One would think that simply coming to the islands, you would be able to slip into relaxation and enjoy your surroundings. We are all so busy with our lives in the states. Running to a fro, texting, instant replies to emails, delivery confirmations, advertisements at every turn, and that inevitable thing called work we all must do to make money. We are doing something every moment of everyday. And for some, its scheduled out for months ahead. Believe me these habits hold onto you with a death grip.
Even after 6 winters of doing this I always tend to forget about the anxiety of the “transition period”. Preparing for an adventure like this takes months of planning, organizing, and provisioning. I am always so in the mind set of getting things done, I arrive and dont know what to do. There is this overwhelming feeling of anxiety, that I have to be doing something, moving, fixing, staying in contact with friends.
It hit me like a ton a bricks several days ago and it was completely obvious what it was. There was this nagging feeling of missing my state side friends, needing things to do, getting negative, and a little overwhelmed. My brain does not like to be idle. Very few people do.
So here you are, on a boat at anchor, in the islands, surrounded by beauty and nothing of “importance” to get done. Now dont take the word “importance” the wrong way. I find it extremely important every morning to wake up and be thankful, sit down to meditate, and eat breakfast. What I mean by that is the “state side” definition of “Importance”. Which for most starts with an alarm clock to make a mad dash for the coffee pot, a quick breakfast and off to work you go. Status, money, social standing are all the things that are pushed as the “Important” things in life.
Living on a boat in the islands, the list of “Importance” is
This year was a bit different in that I had a good friend and crew along with me for the first 10 days. That delayed the inevitable feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and that nagging feeling that you must have a distraction from every moment of the day. After Bethany left, there was not a project on the boat that did not get done, I went for walks, watched movies, all in an act of distracting myself from the reality. I was anxious. Anxious about being alone and in the beginning of 4-5 months of island time.
Then one afternoon while drinking tea, watching a gorgeous sunset it all sank in. Just the realization melted into me and released some of that anxiety. For the first time since Charleston I rolled out the yoga mat and remembered. Remembered to breath it all in and relax. Its ok not to do something all the time. Its perfectly acceptable to sit still and do nothing.
Im grateful that I am aware of my body and energy enough to see clearly what was going on. When I first came down I dont think I ever came to this conclusion. Being here just became a habit, followed by lots of other bad habits. Rum was the vehicle, the distraction and the thing of importance.
The anxiety is still there. The feeling of “hey aren’t you supposed to be doing something?” nags at me. Its days are numbered. Once awareness is formed there is no going back. Slowly it will be drop over the horizon like the sun does everyday to be just a memory. And I will have an answer for that nagging question “aren’t you supposed to be doing something?” The answer will be “Absolutely not”.
The old joke in cruising is.
“You wake up with nothing to do. Yet by bed time, you only have Half of it done”