Sep 19

On to a New Adventure

Tag: introspectionJonathon Haradon @ 1:19 am

What a change.  For the past four years I’ve been part of planning a two year sailing adventure.  Now, I’ve been spending time planning a new life-long adventure.  I’m expecting a baby! And with a girl that I love!.  Wow.  You sure can get some unseen huge curves on that road-of-life thing.

My relationship is not analogous to some random islander hook-up.  We are very much in love and very much together for the long haul.  Rather than run off to the next port-o’-call like they might have done in previous centuries, a couple of months ago I left Syzygy.  Upon arriving from Colorado, I was at Syzygy only briefly before I learned the news and headed back to Colorado to be with my girl-friend.  Contrary to being punished, I feel rewarded. My life has traded one option for the equally incredible one of raising a child.  Of course, this was definitely unexpected. I mean, I was planning on sailing around the world for Christ’s sake!  So it was a heady choice, though definitely the right one for me, and I am very much excited.  A baby!  I’ve always looked forward to the idea of kids.  Soon after I found out, a friend relayed a story that struck a cord.  He talked about how he had always thought about having kids but probably would have never gotten around to doing it.  But it happened unexpectedly to him and now he just couldn’t be happier.  I think, in the first half of that thought, there’s some truth to that for me and I fully expect that the second half will ring spot on.

It was extremely hard telling Matt that I was having a baby, moving back to Colorado and not going sailing.  I was still a mess of emotions at that point.  My fear of the unknown was high;  I didn’t know how he would respond and so I feared the worst: his reproach, his disappointment, and the weight and the burden such a response would have on my already frazzled emotional state.  His opinion carries so much weight with me and his opinion of me is incredibly important.  It would have been crushing to me if his reaction was intensely negative.  When I broke the news though, my fears did not come to pass.  Instead congratulations came and the reassurance, “I’m not mad at you.”  It speaks to his character that despite his disappointment, which I knew was there, despite his sadness at how our lofty goal would not be shared, he chose, perhaps because he knew I needed it, to stand in support of my decision and where my choices are taking my life.

With that fear overcome, I felt enormous relief.  I knew telling Jonny would be, while difficult and emotional, immensely easier.  A couple of hours later, as I put away a few beers, Jonny and I talked well into the night on it.

I know I’ve chosen to miss out on an incredible adventure: attempting to sail around the world.  But I also know that this is clearly the right choice.  And there will be plenty of adventures for me in the future.  They might not be the sailing-around-the-world type, but adventures will be had.  I’m going climbing this week-end.  I’m planning a trip to France in December.  So adventures will still be had.  I feel some guilt though that I will not contribute to finishing work needing to be done on the boat.  We were on a tight timeline even before this event.  Now, minus my labor, the to-do list looms larger.  And as is usually the case, while some items get checked off, new ones get added.  It has been tough to listen to Matt and Karen describe working on the boat.  Karen told me of her excitement at refinishing the deck:  laborious work, but extremely fulfilling to see it look so nice.  I had pangs of envy wanting to be there to pitch in and enjoy.  Matt vented and despaired at new work to be done, and I despaired because I can’t say, ‘well let’s you and me double down on our efforts.  Let’s make a big push.  We can do it.’  I can’t say that because I’m not there.

However, I certainly was not the critical component to this trip like our captain Matt, and my departure from the plan will not doom the trip.  My sailing skills are still, unfortunately, much to my chagrin and to put it nicely:  limited.  Living in Colorado has not allowed for nearly as many opportunities as I would have liked to get to know my boat: sailing her, the systems, and the work put into the boat.  I have to admit that I have never taken the boat out sailing without our captain on board, Matt and I agreeing that my skills simply were not quite up to par.  Depressing perhaps, but I willingly admit it to be true.  So my bailing certainly isn’t an impediment to Matt, Karen and Jonny going forth on an amazing adventure and doing what we began planning four years ago.  Sailing the world is still a consummate adventure filled with endless potential.  People beg off trips all the time, including many trips that Matt, Jonny and I have been on or led, and those that stay on still get to experience everything the adventure has to offer.

We’ve all had six weeks to sit and chew on this.  Matt and Jonny, at my request, refrained, for the most part, from writing about this this until I was ready, a fact I very much appreciate, allowing me to announce this very personal news first.  We aren’t the Washington Post, here at our little corner of the blog-osphere, breaking news of Watergate to the world, and so I want to acknowledge the courtesy of allowing me to tell our little audience about this first.  I’m sure they both have many thoughts on it, some of which I hope and expect they will share here.  We have all used this blog as a window into our excitement, frustrations, and feelings for the last two years.  I will probably not have much more to blog (though a sail still awaits completion), this adventure ending for me as a new one begins.  Jonny, Matt and Karen, however, have the opportunity for an incredible adventure ahead.  My absence from it certainly doesn’t stand in the way of that.  Good luck to you!

6 Responses to “On to a New Adventure”

  1. Mark says:

    Congrats on the baby! I’ve been following the blog since I found it on outside’s website. I’ll miss your posts (although I do hope that you still update it with more info on completing the sail), but wish you all the best.

  2. Gary says:

    Congratulations!! Your new adventure may prove more challenging than the one you are leaving behind. I am also glad to hear your priorities are straight. Perspective is everything.

  3. Dave Noel says:

    Congratulations! I to am relieved to hear that your priorities are straight. As somewhat of a has-been adventurer myself, I have tuned out, to some degree, the call of adventure since my first child was born 6 years ago to this day in order to devote more time to the more important task of raising a family. I now have 3 little boys that I cannot wait to share future adventures with. I took the 6 year-old climbing today and he loved it. I hope to share many adventures with my boys and know I will find these as fulfilling as the care-free days of adventure. Good luck to Jonny and Matt!

  4. Dave says:

    Sailing and life are together unpredictable. Sometimes the wind blows in the direction you desire to travel and sometimes it blows you in a completely different direction than you envisioned. Yet, it’s not the destination that is important, but the journey that ultimately matters. So too is the journey of life with all its unpredictability of smooth seas and rough squalls. Yet as you sail toward the unknown horizon, the GREAT sailor does not merely drift or idly lay anchor, but sails forward with purpose and determination no matter where the winds of chance may take him/her. Greatness is not a function of mere circumstance, but a matter of conscious choice and discipline. Sail on in life my son…you may not know what the future holds, but I know you are the one who holds the key to your own future. – Dad

  5. K says:

    Baby on board!!!! 🙂 Can’t wait to meet the little one… What a great example you are already setting – giving up a ’round-the-world sailing trip so that your child will know you loved him/her from the very first and are someone s/he will always be able to rely on. You’re going to be a great dad and if parenting isn’t a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants adventure, I don’t know what is…

  6. Audra says:

    Wow, Congratulations! I probably have had my mouth hanging open for literally a minute. Literally. What a shocker. I thought I would be reading about sails or some other tool/welding experience mixed with sailing humor. Not what I expected. I am so happy for you, and understand how when life throws you curve balls they inevitably define you. Good job with your defining. 🙂

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