The Storm Before the Calm

It started exactly three weeks before our planned departure date.  My stress levels elevated along with anxiety.  It seemed like every day I worked all day long, only to realize the list was longer at the end of the day than at the beginning.  In the process of completing one job, we remembered two (or more) others than weren’t on “the list”.

That is also about the time I finished for the year in the office, so some of the issue may have stemmed from no longer having part of my mind occupied by other matters.  All I knew was that I was now working long hours on the boat every day, only to get further and further behind.  This did not seem to be alleviated much by the fact that I was now living full time on the boat.  Living on the boat allowed me to get more accomplished, but it also allowed me to remember more things I wanted to get done.

We decided long ago that when it came to departure time we would only be delayed by weather.  I believe it is important to depart when you planned, for psychological reasons if nothing else.  Since we’re departing in June, hurricane season gives us additional incentive to get out and get south in a hurry.  I suspect the knowledge that we would not be the type of people who are perennially “leaving next week” but never quite leave the dock only added to my concerns over the growing list.

Speaking of “the list”, despite the request, we will not be publishing our pre-departure list.  It’s not that we don’t want to share it, but has more to do with the fact that we don’t really have one consolidated list.  We actually have several written lists on separate scraps of paper, as well as the mental list we keep cross checking against each other.  Admittedly not the best organization method, but on the other hand, we’re spending more time completing projects than working on “the list”.

Now one week out, I find that the anxiety is departing.  We know the boat is safe to leave at any time, even if we haven’t completed all the projects we wanted.  We have started prioritizing to that which we really want done before we depart, and that which can be accomplished along the way.  We took a few days off to visit my mother for her birthday.  Not only did we get away from the boat for a few days and visit family, we saw fireflies last night.  I have not seen that many fireflies in years and it was a joy to watch them and remember our escapades with fireflies in our youth.  I learned that Jayne tortured them to create fantasy jewelry as a kid.

We still have plenty to do; install the solar system, get the weather fax system working, and provision the boat.  I can’t forget stowing everything so we can actually walk around when we depart.We’re not even sure of our first landfall due to waiting on paperwork from the Coast Guard. But I am now strangely relaxed about the whole thing.  We’re heading over the horizon and what will be, will be.