Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It's your attitude

With a head full of shampoo, and a body covered in soap, I hear the familiar sounds of the water pump running dry. "Are you F@#$&*^ kidding me?" The bad luck continues. Eyes burning, soap dripping from my extremities, I stood there wondering what the hell to do next, and about all the little luxuries of life that we used to have, like unlimited running water. Our life is different now. All of the luxuries were cast aside for this rather Spartan lifestyle that we now live. Sometimes I think I miss those little comforts that most people take for granted. But do I Really? 

Do I miss unlimited running water? Yes, but only when I'm stupid enough not to monitor the water tank level. Do I miss regular household toilets? Yes, when ours decides to spit back at us because the tank vent is plugged up with spiders and the joker valve needs replacing. Do I miss a regular sized kitchen? Yes. Only because I'm a slob and use every utensil and pot/pan that I have for any simple meal. I'm learning.  Do I miss having a closet full of clothes? No, I'm an engineer, we are not fashion conscious. I think I had computer parts in my closet. Do you miss all the room to move around in? Yes, when Deb is in a "mood", or mad at me for some silly reason because, well, what could I ever do or say to... Yes, extra room would be nice at times. There is the boaters lounge here at the marina that I can run to.  Smells like cats in there. 
Do I miss a regular sized shower? Yes. More room for my large head would be nice, but it’s OK with your eyes open. Do I miss just walking through a door from a garage to get inside my home? Sometimes I do, like  when it’s pouring rain and lightning is threatening to fry my ass. We have to climb into our boat, from a step stool on a floating dock, and span a water gap onto a moving boat. Depends on the weather and how limber we feel. Not really a problem and I think it helps to keep us agile. Do I miss having a workshop? Yes. Every project I have requires a good workspace and some quality tools. We have limited space for tools, so I get by with what I have, and sometimes the work is marginal in quality. Though it's been said that my projects were always marginal in quality.

There are many other changes to our lifestyle too numerous to mention. Are any of these deal breakers? No, I never thought they were. But sometimes it gets frustrating living like this. I hear many times from many different people that they could never live this life. I'm thinking, hell we're still tied to a dock! Imagine what they'll think when we're in the dinghy full of empty water jugs, looking for a good spigot.

Is this lifestyle really so bad? Is being naked and covered in soap with no water really that bad a situation to be in?  Is running out of propane with a pizza in the oven intolerable? Is stepping off the boat and missing the step stool and falling into the boat next door really that embarrassing? Is schlepping your laundry twelve miles to a spanish language laundromat with judge whatever on the TV all the time really that migraine generating? Is getting your butt wet from toilet backsplash really that bad? Yes. That one is really that bad.

This sailing lifestyle is our dream. We knew what we were getting into. This is the life we want to live, and we know just how lucky we are to get this far.  How many can even get close to their dreams without some calamity happening in their lives? How many get distracted by careers, or get sick? How many live in poverty with no foreseeable way out? How many dreams get snuffed out every day for no reason?  We are blessed to have achieved all we have accomplished so far in this life. We worked hard for it, and planned for it, but we are lucky to have been born into a life without poverty, in a nation where dreams can become a reality. 

Every day that we are alive and living our dream should be celebrated. This doesn't mean you get slobbering drunk every day, as fun as that would be. It means you laugh when you bite into that half cooked pizza. It means you scream at the toilet, and then laugh when you reach for the handy wipes. It means you laugh about your busted car because it’s got 200,000 miles on it and you haven't had a car payment since 2007. It means you walk your soap dripping pale white little body gingerly through the boat to the galley to get a gallon jug of fresh drinking water, skidding and laughing the way back to the shower. It’s your attitude pal. Your attitude about life means everything.

After hearing the news in Boston, and checking on friends that are there, and friends with family there, it became a quiet night for me. It was hard to find the humor in anything. My minor events of the past week meant nothing compared to the news that day. Everything I was doing seemed so unimportant.
Today I see things differently. I recall watching the people of Boston running towards the explosions, not away, ready to help the fallen. What courage. That’s helping others in need with total disregard for your own safety and the chaos around you. That’s uplifting! I was wrong to feel that everything I was doing was so unimportant. Despite the sadness, the horror and the violence, we live on for others who cannot. We live on for those that have left us with only memories of their existence. We should Smile. We're alive! The best thing we can do right now is to carry on with our lives as they were. Nothing will piss off a terrorist more than that.

All the bad luck, bad Karma, bad Juju or Jinx I have had for the last week now will all be vanished because I figured out how to get rid of it. Keep smiling. Laugh at yourself. Not out loud. People will think you're nuts. Laugh at your predicament. Stub your toe? Laugh through the pain, after you're done swearing. Drill a hole through the freezer wall and into the hull? Laugh after you find something to plug the gushing hole, and call for the travel lift. I figure it this way; if whatever evil spirit is giving you bad luck, they will be very annoyed at your laughter and happiness, eventually getting bored and moving on. Bad luck and evil people will always be around. Bad stuff is going to happen. Maintain a good attitude, help your fellow humans, and live your life. 

Never ever let the bad guys or bad luck get in your way. Pursue your dreams like you would the musical ice cream truck rolling down the street. There are sweet rewards if you can catch it, but there is just as much fun in smiling and laughing with all the others running alongside you.



  1. Well said.

    S/V Kintala

  2. Great post .. and attitude! We couldn't agree more.

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  4. Hey Paul you are on a boat. You could have jumped off and got rid of the soap. Mike

    1. Our boat seems to be the only one getting pumped out, so no salt water rinse for me

  5. Hey Paul, lighten up!
    I think a pint of Scotch Ale would do that.

    1. You had to mention Scotch Ale didn't you. The only thing I miss about Rochester, aside from my daughter of course. OK, my son-in-law too, Sister, and sailing friends :)

      Don't be mislead by my quirky blog posts. I'm having a blast. Deb would wish I was a little more stressed, as in job related stress.

      Have not found a suitable replacement for SA, but I'm searching.