While it’s an exercise I truly feel we should all try to do everyday, it’s nice there’s a holiday that comes every year that really motivates you to step back, take a look at your life, and appreciate everything you are thankful for. I encourage you each to take a moment today to reflect on this yourself and see if you can name your top ten. It’s a great exercise in humility and gratitude. The adventurous life that Phillip and I currently lead and that we work very hard for is probably the thing I am the most thankful for. It stemmed from a very brave but scary decision I made when I was thirty to get divorced, move out of and sell my home, and eventually leave the law practice to start a remote writing career. And, it was this lifestyle and attitude change that has fueled each of my adventures since and it was the basis for my book, Keys to the Kingdom, which I will be signing and mailing to one of you for our Holiday Book Giveaway #2! Right after a very fun Thanksgiving Top Ten. The first follower to correctly answer the trivia question below in a comment wins! Good luck. And, feel free to leave your own top tens in a comment too. I found this exercise in thankfulness very revealing and rewarding.
In somewhat of a particular order, here are my Top Ten!
#1 My health. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to simply not be able to do the things you want to do. Even the simple ones like cleaning your house or driving a car, not to mention the thrilling and rewarding ones like sailing, kite-surfing and aerial silks. I am grateful every day that my body happily rises out of bed and to whatever I want to do, responds: “I’m in!”
#2 Family. I pay homage today to this fine, fierce fellow, John, my brother, and when we were growing up: my mentor, my tormentor (at times), my friend and my co-conspirator in crime. Also known as “Bro-Lo” (because Annie Jo is his “Jo-Lo”) and also boasting a face capable of rocking sunglasses of any kind because he looks that fucking fabulous.
And you do, Bro-Lo. Rock those shades!
#3 My youth. This Birthday Princess turned the big 3-5 this year and I feel just a few days older than 18. I’m so thankful I spend most of my days at this age on a boat in the sunshine, rather than behind a desk under a fluorescent light, and I’m so excited about the many more years yet to come, however many I’m granted. I also welcome the wrinkles and grey hairs! They’re just proof of what a kick-ass time I’ve had along the way.
#4 My sense of adventure. This was on our way to Cuba last December. I sometimes can’t believe Phillip and I sailed there just the two of us over 500 miles offshore from Florida to Cuba on our boat. While we did cross the Atlantic together in 2016 as well, there was just something about that voyage, our struggles, our fears, our accomplishments and being out there, traveling that far with just one other person, that made that particular voyage feel like the biggest adventure. I’m so glad I have a thirst and passion to see the world by boat, not to mention a boat and a buddy to do it all with!
#5 My sense of humor. Which I get from this guy. My Daddio! A man who, no matter how crappy the situation was when we were growing up (because at times it was), always found a way to slide me over on the bench seat of his truck, scoop me up under his arm and somehow make me laugh. Usually by singing some silly made-up song, a habit I also picked up. Thanks for all the laughs and silly ditties Daddio! Funny, I just now realized one of the main songs he used to sing to me was about a sailor. I guess it was a prophecy.
“Who’s that knocking at your door? It’s Barnum Bill the Sailor!”
#6 Friends (who share the same senses). These are the people in my life who also seek adventure and who also see something funny and ironic in even the most terrible of circumstances. They know just what to say, or when to say nothing at all, they call me on my shit and slap me straight when I need it, and they make fun of me when I need that, too. Someone’s gotta keep me humble.
#7 Our boat. She is the sucking black hole of our money, time, sweat, blood, money, time and money and she is worth every damn penny and drop. Plaintiff’s Rest is our ticket to the world. Even when you break, leak, groan, ooze, gulp and guzzle, I still love you girl!
#8 Food. It’s just good. All of it. So damn good. And, I’m so thankful to be a healthy, active person so I can keep stuffing my mouth full of it. This is from our first Thanksgiving on the boat, 2013, when we sailed to the Wharf to spend the holiday with Phillip’s family. Gobble! Gobble!
Annnnnd this was us about an hour later. I’m thankful for post-Turkey sleep too. ZZZZzzzzzz
#9 Wine. It just makes everything better. Particularly boat projects! Cheers!
#10 (But really #1) My Adventure Buddy. My life partner, my rock, my friend, my confidante, my Everything Buddy. My Phillip. I wouldn’t be here (a salty sailor / traveling author with the world at my doorstep) without him. Buckle up, Sir, we’ve got a million places to go!
Man, that was fun, right? I encourage you to do one of your own and go find old photos to go along with it. It’s a great exercise in humility and gratitude. And, since Phillip and I are so grateful for all of our followers here, we’ve got a Keys to the Kingdom gift in store for one of you. For fun, I went back and pulled a quick story from an old blog post about our very first Thanksgiving on the boat, in 2013, to inspire the trivia question. Funny, I mentioned several Annie docking debacles and my fear of docking, even back then. Well, that’s another thing I’m grateful for this year. Working up the courage to take the damn wheel and just dock the darn thing. You may bump a few things, you may scuff the hull, but you just have to do it so you won’t be so scared of it anymore. Docking is always going to be an adventure. Enjoy the old HaveWind tale and good luck on the trivia!
From my November 27, 2013 HWWT post: “What’ll It Be, Sir?“
We had a slip reserved at The Wharf for Thanksgiving, so we pulled anchor Wednesday morning (November 27th) and headed over that way. We were going to have to stop first at the fuel dock to pump out before we could tie up at our slip. The wind was really howling as we neared the dock so I bundled up some more (yes, more) and prepared to jump off to secure the boat as fast as possible. We were not going to have another Annie docking debacle. Not that day.
As Phillip inched the bow up next to the dock, I jumped off (with an actual line in hand this time) and clamored around furiously cleating lines off to keep the boat on the dock. It was a bit of a scramble but we did it.
And, when the fuel boy came out to see what we needed, the first thing he said to me was: “What’ll it be, sir?”
I can’t imagine why …
My God, look at me in that outfit. Surely, it wasn’t that cold, do you think? Apparently Annie did. I can’t believe I even could jump in that get-up. But Phillip and I loved that yellow slicker. It came with the boat, and it was way too big for either of us, but we wore it anyway, for years.
For a free Keys to the Kingdom book, signed and mailed to ya: What did we call that rubber suit of yellowy goodness? And … GO!