Waiting, waiting, waiting
We’ve been doing a lot of that lately and man, am I tired of it! With so much free time on my hands, I find myself thinking, “What else could I be doing with my time other than sitting on this darn boat, twiddling my thumbs?” Being productive working, making money, taking a spin class, knitting (it’s a stress reliever for me believe it or not) spending time with friends and family, the list goes on. In general: doing something that’s meaningful to me.
When we’re moving and looking forward to a new destination, there is no greater thrill. Excitement and anticipation are palpable and living in a new location for an undetermined amount of time is pretty awesome. The wanderlust bug is fed and we feel pretty hyped up on the amazingness of life and how we’re living it. We fill our days with all things touristy: sight seeing, checking out all of the beaches, bars and snorkel spots. Meeting our new cruising neighbors and getting the lay of the land are spread in between as well. It seems like we could stay in that one spot forever.
Fast forward a week or two
The new shine of everything starts to wear off and then comes the crash. We start to fall back onto our time wasting staples:
- The internet (which is usually very spotty and not strong enough, which in itself is terribly frustrating) Instagram and Facebook
- Watching movies or tv series off our our external hard drive
- Editing videos and blogging
- DuoLingo Spanish
- All manners of boat work (cleaning, updating, maintaining).
- Going for a dinghy ride
We can only do so much of any of those things for so long before we start the cycle all over again. Once we’ve exhausted all of those activites, I start to go a little mad and move onto over thinking. Mainly about things that bother me and I can’t change. It’s great fun.
Basically, after we’ve been sitting still, for who knows how long in one spot, it starts to get unbearable. We can be in the most gorgeous destination and I will still feel frustrated with it all. Dave always says, “What’s wrong with you, we’re in paradise?!” Yes, we are, but when I have no purpose it doesn’t matter where I am, I’m not happy. Moving gives me a sense of purpose. I need to explore and discover! Sitting still, I feel useless.
LBB (Life before boat)
In my previous life (before living aboard) I liked to have a balance of work and relaxation like most people. If that balance became compromised and one side of the scale got heavier than the other, I could feel it. Too much time spent working was stressful while too much relaxation made me feel like a lump of worthless goo (not very good for your self esteem, I might add). Balance is hard enough to achieve in everyday, land lubber life with all of it’s amazing conveniences. Why did I think it’d be any different living on the water? Perhaps because I thought living more minimally would improve my inner balance and everything would magically even itself out. Everything zen, right? Psshh, please. I’m finding it takes a little more work than that.
All play and no work make Alli a dull girl
Schedules don’t sound fun. They are restricting and monotonous, right? I however, do well when I’m given a schedule. In some ways, I really, really enjoy routine. As a former teacher, my life revolved around one and it helped me to be productive and successful. As much as it stinks sometimes to ‘keep on keeping on’, it’s what made the weekends satisfying. It made me appreciate the free time I did have and helped me to be more efficient in planning my upcoming work week.
I’ve thought many times, “Perhaps I have to make my own schedule on the boat?” But we all know (as cruisers and liveaboards) that there is no such thing as a “schedule” when living this life. It’s impossible. One moment your plan is in action and the next day you’re doing something completely different. The wind changed, there’s a new, strange sound coming from somewhere or something essential broke and it needs fixed. When your life is dictated by mother nature and the dependability of your floating home, any form of consistency goes out the window.
My hopes for finding some type of work to help get a routine (and income) have gone sour. Our plans to stay in St. Thomas long term have been derailed because our desire to not die during hurricane season has kicked in, so Grenada it is. Our ‘plans’ have changed (for the hundredth time – surprise, surprise) and something that I have been really looking forward to is down the drain and I’m back to square one. You know why? Because of mother nature. She’s not something we want to mess with. In order to keep moving and feel good, we’ll probably continue cruising in the Southern Caribbean. If a storm starts brewing we’ll hightail it to Grenada or Trinidad and Tobago (even farther south and even farther away from a threatening storm).
In the meantime…
I’m learning how to find some kind of balance in this lifestyle, but it ’s still really difficult for me somedays. Ups and downs while living aboard are way more severe than in ‘normal life’. If anyone can explain to me precisely why that is, I’d love to figure out a way to crack the code to soften the lows.
Thankfully, we won’t be waiting in San Juan much longer. A weather window is approaching and we’re going to make a bee line to the BVIs and then to St. Maarten where we’ll be doing some boat work for who knows how long. If anyone out there in internet land has any helpful tips on any how to stay sane while waiting on a boat, or make waiting in general less aggravating, it’d be much appreciated. Seriously. I’m desperate here.