Boating Adventures | "Embracing the Mundane" | Article and Video by Vicki Totten

There is a problem with having a big adventure. At some point, it ends.  And when it ends, everyday life can look rather mundane in comparison.  After months of anticipating some big trip or adventure, returning to one's "real life" can be a real let down. After all, our real life is sometimes filled with mundane things like making sure the bills get paid, going to the dentist, cleaning the house, grocery shopping and meal preparation.

But interestingly, when people ask me about my favorite moments from our "big adventure" last month sailing in the British Virgin Islands, I find myself relaying seemingly mundane moments as my favorites.  Standing on the cockpit listening to the sound of the water hitting the side of the boat, feeling the breeze on my face, watching the clouds, or just sharing a laugh with one of my crew mates.  Those were my favorite moments. 

And since my retirement budget doesn't really have a line item for continual British Virgin Islands adventures, I am trying to do a better job of noticing those mundane moments that occur and to embrace them the way I did during our adventure.  Maybe the secret is to view every day as a new adventure.  After all, one of the luxuries of being retired is that we are able to slow down enough to notice and appreciate those moments differently.

One such mundane moment happened last week when we were staying on the boat. Stan had noticed a tear in the sail which needed to be repaired before we could go sailing again.  Sail repair can be a huge hassle and very expensive. You have to take the sail down, roll it up, cart it down to your car, and typically, then drive to Corpus Christi to deliver it and then wait weeks and weeks before you can get it back - after paying a surprisingly large sum of money.  Stan happened to mention it to one of our sailing buddies who also had a torn sail.  But this sailing buddy also had another sailing buddy with a sewing machine that was made for working on sails.  So the next thing I know we are all at the yacht club with said sewing machine, with both sails spread out on the floor, on our knees measuring out sail tape and feeding miles and miles of sail cloth through the machine.  And amidst lots of laughter and bantering back and forth, we suddenly had our sail repaired and ready to go sailing again.  What could have been a very mundane task became a fun day spent with friends.  

Certainly there are many such moments that happen to us on a daily basis.  I just need to remember to capture and appreciate them more.  And of course, that requires that I notice them.  So my goal this week as I move through my day, doing things like going to appointments, doing my grocery shopping, or just having my morning coffee, is to notice and appreciate those moments more.  My goal is to embrace those mundane moments, since it is those moments that make up a life.

Vicki and husband, ceramic artist Stan Irvin, are both retired professors who have discovered the joys of Rockport and living part-time on their 33' sailboat, while exploring new sailing destinations and adventures.

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