A Labor of Love (has kicked my ass)

Working on this boat has officially kicked my ass. Twice. I need another lay day today. I used to do this no problem 15 years ago. Oh, did I say that? That I’m somehow not able to do at 67 what I did at 50, or 52? You think you’re getting old in your 50’s? I had a 9 year old when I was 50. Worked full time, spent a lot of time watching said 9 year old play hockey,take care of my house, and managed to do stuff like wax the boat in a day. A big ass boat then, too. 50% longer and 75% wider than this one.

Yesterday I spent a couple hours in the morning, and a couple more in the evening cleaning the cockpit of the boat, which was filthy. (Morning and evening are the only times one can work on the boat, since by noon it is usually around 90, with 70% humidity, and the boat sits in the glaring sun all day.) It’s been sitting uncovered, because the previous owner left the bimini top and the cockpit cover up in Hurricane Irma, for a long time. At least since last September. For a long time before that they had neglected the boat. UGH. It didn’t seem like hard work yesterday though, while I was doing it. But last night, oh my. My body began to rebel. My arthritis kicked up, and I had ice packs on my arms, and a wrist brace, and was trying hard not to irritate a shoulder much.

It still shocks me that I am not capable of doing what I’ve always done. It shocks me that I am actually getting older, and that my infirmities actually affect my ability to work. I am exhausted today, after sleeping soundly for 8 hours, and think I’ll spend the day reading, writing, making jewelry (if my sore hands allow). I’ve not played my keyboard (a Christmas gift from Dan and something I’ve wanted for years) for weeks because I’ve been busy with the boat and now my hands hurt. Maybe I’ll try anyway. It soothes my mind to play, even though I am far from accomplished.

Maybe I’ll make something good for dinner. We’ll probably go run errands for parts we need for our shower sump/bilge pump. I have to clean my kitchen floor. Again. Like almost every day lately because we are wearing real shoes (vs sandals or flip-flops) to climb up the ladder to the boat, and the real shoes have real treads and track in real dirt. It seems confined to my kitchen which is a blessing.

The good news is that the cockpit will be done with one more day out there, and then I can start putting the stuff that we’ve accumulated for the boat in the boat, and get it out of my house, which at this point, looks like a marine supply warehouse. Full of docklines, and throw pillows, a quilt for the bed, dishes, cleaning supplies, electronics. Yesterday I realized how much it was irritating me to have boat stuff everywhere I looked. Not to mention tools, and towels, and other various sundry boat items. So during the lay period of the afternoon I organized it somewhat, got most of it in my guest room, and at least made a space where I can sit and relax at the end of the day.

Day off today. Back to work tomorrow. I gotta say though, that the work is a labor of love. Every day when I am on that boat, I sit at the helm with a big glass of ice water, and imagine us out in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, floating around, maybe doing a little fishing, feeling the sea breeze on my skin as I lean back for a nap. I think of the incredibly blue big sky and the brilliant turquoise big sea. Sharing that peace with Dan, whose desire to be in that place, on a boat, gave back to me something I’d thought was gone from my life. (In truth, he gave me so much more than the boat that I either lost, or never had.) No longer looking out to sea from the beach and wishing that was where I was. I’ll be there.

So I’m tired today, but blessed, in ways I thought I’d never be. Sending love and light to all, hoping everyone is able to find and follow their passion.

5 responses to “A Labor of Love (has kicked my ass)

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