This is the first week my husband has had off since my life-altering experience in February, and our daughter started her summer counselor-in-training job this morning. How weird is this? The fifteen-year-old is the only one who went to work today.
She was home with me for the last three weeks so the schedule I’d developed for myself since February altered a bit. Instead of getting up and driving her to school and then plunking myself in front of the computer to write blog posts, I got up and, weather permitting, walked, then wrote in Middle Passages and/or completed whatever employment related task was at hand before catapulting her out of bed and off to her environmental volunteer program. When she was done, her social schedule permitting, we planned field trips.
Now she’s supervising six-year-olds at day camp for a month, and my husband is home taking one of the few weeks available out of a rigid schedule to seek the calm seas of relaxation. This will occur via sailing, sailing, sailing and, mixing things up a bit, by motoring in our dinghy.
So guess, what? After driving our girl to camp, completing a quick errand and returning home at 9:15 we went--you got it: sailing. We knew the wind dies mid-morning and that our chances for a successful outing were slim—so when, as expected, our sails hung limp, we shifted the plan to our twelve foot dory and a trip along the shoreline. As we plowed past bobbing lobster buoys and the multitude of sea birds pecking at low-tide seaweed on Hogs Head, East Shag and West Shag Rocks, the frigid spray in my face made me laugh, really it did--but when you are not working for pay, it seems necessary to prove your worth and vacation becomes a challenging concept. I welcomed this unstructured time with my husband but as we churned through the rollers, a nasty little inside voice asked me what I would write in the blog today, oh and by the way, when would I write it?
It’s my husband’s first week off this year and I promise you he’s earned it; so I attempted to lock the nagging worry below decks. That persistent little bugger had a spare key though and, grabbing my internal mooring line, conducted a tug of war between the joy of the moment and self-imposed obligations. Looking out toward the horizon, I mulled this contest over and recognized something.
When a twenty-three year routine gets torpedoed, it’s natural to seek a new one immediately. To that end, for four months or so, I sat at the computer early each morning, because that’s what I did when I went to work. During that “transition time,” if you will, familiarity of habit kept me afloat like a life preserver at sea. But, it appears, that new schedule was temporary; it changed three weeks ago, it is altering again this week, and next week it will fluctuate once more. Recognizing this, I reminded myself of my new favorite quote that I included on Saturday’s post: “Don’t be afraid to let life surprise you.” This shifting wind of routine is one of those surprises, I guess.
Ok then. I’m going with the flow and assuming Middle Passages will get done sometime today--because we’ve returned home, eaten lunch and now it’s time to try sailing again.