Have boating-related activities started to come aboard your 2017 calendar?
If so, I’m curious what you’ve added and what else you hope to include in your free time. Big adventures? Travel? Weekend get-aways? Fishing trips? Time with friends and family? Time alone? Events? Classes? How do you prioritize and choose? Is your calendar stuffed full? Or, conversely, do you try to keep your schedule open to allow for spontaneity? Do you set aside time for projects, improvements, chores and maintenance during these colder months each year – or wait for a proverbial rainy day later on, and cross your fingers that the weather stays dry?
My answers to questions such as these have varied over time. My younger self seldom made long-term plans early in the year. I often went “with the flow,” as we said in those years. Consequently, I sometimes added too many events to my calendar, plus additional activities that I thought I must do or should do. I also optimistically made “resolutions,” but then floundered and did not always take tangible steps to achieve them as each year unfolded. That didn’t concern me much at the time, as there was so much to explore and do. Through curiosity and a willingness to try new things, I discovered many interests and subjects I truly enjoy to this day.
In years that followed, my calendar was shaped by career objectives that usurped many personal plans. Work kept me increasingly indoors, and stole what felt like entire summers. The tradeoff was that corporate employment paid well. A plus, that I didn’t realize right away, is that it also pushed me beyond my comfort zone. I traveled to places that I would not have sought out on my own. That prompted growth and helped me hone a variety of skills. It even led to a few boating adventures and new friendships. It was in that context that I realized how boats and so many other things connect us together as people.
Glancing back, often what stands out as most memorable and meaningful about some years are things that I didn’t anticipate or plan. Of course, I also relished accomplishments and wins that were diligently pursued. What also stands out are insights I gained about myself, especially the notion that free time is my luxury of choice. Those earlier obligatory resolutions, must-do’s and should-do’s that weren’t of interest to me in real time, in hindsight, should have been tossed overboard.
Looking ahead, I hope to plan this year with more intention; based on what is important to me, what I’d like to experience, what I’d like to accomplish, where I’d like to go, how I’d like to grow – and I’ll also leave some wiggle room on my schedule for the unexpected.
One of my older blog posts delved into the many boating activities that take place each year. Among the earliest are boat shows. The Seattle Boat Show just wrapped up this past weekend; those in other cities begin this week. Although, a new boat is not in my budget, I still find it fun to tour the boats and think of all of the possibilities. I also enjoy the many innovative products, (especially those that solve problems — like the SlideMoor boat docking system). Improvements in outdoor gear are always an ongoing temptation for me, as are other new technologies. And, I wish that the many wonderful seminars that happen in real-time, were available to watch on demand.
As we venture further into this year, let’s take advantage of the off-season to get organized, get inspired, learn some new things, and get ready for more great adventures on the water!