Thursday, May 8, 2014

Manic Planning and Finding the Spaces

Those of you who know me well know that I get a sort of sick thrill out of planning adventures, that I somehow create complicated logistics for any outing or event, from a simple night out to weeks-long vacations.  I change the plans numerous times before the event actually occurs.  I rattle on and on about possibilities and options.  It is part of my process, and many of you know better than to take any of it to heart until the time of the activity is very close at hand.

I sometimes wonder how you can stand to be around me while I am doing this.  And then I wonder how I can stand to be in my own head during these manic episodes of planning.  

Well, believe it or not, I may have reached my limit when it comes to logistics.  Over the past ten days Carmen and I have been getting ready to depart on a sailing voyage across the Pacific Ocean, from Mexico to the Marquesas as crew members aboard our friends' sailboat Sweet Dreams.  We've been working on getting the boat ready, making modifications and improvements, creating and sewing a dinghy cover, wondering when we will leave, what route we will take, how long it will take us to get there, where we will sleep on board, how we will do night watches, what foods we will bring and in what order we will eat them, what paperwork we will need, how we will check out of Mexico, how we will check in at the Marquesas, where we will sleep while the boat is being worked on, what kind of rescue insurance we will get, how we will send emails and blog updates via sat phone, which books and movies we will bring for the slow days in the doldrums, whether we will get seasick and for how long and what will we do about it, and so on and so on...

I've been worrying about all of these things while also trying to figure out what to do with Northern Passage, our sailboat that is here in San Carlos, Mexico.  How and when will I get her out of the water without Bruce?  What needs to be done to put her to bed properly?  Can I do it myself?

Two days ago I melted.  I hadn't been sleeping well, and that day I could do nothing productive.  I had a headache all day. I shut down.  In the end, I finally let go of control.  I stopped fretting and wondering, I stopped over-analyzing and trying to know what was coming next.  I gave in to not knowing.  And I slept.

After a series of loving, encouraging and centering texts from Bruce and about 9 hours of sleep, I awoke happy, productive, relieved.  Capable of doing anything!   Including proceeding with confidence while still not knowing all of the answers.  Many of those decisions I had been fretting about seemed to resolve themselves during my unconscious state.  Or they became less urgent.

This journey has not even officially begun, however I think I am changing already.  And if this is what happens during the logistics part of the adventure, imagine what will happen during the actual voyage!   Bring it on!!   

Meanwhile, I will be sure to have happy feet in the sand, even if only for a few minutes a day.   Because for me, clarity happens not in the time when I am looking for or working on a solution, but in the silence of time spent in nature, in the sound of the waves, in the peaceful rocking of the boat during sleep, in the space between the thoughts. 

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