A New Plan

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This past weekend, I completed the Mariner’s Sailing School basic course with David and Erin on the Potomac. Since all of my sailing knowledge comes from a time when my age hovered in the single digits, I figured it was time for a refresher.

I absolutely loved it. I loved being on the water. I loved trying to read shifting wind directions, determining whether I needed to tack or jibe, and figuring out whether I needed to let out my sails or pull them in. I guess the sailing love could be genetic, but now I am thrilled and cannot wait until my mom and I do our Caribbean trip in December and spend some more time on the water.

Here are some pictures of our sailing lessons on a Flying Scot sailboat (which is an excellent sailboat to learn on).

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That is David talking it out with our instructor, Randy.

Here is David more confident at the tiller:

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We sailed across the river from Alexandria to National Harbor, where I had never actually been before.

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What I don’t have are any pictures of me at the tiller and manning the main sail. My face was probably pretty hilarious to see because I had etched into it a combination of deep concentration and a fear that at any moment, I would make a bad decision and capsize the boat (the winds were pretty strong for learning).

In thinking about finally really learning how to sail (and being more than mere ballast on a boat), I was thinking about how this year I finally took the effort to learn how to sew also. I realized that I have gotten a lot of satisfaction out of learning these new skills. Sailing, in particular is something that I think I can really enjoy over the course of my life. It made me think about how after college and graduate school, I really stopped taking the time to actively learn new things and new skills. Like many adults, I just assumed that I would take all of my unfulfilled expectations and thrust them upon my children. I always wanted to learn how to play the cello and never did, therefore, my kid would be able to play Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto by the time he/she graduated high school. The less likely it is looking that I am going to be able to have children of my own, the more I am realizing that it was always a bad plan to try to make my kids enjoy all the things that I wanted to enjoy. Nope, there is still time for me to learn those things myself.

So with that said, maybe I will actually be one of the world’s oldest beginning cellists at some point in the near future. Maybe I will take that Land Rover Off Road Driving School class too. Of course, after this weekend, all I want to do is buy a sailboat and move to the BVIs where I can sail all the time and become really good at it. So, I guess I need to find a way to balance things.

There are many things that I can still do.

Note: I did not take any pictures of myself on the sailboat, but here is one picture of me with adorable Knightley, who was dressed up as Woody from Toy Story for the fall festival in Matt and Erin’s neighborhood in Alexandria. I look a mess after a day on the water.

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