PART 1 - PROLOGUE AND THE ATLANTIC COAST
December 3rd - 18 Days to Departure
I don’t remember when I last felt stressed about taking time away from work, but I have been stressing this week. The tension hits me when I look at my list of to dos; it’s winnowing down at a lethargic pace while the time remaining drains like a whirlpool. When I line strike a bullet item, I feel the cathartic pleasure of a small victory, like fitting one puzzle piece in a ten-thousand-piece puzzle. Progress, however small, is progress. Perhaps this mental training will serve me on the journey; if I paddle 1,200 miles at 3 miles per hour and give one paddle stroke every 1.5 seconds, that will be 1,080,000 strokes to go around Florida. Better to concentrate on the next stroke, than the next one million.
The other stress I feel has to do with what others at work may be thinking. Sure, no one’s told me I cannot do it, I have the vacation time in the bank for it, but I wonder how that may reflect on me. “You’re going to be gone for how long again? Two months?! That’s quite a lot! Don’t forget you have a job!” I hear my colleagues say. My response to anyone that asks if I have considered the ramifications is, “I’m so glad to work at a firm that lets me do this! What a great company! Oh, and if anything happens, I’m reachable by satellite phone; don’t hesitate to call!” though I hope no one will.
If all goes well, getting ready to push off the beach and into the sea in little less than a month will be the toughest challenge of them all.
November 21st - 30 Days to Departure