When I was young and looked fabulous, I dated this really rich farmer who had his own plane. One day when he flew down to see me, I met him at the airport as we were going to fly along the coast for a while to go somewhere for lunch. Once we were in the air, I said, without giving it any thought at all, “Can I fly the plane?” The idiot said yes and gave me control of the Cessna. Well, the next few minutes got very exciting as he realized I'd said, “Can I” not “May I” … because I very obviously couldn't.
He took over and landed the plane looking a touch pale. He immediately flew off back to his big farm and the romance never recovered. I believe he thought I was a tad reckless.
Shortly thereafter I found myself in a new country with my first husband, no wealthy farmer, delivering sailboats from the U.K. to the Mediterranean via the dreaded Bay of Biscay. The first boat we delivered was a 34 foot catamaran.
On the second night out from Cornwall a violent storm blew up. Bad weather always seems to start at night, the weather gods love playing wee jokes on sailors. The boat crashed, wobbled and lurched alarmingly under it's teeny storm sail as I tried to keep the boat stable while the wheel felt like it had a life of it's own. I clearly recall saying out loud, “What the hell am I doing? Oh! thank God, Mum can't see me now.”
So I started a serious negotiation with God about how good I'd be if he just let me live through this. God wasn't impressed with my negotiating skills, nor did he believe me since I hadn't prayed or thought of him in years.
The storm raged all night but calmed a bit to a grey sullen dawn, by which time I was back on watch. The swells were large and threatening in the misty pale light. I was gazing out and thinking how surprisingly quiet it was, I felt I was the only person in the whole world. I just listened to the slap of water and whoosh of a swell passing the hulls and wondered whether I ought to try thanking God or would that just irritate him.
Suddenly the sea beside me started bubbling and roiling and I nearly had a heart attack as a submarine barreled out of the depths to the surface beside us. I don't know if you've ever been up close and personal with a submarine but they are not friendly looking vessels. Menacing to say the least. It motored off without opening it's conning tower to wave at me which I thought rather rude. It obviously wasn't the Royal Navy. They would have acknowledged our blue duster. The owner of the boat was a retired Royal Navy commander thus we could fly the blue. I often speculated why he didn't sail his own boat to the Med.
But I swore there and then I would give up this sailing tiny boats across oceans for good. Naturally after that I delivered more boats, spent another entire season on a racing boat in the Solent, went on to own two of my own in the Med., living on one for nearly 5 years – you get the picture.
So, what is the moral of the story here? I got to thinking about these various episodes in my life after a friend commented on a previous post how she hated change but admitted it can be a good thing. My life seems to revolve around change so I guess it works for me.
There have been a lot of other “not knowing what I am doing” episodes but I shan't go in to them...too long a list. The point is I started off blindly ignorant, learned how things worked by trial and error mostly, and once I got the hang of it, I set off to try something new.
Here I am doing it again. Writing and illustrating two books. One for children. I've never had children nor had much to do with them. I started out without checking dimensions and such necessary techie things and now find myself having to start over.
I think it's a good thing though ... I am looking at it differently, doing a little more research but it's going slowly. Okay, some days I just ignore it and call it a thinking day.
Really, what is this? A thinking day? Well, hey, you gotta fool yourself sometimes to remain sane. It works for me anyway.