Mindfulness is getting a lot of well-deserved attention. Focusing on the present, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, has much merit. I try to stay in the moment as much as possible. However, for the past four months, I have spent many hours focused on the future; anticipating the upcoming Transatlantic passage to Portugal. I wake up in the morning thinking about it, and then throughout the day I’ll smile about my good fortune to have such an opportunity. Since I was invited to be a fourth crew member on North Wind, there has not been a single day that I have not devoted significant time to mentally preparing for the voyage, or talking about it with friends and colleagues.
Being retired I do not see my colleagues daily. Invariably, when I cross paths with a colleague, I am asked how retirement is going. My ready response to share my excitement about the upcoming adventure. Their reactions are binary. Some react with a big smile and ask for details. Others, express concern and look at me like I am crazy to consider sailing so far away from the safety of a coast. Last night, I was asked if I was nervous about the trip. My quick response was, “No, but I have great respect for the various ways one can prevent dangerous situations.” This morning I reflected more on the question about having fear associated with the trip. I think about the passage the same way I view riding my bicycle on public roads or driving on Interstates between Bloomington and Florida. Riding a bike or driving a car involves risk, but we accept it because we see many instances of those activities occurring without an incident. When there is someone who gets stranded in a sailboat, that’s what we see on the news.
Bottom line, anticipating the upcoming Transatlantic passage has been exhilarating.