I sail down this cold desolate coast tonight—phosphorescent bow wake shooting up the hull as I drop-in to mother ocean’s perpetual half pipe—and I find myself wondering if I am honouring this one precious life, to the best of my ability.
It happens at least once a week (when we are in port) that someone exclaims with utmost sincerity, how envious they are of this adventure we are on. I certainly cannot argue the point; for me this is as close an approximation of the best possible life as I am likely to create. Sailing, time with the kids, time with Vick, and a metric ton of the kinds of experience that my soul has begged for since childhood. These are some of the ways that I honour this increadible gift of being.
For every path chosen though, there are innumerable left unexplored or under-explored. What about driving nice cars? I had a Saab once, but that doesn’t really count. Or living in a house with a man-cave, swimming pool, bar, and hot tub? Honestly, a hot tub sounds pretty rad right now. Or what about my friends who fight for social or environmental justice? Or produce art and music, or software? These are all completely valid and honourable ways to spend a life.
I’ve been pondering this—as the miles fly under the keel—and as I pondered, a subtle notion emerged. I have parts of many of these interests in my life, but I will never be as good at any aspect as those friends, colleagues, and idols who commit themselves exclusively to their tasks. I think I am learning (at this ripe age) to be okay with that.
What I think I have concluded, out here in this soul-exposing ocean, is that honouring this miraculous shot at existence requires the introspection to know myself, the courage to be myself, and the creativity to make the most of what privilege I have, without denying others the privilege that they deserve.
As a generalist, I have fallen victim to comparing myself against the best specialists in each field I have been interested in. I am going to make a concerted effort, in this new year, to compare myself to the only one like me; me.