Plans and Goals

One needs to have a good plan to accomplish the goal, but sometimes, life happens, plans change and maybe the goal too.

The rub is, it’s even easier to change the goal, then to make a better plan for the circumstances.

But changing goals is a slippery slope; so easy to do, but before you know it, you’ve accomplished nothing.

In 8th grade I decided I wanted to be a meteorologist. Seven years later, in my last year at the University of Washington, I hated school, I was bored and tired of not having any money. But unlike many of my college friends who dropped out, transferred or just disappeared, I persevered.

I had a goal to accomplish. Three Master’s degrees later, each one to further some career goal, I look back and am satisfied with the goals, though some of the plans to accomplish those goals should have been re-thought.

Dauntless has been in my life for 5 years now. Inexplicitly, it doesn’t seem that long at all to me at all, it still feels like yesterday or at least last year.

The goal to take a boat to Europe and then S. Korea is even older, maybe 9 years. That goal drove the search for the right boat. A boat that could not only cross oceans but do it in a manner that I could afford on my meager pension.

The original plan was to cross the North Pacific this coming summer and arrive in Yeosu, S. Korea by October 2018. Instead, I find myself agonizing over how to get up the Pacific coast of Mexico. The North Pacific seems further away than ever.

But the goal doesn’t change; though the plan must.

I now have some intrepid fellows helping me with the first and hardest, part of the cruise north. Having good crew can put a lot of wind in your sails. It also allows me further tweak the plan. Maybe I can get to San Francisco Bay sooner, rather than later.  Then, I would be able to spend some of this summer and fall cruising with good weather and friends.

So maybe some baby steps are in order for the next few years, but the destination remains the same.

 

 

Forests & Oceans

Seattle

The University of Washington, the Columns Grove
The University of Washington, the Columns Grove

Not the first place I communed with nature (is that now illegal?), but a most special place.  The University of Washington had a grove that was surrounded by trees, where the original columns of the University were located.  Since this grove was not a shortcut to anyplace, it was secluded and on a campus of 30,000 daily students, that’s not so easily done.

The University of Washington, The Columns
The University of Washington, The Columns

But it provided a peaceful place to commune with nature, think of the wonders of the world and a few times, commiserate with a girl on the special path that once brought us together, but was now going in different directions.  A grove full of beauty, but also melancholy.

In those days, the ‘70’s, what really made Seattle special was the ability to go in virtually any direction and find solitude, big trees and at worst, the occasional logging truck.  Many a night was spent driving around Mt. Rainier.  In those days, the mountain passes were kept open, yet at the same time, there was virtually no traffic after 9 p.m. so it was a quick four hour trip. By the time I left the UW 4 years later, there were few roads not traveled.

The University of Washington, the Quad
The University of Washington, the Quad

But the first place I communed with nature was not in Washington State nor the University of Washington, but instead in Washington Square Park, in the middle of a little place called Greenwich Village.  I’d ride my bike to the park and read James Fenimore Cooper, propped up against a tree.  I couldn’t be in the Adirondacks, so for a City kid, this is as good as it got.  Somewhat of a loner in high school, high school was chore to get done.  One of the reasons I think I was a good high school teacher, I understood the angst that high school brings to most kids.

The University of Washington
The University of Washington

Then as a principal, everything I did was to put kids first; the push-back from some teachers was intense and virulent, in a personal way that I had never experienced before, that people outside the system would find shocking. But it was the right battle to have at the right time and I had a wonderful team of teachers who supported kids and their learning.

Though It did get me to Dauntless, sooner, rather than later.  Fate is like that, a sweet kiss on the cheek as it smacks you on the ass.

So now I commune with nature on the seven seas.  Trading the damp smell of earth, the multitudes of forest green: ferns and grass, needles and leaves for the rhythmic swell of the ocean, whispering of storms far away, while dolphins frolic in our bow wave.

 

The Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean