Ok – we are a few MONTHS late in providing this last update, but I think the reason for the delay is the update itself. Before you think that something happened to cause the delay, think the absolute, complete opposite.
If you can suffer through a few more photos, we’ll put a nice bow on it in the end…
We’ll start with the girls. Tali came back to her sailing lessons and regattas, and junior lifeguard camp. Savy continued to look for an audience taking part in a musical theater camp. They started school without fanfare and have transitioned from boat school to Montessori school smoothly. A side note… after talking to some of the home/boat schooling families and the challenges that folks faced with their school systems at home while cruising, we can’t say enough about the Montessori curriculum and its flexibility to educate through experience allowing the child to drive the focus. When we do something like this again (subtle, right?), the biggest challenge for education will not be content, but likely social. Those daily ‘arguments’ and hurt feelings that kids go through at school are invaluable, and having them in a smaller circle of peers limits that experience…
Tali racing in a regatta… She loves her boat, “Sassy.”
She’s quickly adding to her trophy case… For the record, she is less interested in the trophy and more interested in making sure she beats the boys!!!
The girls changed in so many ways, but confidence is definitely one of the top three.
We came back and adjusted a different speeds… Becky was at work the week after we returned treating patients, and Chris was still glued to the weather report looking for the next front or low pressure system that would require us to change anchorages, or daily trips to Intermezzo to make sure everything was OK. (We’ve only had a boat on that mooring for 14 years without incident… why was he checking so much?)
People ask us about things we didn’t expect. From Chris’ perspective, there were two. First one was the amount of time and mental energy focused on our safety and security. For folks that are fans of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the bottom two levels of the triangle. Second, the re-entry experience, which is directly related to the first. You just don’t shut off focusing on safety and security when you walk back into life in suburban New Jersey.
Another question we get is focused on what is different now that we are back. That’s the hard one… one answer is nothing and the other answer is everything – both are accurate. Before publishing the epilogue, we were waiting for that “ah ha” change, or that simple answer to what is different, but we waited and waited, and things are basically the same. So if everything changed, then what is it? The best way to describe it is that our outlook has changed – experiences are important, being with the right people is important, and each person’s life is unique and we have more power and ability to make ours unique than we may have thought before. The Jones’ are such a powerful force instilled from our childhoods… its such a powerful force because it is unconscious. Many people we have met know this and many other people that we know, knew this, but we did not connect at that level. So in short, we continue to wake up every day and go about our lives, but those daily micro-decisions we make are based on a different objective. While nothing looks different now, 5/10/20 years from now we will be in a far different spot than we would have been without this experience.
As far as our daily lives, Becky’s hours increased at work (not quite her choice), but she’s enjoying being back. She’s also coaching a local “Girls on the Run Team” and getting back involved with the school. Chris is continuing his search for work (he really couldn’t put together a coherent professional sentence not focusing on sailing or weather until the middle of August). Things are moving very well, it just takes time. He got back on the water and helped one of our friends move their boat from New York to Norfolk – a 2 night trip that fulfilled his offshore sailing fix. He is also spending time capturing this experience in a way that will continually remind us of what we accomplished as a family through a graphic and turning this blog into a hardcover book as a memento. And now, he’s back in his element, Intermezzo is out of the water and requires all sorts of work to get her ready for her first winter on the hard in NJ.
Savy helping Dad clean the waterline of Intermezzo.
As far as the next chapter… maybe a “Land Yacht” (yes, aka RV) to see the United States before Tali goes to High School? We’ll see, we know that the kids activities are going to start driving much of our lives, but just throwing the idea out there helps keep us focused.
In the end, our intermezzo delivered on its objective to be a break between two parts of our lives. We cannot thank you all enough for the support you provided throughout this journey.
Lots of love,
Becky & Chris