Shifting Sands

By: Lara Dustin Scriba


(4 min. read)

In just a few weeks, our family’s first cruising season in Mexico will be coming to an end, and it feels pretty surreal. Only six months ago, we were leaving our slip in Marina del Rey, CA, and heading out for our grand adventure, and now we have easily sailed over 3,500 nautical miles on our trusty floating home, Starr E. Those six months have felt like a lifetime, so many lessons learned, new friendships made, so many anchorages and adventures. Yet the time has gone by in the blink of an eye, it feels like we are just getting started.

I can’t even begin to fully reflect on the experience yet, as we are still in full cruiser mode. We track the weather daily and carefully choose our next anchorage as we count down the days before we have to haul out the boat. Living life in three-day increments, the weather and wind dictate our movement, and the weather is only really predictable three days ahead of time.  

What I have really been reflecting on, though has been the gift of seasonal living, both on a macro and micro scale. We live each day out here based on the rhythm of nature, but as we begin to transition onto land, three-day increments for daily living and six-month increments for seasonal living. We are focusing more on learning what expectations to have during our sailing season vs. our working season. November to June is our cruising season, and from June to November, we will return to the States to work during hurricane season. We plan to then return again in the fall for another six-month cruising season.

The number of decisions that must be made are incredible: employment, healthcare, housing, boat insurance, transportation, location, and many of those decisions cannot be made until the last minute because we don’t have all the information yet. For someone who loves to plan and have it all marked (color-coded, of course) on her calendar, this is an adjustment for sure.

While talking about our plans (or lack of) with a friend who is also a mother and a very seasoned cruiser of many years, she laughed and said, “Yes, you have to learn to make quick decisions without having all the information. You just do the best you can at the time, trust your judgment, and adjust as you go.” 

I have to admit, at first this felt very frustrating to hear. I wanted solutions, answers, a clear trajectory, and all the possible options and outcomes laid out neatly so that I can make THE best decision possible. But the more I sat with it, the more I realized what a relief it was. That if I could approach this next season of our lives the same way we’ve lived this past season on the water, no matter what, it will be amazing.

The logistics are not what matters, the rental house we choose, the car we buy, and the state we live in, I can trust that we will make good decisions with the information that is presented to us. What matters most is our attitude and sense of adventure. Somehow, in my mind land life equates in my brain to permanency, certainty, and stability, but truly nothing is static. The energy I bring to the table dictates how this next season will unfold. The degree of trust I have in myself and my husband to make good decisions that align with our values and goals is what allows me to exhale and know that it will all work out… just as it always has.

No matter which path we choose, this year or in this lifetime, there are always lessons to be learned, bumps in the road, challenges to face, opportunities that have yet to reveal themselves, friendships to be made, and adventures to be had. It is my attitude, my energy, and my ability to embrace the present moment that allows it all to unfold into a beautiful experience.

I recently saw a quote by Byron Katie that deeply resonated, “I am a lover of what is, not because I am a spiritual person, but because it hurts when I argue with reality.”

Take a moment and let that truly land. 

I may not have the concrete “answers” I’m looking for, but there is the reality of what I am currently working with. When I am able to accept that, the resistance and struggle fall away, and I can start to get creative on how to work with “what is .”I feel such a sense of peace and possibility in that.

We are all constantly evolving as individuals and as a family (especially with a tween and teenager), just like the weather constantly morphing and changing. Allowing ourselves the freedom to choose as we go, to trust that we can make sound, safe decisions based on our current reality, feels like such a relief.

I don’t have to have all the answers right now, but that isn’t necessary to create a beautiful reality, right now. Just as we curated an incredible adventure over the past six months by mindfully planning three days at a time, I also can create a beautiful experience for myself and my family by staying present in the moment, aligned with our core values and individual goals.

This is not to say that we do not hold a broader vision for our future and have set priorities and values that guide our choices. Of course, we do, but taking this approach offers us the opportunity to shift and change as needed to stay aligned with those values and goals.

Shifting our focus from securing a specific outcome or insisting our reality looks a certain way to opening ourselves up to greater opportunities that may unfold while still staying aligned with ourselves and one another along the way. We need to trust that as reality presents itself, we can pivot in a way that best serves our family, knowing that no matter what happens or how the sand shifts beneath our feet, we will find a way to make it yet another grand adventure.  

Lara Scriba
                                                                     All Things Wellness, LLC
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