we should be? Is this what we should be doing? I don't really like to complain, and let's face it, who wants to hear it? But I also don't want to paint an unrealistic picture that we are always happy and the sun is always shining. So here is a sampling of the down side, with the ups included.
We had our share of ups and downs adjusting to life back on the boat after four months on land. Up side - I have a new appreciation of the freedom of walking to get our groceries with a wagon in tow. Sometimes people put an idea in your head that makes you adjust your point of view. My son mentioned the cost of travel on the environment, something I hate to admit I had never given much thought to. Then I opened the magazine on the plane and there was an article talking about responsible travel, doing something to off set the huge carbon foot print you make traveling by plane. Thanks to that idea now planted, I enjoy walking to do errands, riding bikes to get around and sailing to the next port, all to off set that foot print. Down - the wagon I use on so many shopping trips was lost forever when it blew off the dock and into the water. Lesson learned, do not leave things with wheels on the dock in even the lightest winds. Up - I now own a small European grocery cart like every other elderly Italian woman doing errands.
Up - the refrigeration guys said they could replace our water pump to the freezer with a much quieter one that would not wake us when it started up at night (and hopefully run greener). Down - delayed another day leaving the dock, after countless hours, Italian cursing and $400 euros the pump is somehow even louder than what was replaced, something we thought was impossible. Forget sleep, it's hard to even talk when it is running, better the devil you know? New Up - Tony reinstalled the old pump for no additional charge and added insulation to the floor, we now have a replacement pump on board and a new appreciation for a less noisy pump.
Up - we finally did pull away from the dock, wondering in the back of our minds if we still remembered how to sail after being on land so long, and were greeted with calm seas and light winds. Down - that forecast for winds in the teens with gusts to 20 knots turned into winds 35 knots and gusts to 45, making for a miserable, wet, cold, rough 10 hour sail. But a big Up - we arrived in the next port safe and sound. It was not very comfortable, but the boat is sturdy and made to withstand rough seas and high winds, and thankfully we learned that we do actually remember how to sail. Slightly expensive Down - the new dock lines which were left on the back deck to dry had washed over board along the way. The list keeps growing of the things we have lost to the sea…
Up - we left the next day under sunny skies and fair winds, followed by a couple of whales that spouted and dove leaving their tails in the air, it seemed just for our enjoyment. No down side to the day at all. I would not have believed that was possible just one day earlier when everything seemed so hard.
Recently I read that if your eyes are softly focused on the horizon for sustained periods your brain releases endorphins, like a runners high (quoted from the book "Where'd you go Bernadette", you never know where inspiration will come). Most days we are surrounded by a vast horizon, on difficult ones I will be gazing out to sea waiting for those endorphins to kick in.
When I had been grumbling about life in general Tony reminded me that this was an adventure and sometimes adventures were hard, words of wisdom. And I will remind myself, if I had to make a list of life's ups and downs, the ups continue to far out weigh the downs.