As is often the case, the idea for this post came to me in the middle of the night. This is partly because we’ve been a family-on-the-move lately—first to the BVI for the magic of Guana Island (pictured above) then home for a full-on New England Christmas, and then a road trip from Boston to rural Virgina for the end of the year—and partly because I’ve simply had trouble sleeping. But maybe I always feel a bit funky at this time of year because the week between Christmas and New Year’s always reminds me how bad things once were, and how lucky I am to be sober and alive (and to have a cute little family that can go to the BVI before Christmas) in addition to being able to sail on wicked-fast yachts and write about “luxury travel.”
Sure, I was literally penniless and living on the beach in Antigua (didn’t have enough money for food not to mention a plane ticket home) but…December 27th, 1993 is my “sobriety date.” I havent had a drink or taken any drugs since then, and needless to say, lots of amazing people have helped me (saved me really), and lots of amazing things have happened since then.
And one of the many simple little things that have helped me live, and grow, and stay sober, and frankly weather the pain and emotional storms that all people (not just alcoholics) face is cultivating gratitude. And one of the many sage tips I’ve received to help cultivate gratitude from the wise and kind people in my life (especially when there doesn’t seem to be that much to be grateful for) has been to simply make a gratitude list.
I’ve had plenty of days when my list was pretty hard to pull together, but I’m compelled to do this one because last year was so amazing, and I want to be able to show our little 3-year-old what Mom, Dad and he were up to when way back in 2015!
But maybe more than anything else, I want to send out my sincere gratitude to the people in my life who cared enough to help me when I was incapable to helping myself. And also share in the true awe that comes from doing things I never thought possible because sobriety, and love, and fellowship, and luck, and a good chunk of faith made them possible.
My 2015 gratitude list starts during one of last winter’s historic snowstorms.
I was supposed to join a boat delivery from North Carolina to Miami, but, I never made it due to canceled flights. So…that led to another story….being sent to cover the Gunboat G4’s first “flights” in St. Maarten by the good folks at Boat International.
Gunboat has made some tough announcements lately, and I’m really pulling for them to do right by all the people they’ve worked with, but things we’re looking much, much brighter when their bright orange, fully foiling 40-foot cruising catamaran was lighting the sailing world on fire. Those of us who were there for the first “flights” knew we were part of something special.
And of course I met some guys on the G4 who showed me a whole different brand of kite-powered speed in San Francisco.
Man, the water was a lot colder in San Francisco Bay than it is in St Maarten, but the “speed-smiles” are the same. And then my byline started showing up on ForbesLife. And I started writing about super yachts…
And luxury travel…And other very cool stuff, like socks!But I digress. Because, in fact, it wasn’t until I got an assignment to cover the Lloyd Thornburg, owner of the amazingly fast Phaedo³, that things really, really got going really really fast.
And then I came home to a couple of weeks on the Cape. And while the Sunfish-sailing speeds weren’t the same, the “speed-smiles” were!
Same holds true for the 16.8 knot speed smiles we logged on the Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600 in Block Island Race week.And then I was back to the open sea. This time on a much slower monohull headed to Bermuda
And then to cap it all off, I was able to steal away in Mid-December for a restorative week with my cute little family on the always amazing Guana Island in the BVI.
And of course they had a Sunfish.
Thank you all for reading this year! I hope I’ve provided a little break from the tyranny of the mundane and I’m planning a 2016 that’s filled with even more stuff we all can be grateful for so stay tuned…..