Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Feeling Out of Sorts

I'm feeling out of sorts lately.  As our visit home nears and end, and - being the procrastinator I am - the pace gets a little too 'frenetic' for my liking, I am feeling a little...for lack of a better word...funky.  I have things I want to say, experiences I want to write about but I'm either being edited by folks around me (one such experience involves a very negative/judgmental encounter with a family member - hence the silence) or I simply just can't find my groove.  I am feeling overwhelmed on both the macro level (twin pregnancy, our life getting turned up-side down, where will we store our boat?) and micro level (have to get my license renewed, last minute errands, packing) and when I tend to get overwhelmed, I go into shut-down mode.  It's not the trait I am proudest of, that is for sure.  But here I am, doing nothing, and zoning out to HGTV like a home-improvement junkie.  I just don't have the energy for anything else at the moment.

All of this is compounded by the feeling that I don't feel right neither here nor there.  While there is a huge part of me that is excited to get back to the boat, there's also a part of me that is kind of dreading it as well:  the extreme heat, the fact that we will be literally greeted by a boat-load of projects, the realization that we have to make a lot of hard decisions in the coming months.  Then there are the minor "issues" that are nagging at me:  will we return to a resurrection of our former cockroach "issue"?  Will our boat be overtaken by mold and mildew?  Did I prep her for our hiatus well enough?  We'll find out soon.  Coming back to a boat that's been sitting in the water for weeks always feels like a bit of a crap shoot to me, despite our strict standards of procedure.

On the flip side, as sad as I am to leave after what feels like another whirl-wind visit where we only got to see three quarters of the people we wanted, I don't feel exactly "home" here either.  For the past three years this has been a great place to swoop in, see friends, and stock up on supplies we can't get down island.  Now - with the realization that this is going to be a bit more "permanent" than originally planned - I am feeling strange.  I like to visit.  I like the impermanence of it.  I like living on a boat.  I like that our life is always just one wind shift away from taking a completely different course.  The fact that I'll be returning in December - in the dead of winter, no less - for what will be a much longer visit than ever expected, I am feeling sad.  I know, I know...file this under "first world problems" because coming home is going to come with an abundance of awesomeness as well.   No matter how you slice the pie that is our life Scott and I are incredibly blessed and lucky, so I should just buck up and get over it.  But I am also human.  And sometimes we humans get in funks, regardless of how wonderful our lives are.

So that's where I am at right now.  I feel a bit stymied on the blogging front, despite feeling like I have a lot to say.  I am totally hopped up on pregnancy hormones.  I am feeling tremendously overwhelmed by all the decisions we have to make and the incredible life changes that are on the horizon and I'm trying to navigate my way through it.  So, sorry to be a Debby Downer but this is where I am at right now.  Maybe a dose of Caribbean sunshine is just what the doctor ordered?  Or maybe I just need to marinate in this for a hot minute and let it roll...


NatGeoWannaBe said...

A friend posted this on FB today and your blog made me think of it: "Not everyone will understand your journey. That's fine. It's not their journey to make sense of...it's yours."

kdrift said...

As a wanderlust, our journeys can sometimes be paused. Last May, 5 days before I was supposed to travel for 3 months, I had a skiing injury that required surgery. I was unemployed, had to find a place to live and I stayed to have the surgery. Now I feel trapped, living in a place I didn't intend to stay but I realize that I made the best decision for myself at the time. Yeah, my live is amazing, I live in a great place and had a wonderful year traveling the country. Some would say I am lucky (I say luck has nothing to do with it, and determination brought me to the life I want to have). I guess what I am trying to say is that, don't worry about what other people think. Experience and process those emotions, because that's the only thing that will lead you to the live you want to CONTINUE to live. You might leave the boat behind for a little while, and maybe not! Right now just do what you need one day, one month, six months at a time to prepare yourself and remember that EVERYTHING is temporary.

Cheryl said...

I get overwhelmed like this as well. It's ok- you don't need to justify your actions or decisions to anyone but yourself. In times like this, I find it best to be the "toll taker". Don't look at the line of cars in your isle, just focus on the one in front of you. You are making a big lifestyle change and, it makes perfect sense that it doesn't quite fit like an old pair of slippers- yet. Give it time, hold up your head, ignore the naysayers (they are everywhere!) and focus on the next task- getting back to the boat. It will all work out. xoxo

Unknown said...

Please don't be too hard on yourself...you've got a lot going on right now! You are entitled to an off week now and again. Keep on writing! I love your blog.

P.S. I'm a mother of 28 year-old identical twin girls (and also a 25 year-old daughter). Motherhood has been a wonderful experience. I never had wished for twins (having siblings that were twins and ten years younger...I did a lot of babysitting for them) Truth is that the whole twin experience is more complicated on so many levels than having one baby...but it had it's perks and pushed me to grow as a person. Enjoy these days as best you can because, when all is said and done... it is a fleeting season in your life.

Gayla said...

Many situations fall into our path in life's journey......some a mere bump, others a big pot hole and some complete roadblocks! I feel sure these two little angels will be no more than a bump in your future plans. None of us know what is ahead, no crystal ball to make our plans with.
I received a quote when my husband passed away and it gave me hope for my future. ." When one door shuts in your life, another one will open.....but you have to have the courage to walk through it!" So look forward to the new adventures in your path and the beautiful family you will share them with!

Lauren said...

It must be the month for feeling out of sorts. I had a nearly identically titled blog post on this just last week.
If I were in your situation, all I would want to do was cry. Sometimes things are so overwhelming that you can't even explain why you're feeling so overwhelmed.
I think you did a great job of expressing yourself given the circumstances.
Just remember that this moment isn't permanent. A few years down the road there will be other decisions to make.
My cousin had triplets at 38 (and a preschooler), so I figure if she can do it, you can handle twins. :)

Robyn said...

As a mother who had identical twin daughters when my son was 18-months old, I can totally relate to your feelings and the new realities in front of you.

Twins are a game changer even when you are living on land! I personally do not think that cruising should be taken off the table. A hiatus for the birth sure, but if you can carry them close to term (mine were two weeks early) I would think you could be back on the boat by the time they are 3-months (assuming no complications).

Sure it will be more work, but it will be on land too. You will be amazed how helpful Isla will be and how much quicker she grows up to be the big sister. With two of you on board to care for all the kids it will work. Heck, I wasn't able to manage taking all the kids out by myself until the twins were 6+ months old, so being on a boat wouldn't be a whole lot different. But just to be clear, twins are a lot of work -- I'm not sure I remember much of the first 18-months, it seemed an endless cycle of feeding and changing diapers, LOL.

You and Scott should follow your hearts and do what is right for the two of you and Isla and the twins. Don't buy into all of the horror stories people want to tell you about having and raising twins. People seem to want to only talk about when things go wrong -- a lot of times things go right!

Don't listen to the naysayers. If I had listened to everyone who said my husband I were going to kill ourselves, I wouldn't be at anchor in Prickly Bay, Grenada writing this. When you get back to the islands try to turn off the noise from everyone, don't rush to a decision/plan, your pregnancy and the babies will inform you.

s/v Smart Move

Sheri said...

Such an honest post, Brittany. You have a lot to process right now, so not that it matters, but I completely get why you are in a funk. I found it very hard (and still do!) to come back to a "typical" life in the US after traveling for 3 years, and my husband and I have found ourselves in a funk at different times. You will get through it. The best advice I can give is to just let your emotions be and accept them. If you feel funky, then you feel funky. Don't try to fight the feeling, analyze, or judge it. That's the best way to get past it and get more clarity. Best of luck to you and Scott!

With Brio said...

Brittany, I just wanted to say that these posts are my favourite of yours. Your honesty and emotion are so refreshing, I just wish I could reach out and buy you a cup of coffee... or maybe another fan for the boat :)
And as much as I am starting to hate the cliche, "distance makes the heart grow fonder". A break is always a good way to get some perspective, and nobody doubts that you guys will keep living an amazing life.
Also -- for some random "it'll be okay" inspiration (better than HGTV :P), I love "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" (movie).
Best line ever: "Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end".

Anonymous said...

You are SO courageous! Thank you for keeping it REAL. This human experience is not easy. But it doesn't have to be so hard either. Breathe deeply and remember that home is where you heart is <3

Anonymous said...

Here is a quote by (the late) Bil Keane, author (The Family Circus):
"Love doesn't make the world go round, love is what makes the ride worthwhile."

Take tiny steps forward, and focus on what you need or want to do.

Montessori Director/Educator
s/v KAIAN Hylas46

Charlotte said...

After my recent blog post about mixed feelings sailing up the sea, I had "close" friends and family members tell me things like I'm not being "true to myself" by continuing to sail.... or, that I like "creature comforts like Target and Starbucks" so I should just "go back home." And that I would "regret sailing to the South Pacific." And I wasn't even pregnant anymore and still getting garbage like that from people who "know" me. I feel you.

Every single person has to add their two freaking cents. So annoying. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. We'll be here cheering youon.

Jennie said...

Just take each day as it comes. When we moved off our boat it was a very sad day, but we do what we have to do and know that we will be getting back there. Life happens and we just need to embrace it, go with the flow and enjoy every moment as it comes. Have a safe trip, look forward to your adventures

ibyte8bits said...


Sounds like you "should" (like I know what is good for you) take your boat to Chicago and raise your new babies there for a while. Once you figure both of you can handle the twins and Isla, you will be cruising again. Then, again, you may not. It's your life, so live it.

Just a follower with too many years of not doing what I should.


Anonymous said...

We so appreciate your dedication to writing "for the masses" and hope you do not feel compelled or pressured to continue to do so... now or otherwise. We truly empathize with your life circumstance and all the changes on your plate. Just one bite from that plate is more than a mouthful; the whole plate... it's the unzip your zipper kind of full! To help keep the "portions" more manageable on this 'life diet' maybe just keep in mind that you do not owe the cyber-phonetic world anything. Small bites, minute by minute, day by day, will reveal things as they are meant to be for you in your life - at this point in time. If you need to take a break from this forum, it is understood. You can only do what you can do... for you and your situation. Strive for the holistic well-being in whatever form it takes and I'm confident you will be supported. One step at a time!

Scott , Michelle Jesse, & Jib said...

Awe...Brittany...do what is best for you & your family. I've told you before that we deliver babies for a living & have delivered hundreds of twins over twenty years. It's a BIG deal. It is more complex. It is important you're in the States for this. You are doing the right thing. I am also returning to the boat soon (2 weeks) & have many mixed feelings....and I don't have kids. You're anxiety is normal. You're mixed feelings are normal. Hang in there girl. Everything will unfold exactly the way it's supposed to.....just let it happen.

Deb said...

Don't worry about being a Debby Downer. Let the cruising community do what it does best and wrap their arms around you to get you through this.

S/V Kintala

Christine Wolf said...

You demonstrate your strength by sharing your struggles. Words to live by. I promise. And for what it's worth, I retreat when I'm overstimulated, too. On top of that, there's no greater struggle for a blogger than to feel stymied by others' "editing". I've often wished for an anonymous blog to post the crap I've withheld...it would feel so damn good to just dump it out into the Universe and share with others without pissing off the ones who hold us back.

Suburbs to Sailing said...

Love you guys and love the blog. You have been given a tremendous blessing and are about to embark on an exciting new adventure in life. Sure, you may be somewhat nervous, uncertain and possibly a bit apprehensive, but I bet these were the same feelings you had when sailing away from Chicago years ago. And now look how far you've come! You're an inspiration to folks like us, just starting out on the journey and are striving to go as far as you.

Wishing you all the best and will be tuning in every step of the way!

Matt & Deanna


MaryJo Boyle said...

Awww, honey, don't worry about feeling out of sorts--you have every damn right to feel that way!! You've got a lot on your plate right now, and so much more coming along in the not so distant future. You thought you knew where your life was going and all of a sudden everything, EVERYTHING has changed and you have to try to figure it all out. Get this flunky crap out of your system if you can. Cry, swear, scream--well, maybe not around your daughter =0) --and you'll probably feel better. And those of us who live aboard understand your frustrations with the lifestyle, so don't worry about any critical landlubber comments; those folks can't possibly understand what it's like.
There are many of us who are here sending our positive thoughts and good vibes and wishing only the best for you so take whatever time you need, we'll be here for you when you're ready to start facing your issues, one at a time, one hour at a time.
Love your blog, you've got a lot to offer and you speak for many of us.
Hugs coming at you!

Rachel said...

We're all entitled to feel a little funky once or many times in our lives. And though you said that you don't feel like writing, you still did, because that way you'd be able to express your feelings.. After this you'd be able to get over and go on.

Anonymous said...

I've followed your blog for quite a while now. First, Congratulations!!! You will soon be a family of 5 and it will all work out.

And of course you are overwhelmed. My gosh. What a change in life you and Scott have going on.

Just remember to do what is best for the 5 of you and everything else will fall in place. Be the loving family that you already are and make it Fun - even during the hard times and the sleepless nights!! :-)

The best of wishes!!

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