Monday, June 2, 2014


Freja and Hans peeling fresh shrimp near Calabash, NC.
Hans bought them off the boat; they were still wiggling when we dropped them in the boiling water.

How long does it take to really relax? A lot of people say that they’re finally relaxed by the end of their one-week vacation. We left Philadelphia nine days ago and I’m still not relaxed. Not at all. Hans spread his arms out and said that on a stress scale with the fingers on his left side equalling 100% stress and the fingers on his right side equalling 0% stress, he’s made it to about 90% stress. 90% stress after nine days of being more unplugged than normal, nine days of not needing to do the regular stuff like grocery shopping, work, schedules, etc. Stress sure is pervasive. 

I should be relaxed: I keep losing track of the day of the week; I’m not dealing with my regular stressors like trying to get two small kids out the door and somewhere on time (ha ha, barely ever happens), but I’m still not relaxed. Give me ten minutes in the captain’s chair steering the boat or sitting by myself on the back deck while both girls are sleeping and I get antsy after two minutes. “Surely there’s something I must be doing….some cleaning to email to write...something, something.”

But there isn’t. The only* thing we have to do is motor the boat down to Florida, keep the girls fed and floating, and keep our sanity. I have full freedom to sit on the foredeck and stare at the horizon whenever I get a spare minute. I have no phone calls to make or laundry to do. (Well, I do have laundry but no facilities, so no laundry.) Yet I’m finding it really hard to just unplug and watch the scenery.

When we were sailing on Whisper it took us a solid four months or more before we chilled out, and probably a year or so before I could wile the days away in the cockpit or on a hammock on the beach without a care in the world or thought in my head. Now the stakes are a little higher. We have two little girls whose health and well-being are our sole responsibilities. Everything we own, all our worldly possessions and investments are on our boat/are our boat. All our eggs are in one basket, so to say. So, yes, that is rather stressful. But still, I’m really hoping that by the time we get tied up at the marina in Jacksonville I’ll have spent a least a few days or more just relaxing.

*that’s a BIG only

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