Tuesday, April 12, 2016

On Writing, Time and What's Up: A Rambling Recap of the Last Few Weeks

So much to say, but the wind won't write my words!
It's hard to find time to blog these days. Which is frustrating to me since writing is something I need to do. Just as some people need to run or make music or sing, so must I write. Scott will vouch for the fact that if I've gone too long without it, I get all wonky and - in general - pretty unpleasant. "Go write," he'll say in exasperation. "I'll take the kids. But for God's sake, just write something." It is my life's greatest passion; the hobby that keeps my brain sharp, my thoughts clear and yields the most fulfillment. I love it. My mind is a dizzy flurry of thoughts, stories and ideas I want to flush out and I often have the urge to break open my computer in the wee hours of night (or morning, rather) to jot down a reflection so I can bring it to life later. What can I say? Like many writers, I have the compulsion to share...what I lack, however, is time.

Which brings me to the point of this post.

I haven't been able to share much on the blog these days, or at least not as much as I would like. Luckily, our social media accounts - like Instagram and Facebook - make sharing in snippets pretty effortless. I post very regularly over there because it's simple, quick and easy. As much as I enjoy chronicling our life in images and short captions (because I really look at it all as a chronicle), it doesn't quite scratch the creative itch for me and it certainly only shows 1/100th of the picture. It offers a precisely filtered highlight reel and doesn't cut to the nitty gritty like I sometimes like to do. But it'll do for now. High season is behind us (maybe?) and Scott should (in theory) be able to help out with the girls a little bit more, affording me a few hours here and there to work and write. So more to come, I promise.


So, what's been going on the past few weeks?

Well, a lot. My parents and my amazing sister came to visit (separately), and spending time with them and showing them our new "island expat" lifestyle was so much fun. Our business continues to flourish which is wonderful but means that Scott is burning the midnight oil every. single. night. If you think running a day charter business in the tropics is all fun in the sun, you'd be wrong. It's a hell of a lot of work, and because I am on mommy duty all day, every day...the business end of things falls on Scott's shoulders.  I must say he is doing an incredible job, and seeing him take the bull by the horns and assume the roll of business owner with such ability and ease is impressive. It's a pretty insane work load though, and while we are taking steps to streamline certain procedures so that the work/life balance is better for him - these things take time. Not the worst problem to have but no one can work 12-18 hour days forever. That's a one way ticket to crazy town right there.

Other news? Oh! We got a second car (a white Hyundai Veracruz, baby!) The girls and I are now mobile and while we absolutely love Nanny Cay and our extended family of workers, neighbors and friends that are here with us - it's been nice to change things up a little with the freedom to go to other places, parks and beaches without paying an arm and a leg in taxi fare (there is no public transportation here). The girls are ob-sessed with the car and car rides. Obsessed. Every night after I tuck the twins in (and after I do the little routine they've developed of doing kisses, hugs and - get this - fist and elbow bumps) they say, "Car?" and I say, "Yes. We will go in the car tomorrow" to which they reply, "Okay!" So, yeah. The car is a big hit all around. Granted, finding car seats was a treat. Tracking down one on this island is like finding a needle in a haystack, locating three proved pretty much impossible. So we drove around (very carefully) without them for a while which was utterly TERRIFYING. The twins figured out how to unbuckle the seat belts approximately .02 seconds after I secured them the first time which meant driving around, for them, was like being in some sort of moving jungle gym and for me was...it was...let's just say I could've used a Xanax. We eventually found one booster style seat and rotated the kids around in that for a week or so, but one carseat for three kids is no good not to mention it created an existential dilemma a la "Sophie's Choice" every time I got them in the car. Who gets to ride in the car seat today? After realizing decent carseats weren't going to magically appear in my car or on this island for that matter, I ordered some on Amazon (this car seat can fit three in one row! Take note moms of multiples!) and my dad shipped them down to us. Now we are safe and my kids aren't hanging out the windows like dogs anymore. Whoo hoo!

We've also decided that we'll soon be putting the girls in a pre-school/play group here two days a week for a half-day to give me a little break and allow me to stay on top of things like a) my business responsibilities (I am technically the marketing manager of Aristocat Charters), b) "house" chores (like organizing cupboards, tidying lockers, purging excess and cleaning the fridge; things that need to happen regularly around here but don't) c) my personal hygiene (there are really nice *warm* shower facilities here. I use them maybe twice a week and cold-water bathe on the aft deck with the girls 90% of the time) and d) my writing (see first paragraph.) This change, I think, will also be great for them socially as they love other kids and while we play with other children on a daily basis, I think a little regular playtime with kids their own ages will be helpful. Did I mention that I think this will be great for my sanity? Because...that too.


Despite the fact that I haven't been writing much, we've had several things written about us and a couple new interviews went "live" recently, so if you'd like to read those they are here:

  • This Adventurous Couple are Raising Three Kids on a Boat in the Caribbean - an article that got compiled on the world wide web and has been shared a bunch. It's pretty accurate and uses a bunch of our pictures except we left in 2010, not 2012. We had nothing to do with this piece, and were not contacted for it. But I'm grateful for the publicity and the shares that have come from it.
  • Goodie Goodie Gumdrops: Inside a Traveler's Walls - A great interview series about people who live and travel in unique situations. Jessica's blog is pretty awesome too! This piece is specifically about our boat, what we love about it, what we don't, how we have altered it to make it work for us, and why we chose it for our home.
  • Women and Cruising: 12 Questions for the Asante Family - Part of a great series of interviews with families who sail with children. I answer twelve questions about life aboard with kids, the good, bad and poopy.

In related news, I have also been updating the pages of this blog, the "ABOUT" page got a refresher as did our "PRESS" page. Feel free to poke around there, and people interested in boating with babies, please check out our Baby on Board page where I've consolidated most of our posts on sailing, traveling and living tiny with tots.

What else? (Yes, I realize I am rambling)...That's about it. We have our good days and bad. The girls are growing in leaps and bounds and with that come new revelations, freedoms and challenges. Spending so much time with them and watching them grow, learn, and become who they are is pure magic, it really is. But with yin, there comes yang and darkness follows light. There have been some pretty significant and very personal extended family struggles that I have kept to myself which have been devastating and life-altering. We ride up and down the unpredictable wave of life just like anyone else and sometimes we are at the crest and can see what's coming our way, sometimes we are in the trough and have no idea what hit us. That's how it goes, we have all been there. But despite that, I call myself lucky and I am thankful beyond words. It's a wonderful, beautiful life and there is no place - literally no place - I would rather be than right here, right now. My heart is so full of love, gratitude and happiness for the life we have created, for our children and what we are accomplishing.

My time, whether or not I am writing, is well spent.

And that is (the very cliff-noted version of) where we are at right now...

Thanks, as always, for reading and following along on our journey. It's truly an honor.


byn always said...

I can totally relate to the writing need! I love to write, journals, fiction, blogs, whatever, I need it. I love reading the writing of someone who feels the same!

I also hear you about the him and hang and I'm signing to find balance there as well.

Thanks for sharing and congrats on all the new press, that's awesome!

Robert Salnick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Salnick said...

I grew up in the long era before car seats for children... And before seat belts! I don't have any memory of how my mother handled it, but nevertheless, here I am. And in fact I don't recall any stories of children being maimed of killed by the lack of car seats or seat belts.

But I do understand how nice they are as immobilization devices...

s/v Eolian

megerin.blogspot.com said...

Excellent writing, Brittany. You have a gift ! See you near the end of May. ๐Ÿ˜

jessica said...

Hey lady! Thanks so much for the shout out and the kind words. Good job mama! I love to see other families living their dream. Bravo. Besos.

Unknown said...

The struggle is real! The pursuit of happiness is often a difficult one. You guys are an inspiration to those afraid to step outside of the norm and do something truly amazing. Thanks for the post!

Babyinform said...

These are SOOOO cute. If I won I would so have to get another one for the twins, but that is OK.. they are just that cute.. Even if I don't win, I think these will have to be on the list. Putting the link up now!

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