Bringing my boat home – the first leg

Previously… At the beginning of November, on Thursday evening the 2nd, I drove myself up to Virginia in order to begin a trip to bring my boat home. I began my new life, my new way of living, my new hope in an amazing future. I became a boat owner, one that I can live in if I choose to do so. That first night I went onto my boat for the first time as mine and the first time by myself. I brought my things aboard and then sat down in the cockpit and ate a Wendy’s baked potato with cheese, bacon and sour cream. I just sat there and wondered at the newness and the craziness of what I had done. After eating, I made my bed and went fast to sleep. My life had begun a new trajectory, one that had never been attempted so far.

4 Degrees – Mine now, renaming later

About three in the morning I had to pee. I wasn’t quite sure how to use the toilet on board yet so I went to the marina house and relieved myself there. The night was so bright, a full moon, I didn’t need a flashlight. The peace and the calm of the mid night air, with the freshness of the unknown, was riveting. Back to bed, back to sleep, the morning comes quickly and it’s time to arise. I sit up and smile. I’ve made the right decision. I don’t know much about sailboats yet, but I have a hunger to learn. I place my things as best I can and go back onshore to take a shower.

A little while later the previous owner arrives, brings her things aboard, and we begin to prepare to sail. She has graciously offered to help me take the boat home and to teach me as much sailing as possible along the way. She’s patient and cautious. She never shows frustration nor gives up. I have a hard time at first realizing it’s my boat, and keep asking her if I could do something. She finally tells me, “It’s your boat now,” and laughs. Over the next three days we work together and I begin to gain confidence in my abilities. We stayed at a marina on Friday night and are off to a great start in the morning. I’m anxious to get on our way because our first stop was short of what we had hoped to reach. I really wanted to get her to her final destination for this trip where I could dock her for free for a week. Money is tight, I did just buy a boat after all.

Beautiful day but not much wind…

Saturday looks good but then when we enter the Portsmouth area the winds die down. We travel along the intracoastal waterway (ICW) and are at the mercy of our electric engine. We had fully charged it and it was fine but we wanted to use it carefully to maximize how far we could go. Night comes and we anchor in the middle of the canal, set the generator on and go to sleep, hoping for her to charge well over night. The battery is low but not too bad, not yet. When the generator goes off in the middle of the night, about 4:30 that morning, I get up and check the batteries. Nothing. It didn’t charge. Problem. We can’t sleep anymore and fix us some breakfast. The sun rises beautifully, removing the night and showing us the grandeur of our surroundings. Peace. God is here somewhere. His presence is in everything I see. The wonders of his creation are all around us.

The beauty of the ICW at dawn.

Sunday we make way and head toward Coinjock. We’re getting closer, hoping for winds enough to get us there. The engine is down to its last three percent and there’s no way to charge it. I’m counting the markers and the wind is dying down. It’s time to call for a tow. Always safety before comfort, we continue sailing in slow motion getting as close to our destination as we possibly can. We are being passed by yachts more than twice our size and finally I see a boat speeding towards us, coming to pull us in the rest of the way. The waters in the channel are plenty high but just to each side it drops to as little as 2-3 feet and without our engine and so little wind it’s all I can do to keep us from grounding.

Attached to the side of the tow boat… Relief!

Seeing him pull along side of us was a huge relief. We dropped our sails quickly and stayed I stayed as close to the center of the channel as I could. Once we were tied up, I could finally breathe. I’m not certain how it must feel for him to pull another boat but on my side it gave me a chance to rest. Being towed is interesting. He pulled us to our docking and our adventure for the weekend was over. We’re picked up by her husband, drive back to Norfolk and I drive myself back home… Home by midnight isn’t bad. I’ve accomplished more than I could imagine and there’s more to come.

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Pediatric Rotations

Many think that pharmacy isn’t like the rest. We, as pharmacists, are often thought of as lesser, unnecessary individuals, at least until they need us. When they need us though, they love the knowledge that we have. I’m in the midst of one of my rotations and this one is with pediatrics at a large hospital. Yes, pharmacists are necessary and needed here. Below is what I wrote after the first day there.

“Day one of peds rotation and its after 10 at night and I’m crying already. The patients I have today are sick, really sick. I was assured earlier that most of our patients aren’t like these because these are in a special ward. But these are still these. I’ve never known DiGeorge syndrome and I’m grateful that I haven’t. Three of the 8 kids on my list are DNAR and they’re just babies. DNAR means “do not attempt resuscitation”. How do people do this day in and day out? How can I? So many medicines! Such little bodies! The slightest error on a med could cause serious damage, permanent damage or even cause them to die. And yet, many of these will die early anyway. I don’t question God, not tonight, but I feel for the parents and the kids who have never known not getting poked or prodded. Who’ve never had a chance to fly. But I am not one to know that they don’t fly somehow. Each person has their place, even these. Life is short but for them? So much shorter and yet it feels so long when they suffer.

I’m going to get my boat tomorrow night. I’ll drive up there and spend the night and then we will set sail on Friday morning, early. I’m excited, scared, and wanting to wait but I NEED this now. I NEED to get out there and recharge for next week. I’ve gotta take care of me or I’m not going to make this. Time for bed.”

I did go and get my boat. I love it. I stayed on it for three nights and three days as I learned from the previous owner how to sail. We sailed it down a little closer than it was, yet it’s not yet to its home… I have to take care of myself when life gets hard and I’m glad to have the boat to do that. I’ll be writing more about her later.

Today, though, was another hard day on rotation. Today we learned that one of the babies, really she’s two, will be removed from her life supporting ventilator in the near future. She has no hope for recovery and her parents have been holding on for a glimpse, a sign, anything they can. They’ve decided it’s time and despite what you think, they may be right. It’s not my place to judge them. I have not lived in their shoes and God am I grateful! I nearly cried when I heard the news but I held it in. Then when it was time to go home the tears began to flow on my drive. Even now they threaten to fall.

All of these children! It’s different when you get to grow old and die after having lived a long and fruitful life. That’s different, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. But when you’ve just barely had a chance and that chance was never one out of the hospital? What is life for? What is their purpose for being here? What can we learn? What can they show us?

There’s really a lot we can learn. We can be reminded that life is indeed short, whether you die at two or at 102. Life races by. We can learn to live our lives to the best of our abilities. We can learn to be grateful for our own problems. I’ve heard that if we were given a chance to trade problems with another we’d beg to have our old ones back.

We can also learn that when we have a chance to make a decision that many of our decisions don’t affect only ourselves. We might, and often are, affecting others. Some of these children wouldn’t be in the hospital if their parents had taken charge of their health. Some of the children are recovering from addictions that their parents have. Some of them are suffering from malnutrition and abuse. Some of them are there because of a genetic malfunction. There are so many things to learn!

Even our genetics are things we have some control over. Have you heard of epigenetics? What you do, whether you exercise or not, what you eat, what your mother ate, whether your father smoked? These all change how OUR genes are expressed. So even some of these can be better controlled and prevented. We are barely learning the tip of the iceberg.

Do me a favor. Go love on your babies, your mothers and fathers. Go hug your friends and kiss your spouses. Life is what we make of it. I vote we make it good!

thanks for reading,

me

Thoughts? A book…

Lately, my life has made some extremely wonderful turns. I’m newly single, building a life that I love; yet already in love with life. I’ve traveled through hell and back and I’ve survived. I’ve done more than one person ought to do and I’ve made life happen despite it all. So, I did something. Like many of you who read this, I’ve decided to write a book. A book about my journey so that I can set it out there for others so that they maybe can believe in themselves again. I’ve decided to be vulnerable, letting it all out. Trusting that there are those around me who need me to stand up and stand out. Trusting that there are many out there who need someone like me to start it all.

I remember being alone, feeling alone, feeling hopeless. I was alone. I didn’t have someone to stand up beside me until I made that giant first step. What if there is another person just waiting to make the step to freedom but is too scared to stand alone? What if that person just needs to know that she (or he) is not alone? What if everyone knew? This world could change, it would change. Abuse would not be a dirty little secret any longer. What if a woman could stand up in her church and tell the truth? What if the church told her more than to pray for her husband? What if?

So, the truth is, dear readers, I have written my book already. I’ve been open and vulnerable and honest about my journey. I have friends reading it now. At first to see if it was worth putting out there, and now to see how I can make it more readable and with fewer mistakes. The feedback so far is that I must put this out there. I wrote it like my life depended on it. I wrote every morning before the sun rose and each evening past when the house was quiet. I wrote daily for weeks, months really, until this past summer when I finally finished it. My journey is not over but I ended the book so that I could bring it to completion. I look forward to putting it out there soon. Be waiting. It has a trigger warning in the beginning and yet I hope that does not stop you. It is my path to freedom, my journey, yet it is also yours who have no voice yet. It is for you.

thank you for reading,

me

Underwhelmed?

Underwhelmed… I’m up but I’m not feeling it today. I have a list of things I need to accomplish but I don’t want to do any of them. I want to go back to sleep but I’m not tired. I even went back to bed and put a pillow over my head; didn’t work. It’s a fine hour to be awake, not even early at almost 8. I did get up, and I decided to come and sit and write. I’m sipping on my coffee and hopefully that will help.

Things on my list today include: running to the post office, studying, working on my business, making a call to insurance for my son, going to the park with a girlfriend, and selling a dog igloo. I don’t go back on rotation until next week.

Things I ought to consider working on: my bees (they need winterizing), my house needs cleaning, my lawn needs mowing, my bed needs changing. I ought to think of cooking and showering and calling the internet guys. Sweeping would be useful as well.

What I really want? This is the problem… not a problem, but at a standstill momentarily… I want to go sailing. I want to go up and get my boat (yes I’m buying it!) and sail it down. I want to feel the breeze in my hair (even if it is short), listen to the waves, watch the sails, and just feel the peace which comes when I’m on the ocean waters. I want to smell the salty scents of the water and feel the spray from the splashes. I want to stand proud and calm, knowing that I am living a life that I love and knowing that when I do so I give others permission to do so as well. That’s what I want.

I want to be done with my school so I can move forward with my consulting. I want to help others be healthy and help them to take control of their lives. I want to be able to jump-start their lives, their dreams, so they can begin to live again. That’s what I want too. I want others to see their own spark and to help them to grow it into a burning flame, a raging fire. I want others to see their worth and know that a life they love is possible.

Am I asking too much? Nope. Not at all. I’m likely not asking enough. This is a great big amazing world we live in. Anything we dream is possible. If you can think it, it can happen. What do you want?

thanks for reading,

me

 

A Boat?

Did I find a boat for me? One I can learn on? One that is big enough but not quite ready? I may have. My youngest and I drove up to see her, it took about three and a half hours to get there. We got up early that morning and then drove and drove and drove. It was fun.

We got there and found the boat. It wasn’t a perfect boat but it felt perfect. When we got on board and looked around we felt comfortable, at home. There are things that need to be fixed, all surface things, things like upholstery and some minor woodwork. And it needs cleaning. Like I said, we felt very comfortable.

We then prepared to sail. We motored out to the river and then set sail. The feeling of the wind in my hair, the sounds of the waves rushing by, the freedom. It was easy to sail and felt right. Do I buy something because it feels right? Or do I make a sound financial decision? Or do I do both? Both. I’m not going to buy something that doesn’t feel right.

But, am I going to go forward with my dreams? Am I going to take the chance on a life that I love? Am I brave enough to go into unknown territory? Life is about the adventure anyways, isn’t it? What good would it be if I never truly set out to live? I’ve had my share of wasted years. I’ve done my time in the dungeon. I’m not going back there again.

What did I decide? I decided I’m going to go for it. I’m going to make my dreams come true. I’m going to live into the unknown because it can’t be worse than where I’ve been but it can be better. I have moved forward on the boat and I will update again soon. I’m excited and a little scared. Being just a little scared means that I’m doing something right. I’ve learned that following my fears means I’m following my dreams. I’m learning to trust myself.

thank you for reading,

me

Small world

Yesterday I met a lovely lady at Juice Plus Live in Indianapolis.  She’s a side line team member and we were just asking normal questions about our businesses. Things like how did you get started? What level are you? Who signed you up? Who’s your up line? Common questions.  But! She said a name that I recognized.  My head began to spin.  How can this be?! Is it even possible?

I began to pour through my contacts on my phone, looking for a single person. I couldn’t find it. I texted my father with a single question. What was her name? I stayed in the conversation some but I felt like I was being rude. Dinner and I’m on my phone? Yup, rude. So I gave up my investigation and asked her about this same person.

My mother died several years ago, in 2009. I still think of her often. We had our differences but I think I understand her more now than I used to. Over these last couple of years I’ve had to become stronger than I’ve ever been. In the process, I’ve begun living into my dreams despite those around me. I’m a new, whole, person now. I’m in a place in my life where I love life, all of it.

I asked her to describe to me the lady who had helped her become interested in Juice Plus. When I heard this lady’s name it was the same as the name of the lady who started my own mother as well, a friend of my father’s in a history more than twenty years ago. The coincidence was not lost on me. I’m currently a resident of North Carolina and my side line is a resident in Minnesota, and we were sitting in a small TGIF in Indianapolis. We lived in Minnesota when I was a child of 8, 9, 10, and 11 years old. My parents were friends with the same lady.

Small world. Not only is this the very same person that we knew, but this new lady (my sideline) was a good friend of my mother. Tears came to our eyes. I, with one hand shake and a hug, had introduced myself to a friend of my mother’s; and in a short dinner course had gained a small piece of who my mother was. I had gained a part of my mom back. My mother lived on in this woman and for this lady, my mother lived on in me. Two of my children were there with us and were witnesses to this unusual reunion. We had both lost someone precious to us and we have now gained just a small piece of her back. It is a small world; a giant, beautiful, small world.

thank you for reading,

me

Living into a dream

Living into a dream life is interesting. I have goals, tangible ones, and I want to achieve them. But, I’m a lot like most people: big goals, little action. The question today is how do I move beyond what ‘everyone else is doing’ to who I truly want to be? I’m great on a deadline. I am fantastic at procrastinating until the last minute. But this won’t help in the long term. Great for tests but not so much for things like getting out of debt. For the long term I need to be consistent on the little things. Debt for example, would mean consistently eating at home, buying fewer things, selling things that don’t matter to me, paying attention to the money I do have. For school? I know there’s the boards coming in May and June. I want to be ready to fly with those. I want to be an excellent pharmacist and I want to be trustworthy. How do I achieve something like that? The little things again? Of course. I need to study daily and to learn as much as I can. But I see it as an exam… which I normally cram for… Do you see my dilemma?

My life is full of so many things and I live rather randomly most of the time. I’m good in an emergency because I’m great at flying from the seat of my pants; but I don’t want to wait for an emergency to get things done anymore. I love the part of me that decides to go to the beach on a dime and the part of me that can sit and watch a movie with my kids instead of doing anything else. I like who I am. (I could write a book on that statement!) I love life’s interruptions. But, that’s the problem. If I want to reach my tangible goals then I need to set aside time to achieve them. I need to break them down and work them in parts so that I actually succeed. Part of the problem in the past has been that I allowed others to control my time. I have finally learned to say no to something good in order to do something great. I hate it though. I am still learning to manage my time and I’m doing better.

My writing isn’t part of my goals, which is odd. My writing is for my mental health instead. Each morning I wake up early just so I can have some time for just me. I treasure this time so much that I get out of bed despite feeling tired. I’ve made it a habit. If I can make writing a habit then I can also make using my time wisely a habit as well. Is that what I need then? Goals that excite me? Goals that I can’t stop thinking about? Living a life that I dream? Living a life that I love so much that finding the time to build it is easy? That must be the key. If I’m ambivalent toward something I’ll never do it. Again, my passion, is what I need to ignite. I am a passionate woman, I just need to let myself be who I am.

Being debt free doesn’t excite me, not in the slightest! What about being able to actually know that no one owns me? That sounds a lot better. If no one owned me or my time how would I be? I can feel the weight lifting off of my shoulders as I think of this. Now this is a goal I can feel. This is something I can become passionate about. How do I achieve this? There are so many possibilities!

thank you for reading,

me