After so many years of working for so long and so hard, contrary to what some people might think, it can actually be difficult to transition into a slower and more simple way of life.
Even though we have felt tremendous relief to have achieved our goal and are thrilled to be cruising, we have started to feel a certain sense of guilt. Is it really okay to relax for an entire day, or a weekend, and not do any work?
Many people work 40 hours per week, or more, and then mix the weekend up with house work and play time. Usually, the average person gets two weeks of paid vacation each year. We have worked almost every weekend for the past 3 years. Every holiday has been split between boat work and celebrating with family. We did not allow ourselves much time off.
Then came the last month and a half prior to sailing out the Beaufort Inlet. There were so many long work days. Early mornings and late nights. We were exhausted, but we had to keep moving. By the time we headed offshore last week, we were worn both mentally and physically. Not the way to start an offshore voyage, but fortunately, weather conditions were good to us.
When we dropped the anchor this past Wednesday, there was absolute silence. Then, we began hearing the call of the osprey on the nearby island. Nature was a beautiful sound. We went to bed early. We woke up late. We needed to recover. Even though we had just been at sea for 4 days, we didn’t leave the boat for almost 2 more days.
Once our energy level started to return, we began to venture out. Wil’s dad gave us a ride into Falmouth for some grocery shopping. The next day, we sorted through items that needed to be removed from the boat (yes, we are still trying to lighten our load!), and then we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening hanging out at Wil’s dad’s house. We relaxed, visited, did laundry, and took showers. It was a nice treat.
Yesterday, the dinghy never touched the water. Again, we slept in. Wil watched a movie on Netflix. I caught up on email and blogging. Eventually, we started to feel like we should be doing more. So, Wil did a little waxing on deck near the trampolines. I worked on emptying the shower in the starboard hull where we have been storing random items. Even though we have larger jobs on our to-do list, we only felt like tinkering here or there.
We have discussed feeling guilty for not doing more. Surely, it is okay to not work hard. Surely, it is okay to take naps and watch movies. Surely, it is okay to drink a glass of wine while listening to music and cooking dinner. These treats are long overdue, and we shouldn’t feel guilty.
Today, we reviewed the jobs to be done, and then we said “but not now”. We will enjoy the rest of our weekend, and we will return to “work” on Monday morning. We might be cruising, but work must be done in order to keep doing what we’re doing. Soon, we will find that balance between work and play.