Ok, I admit, it is a little dramatic of a title. But, truthfully, we’ve experienced our share of nightmares over here on our (not yet floating) vessel. Nothing to be concerned about, but likely an adjustment to the shift away from the old, the shedding of the prior, and our transition toward the new. What I’ve been experiencing occur both daytime and nighttime, when all of a sudden I find myself in a cold sweat, palms sweaty, anxiety at an all-time high. I check my iPhone, and then I realize…I no longer have access to my work email. In fact, I’m no longer ‘working’ at all. At least, as a lawyer, that is. No, now I’m working full time as a mother, wife, chef, housekeeper, master organizer, unsuccessful Spanish learner, anxious sailor and, of course, blogger.
But, the nocturnal nightmares of panic which oft visited me in my professional life seem to have followed me into this unprofessional one. In fact, all my dreams have been quite weird since we arrived. Is that a product of the salty air? The physical exhaustion stemming from hopping around the boat and chasing two small humans? The salsa, hot sauce and spicy food I can’t get enough of? Or, am I just sweating out fifteen years of adrenaline, built up over the duration of my legal career?
I was texting today with a dear friend from my old firm (hi, Cass!), and we were talking about how strange the legal world can be, where we tend to exist in a heightened state of adrenaline at most times, and even when we feel stressed or overwhelmed, we tend to thrive best when things are most intense. Many of us are certain we do (or, in my case, did) our best work when the stakes are high and we’re under some form of pressure. To make matters worse, if we aren’t stressing about the work we’re actually doing, we go into overdrive worrying about where our next client or file will come from.
I remember someone telling me one day, likely when I was in law school, that practicing law was like writing a university final exam every single day. Turns out, they were pretty spot-on about that. So, I have no doubt it is going to take some time for me to let go of the adrenaline kick of every email notification, or the intoxicating (and not in the way a good gin and tonic on the deck is) draw to check emails at all hours. I had told some people that I felt like it would take some time to ‘sweat out’ my prior law life, and I suspect I’m just at the beginning. So don’t mind me over here as momentary panic crosses floods my body and all the blood drains from my face. I just am having one of those moments where I feel as though I’ve just happened to ‘forget’ to go to work for a few weeks!
The other person in our little Skookum V crew who has been experiencing some night terrors is our eldest, Ellie. A few nights in a row now we’ve either found her on ‘our’ side of the boat, or talking to herself (loudly) in bed, but completely sound asleep. I haven’t yet researched whether this is common at all for kids between 3 and 4, or whether it is common with kids who’ve experienced a lot of upheaval in their lives, but she’s clearly working something out in her sleep. I expect once we’re on the water, and start creating some form of rhythm to our lives, she will settle a bit, and the sleepwalking/talking may subside.
So, no, living aboard our (soon to be) floating home is not a nightmare, not in the least. But, it appears one can’t just up and leave a career like that one without some lasting symptoms. Nothing a cerveza and some tacos can’t mend though, am I right?
For those keeping track, we hope to ‘splash’ on Monday, three weeks to the day we arrived here. We’ll plan to spend a few days at a dock in the harbour, making sure our systems work in the water, doing a few practice day sails, and awaiting a solid weather ‘window’ that will permit us to make the 160 nautical mile journey to our first anchorage safe and soundly.