Over coffee last Thursday morning, I happened to be looking at my paper calendar, and had a moment of panic because I realized I had forgotten the first night of Hannukah. I know, I know, not the worst thing in the world, but I felt really badly. How did I miss Hannukah? How did I not wish my kids a happy holiday, remind them to light the menorah? Bad mom, bad mom, being away from my kids for so long.
It was only 8:30 AM, but Mike raced to find the LED menorah that we had stashed away in a storage area behind the cushions, and promptly “lit” the first candle. I snapped a picture and sent it to my kids, wishing them a happy first night of Hannukah, and reminding them to light two candles that evening.
I got a response, in seconds, from my daughter: “Nope, next week.”
So I was a week off…I tried to rationalize how this could happen, but couldn’t find a good excuse. I was looking RIGHT at the calendar, and didn’t even know what week it was. I even thought to myself, “hey, at least I knew it was Thursday.”
Because that’s the way it is here. After two months and one week (not two weeks, apparently) of living on the boat, the day of the week doesn’t seem to matter any more, and apparently either does the week.
It’s not like we are totally out of it. Mike and I are able to get the news of what is going on in the world. We read the New York Times on line – we know about the California wild fires, the ever-increasing accusations of sexual misconduct and harassment, the uproar over Jerusalem, the Fingerling as the “hot” toy of 2017. But we also feel very detached from that news—like it is not happening to us, but to other people in some foreign land.
Perhaps this is because we are not constantly bombarded by news. We don’t rehash it, over and over and over– at the gym, or at work, or with friends over dinner. We don’t get it through twitter, local TV news, paper newspapers or even late night comedians (oh how I miss Trevor Noah!) We read it, digest it, and go on with our lives. In short, while we may be informed, we are decidedly detached.
Our lives are focused now, not on the outside world, but on ourselves, but not necessarily in a hedonistic way. Without trying to appear too dramatic, we are focused on our survival, because we are really on our own, despite the fact that some would say we are alone in paradise.
While we may not know what day it is, we know what direction the wind will be coming from, and how strong it will be. We know whether squalls are expected. We know how much sail to let out. We remember to run the generator so we have power. We make sure we are well supplied because resources are sometimes scarce, whether it be diesel, gas, toilet paper, or coffee. We are hyper aware of our surroundings.
My worries in he middle of the night are not gone, they are just different now. When the wind is howling off the mountains of Guadalupe at 30 knots at 3:00 AM, I wonder if our anchor will hold, and if the anchors on the boats windward of us will also hold. I worry about what might have happened if I had broken a hip when I fell through a missing slat in a dingy dock as I stepped backwards down into the hole (instead of just getting the biggest damn bruise on my lower tuchas that I have ever seen). I worry that the dinghy will be stolen, that our boat won’t be there when we return from an excursion. I worry about bugs, poisonous snakes, and sea creatures with big teeth. There is plenty to worry about here in Paradise, besides the news and the calendar.
So forgive me for not knowing the day, the date, or even the week. I am pretty certain it’s December, so I’ll just say Happy Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and we will leave it at that.