I spent most of my adult life working on boats and yachts. I loved being on the water and in the water. I was lucky because unlike the crew you may have seen on the reality show “Below Deck”, I spent just over 10 years on the 105′ private yacht pictured above with just my husband and my cat, never in charter. The owners of the M/Y Aries used it infrequently, and almost never let anyone stay on it without them. My husband and I did the work of 4, but we paced ourselves. If the water was flat and we decided to go water skiing, we did. Or we went dirt biking, or played tennis, went diving or snorkeling. We made sure that our life was a terrific blend of play and work, always skewed slightly in favor of play. The money was great and we took fantastic vacations, like our motorcycle trip above the Arctic Circle. Something was missing in my life though, and I left it all behind to be a mother.
Why do I Say I’m Listing to Port?
It’s hard to stay balanced. Since leaving the yachting industry and becoming a work at home single mom on a really tight budget, it has been a struggle. I always feel like I’m listing to port, a term used in several of James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux novels that really resonated with me. Dave used the term a little differently, usually telling someone they were drunk/not seeing straight/about to do something stupid. To me though it means that I’m falling a little short, working too hard, not working enough, not taking care of myself, not getting enough sleep, not getting enough exercise.
This year I made a commitment to play more. This means I have to be more organized and productive when I work. I have the enormous responsibility of setting a great example for this small human I grew in my body. I want her to know my love of the sea, yet we currently live in the desert. I want her to see me in a healthy relationship, yet I’m currently single. We have a great life, and I wake up every morning grateful, but I know I can do better, for both of us.
For now, working with the cards I’ve been dealt, I think I’m doing a great job, but always listing just a little to port.