Breaking the Bank (November 22-24, 2014)

Matt has bought a local phone in the USVI and has said he has free calls to the US. Therefore, our calls are a bit more frequent and are less ‘missing you’ calls and more about tactical things. On a recent one, this was our exchange: “What the hell” he squawks at me, “are you buying on a site called Orbitz?” “That,” I calmly respond, “would be something called plane tickets and hotels for while the crew stayed on the boat.” “Oh,” he mumbles in a considerably more piped-down tone. “Well,” he says, “we just got a HUGE Visa bill. We really need to watch our spending if we want to continue this trip.”

The bill from work done at the last marina plus all the expensive last-minute purchases needed for Tashtego’s passage to the Caribbean (plus paying the captain) has almost broken the bank. We had only planned for one year away but it’s morphed into two. Matt and I had an ongoing joke that we would run out of money just as the boat was ready – and that some other family would get to live out our dream of hanging out in the islands. Well, we’re pretty much living out that joke right now. This would be funny if it weren’t so pathetic (well, actually, it’s kind of funny anyway). The amazing thing is how the Universe works. Matt’s dad died last May – right before we left on the trip. If he had stayed sick, we never would have gone on this trip. His generosity in his will is what will be allowing us to actually finish the trip and do the island thing. In a sense, his dad is going with us. Thank you, Cal. We love you.

Steve Jobs best captured these paradoxical interrelationships among things that we label ‘good’ or ‘bad. He said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” The truth is, you never really know whether a thing is good or bad when it happens. Most times, it is neither. It is simply a stepping stone to what is next in your life. You simply have to hold on long enough for it all to make sense.