What I Learned in My Week Disconnected
We'd been underway about an hour before I realized I had zero phone service. I knew going into this adventure that I'd be offline from all things Internet but I'd expected phone/texts to happen but nope. Nada. I spent a lot of that first day pretending not to think about what could go wrong. This was the first time in over 2 years I'd gone on vacation and would truly not work one minute while away-- that's the life of a business owner of a brick & mortar-- and I was thrilled. But the phone was still my life line. If there was an emergency at the office, or a supremely unhappy client, or, or, or...I could be reached if needed.
And then I realized that most of my anxiety was over letting the team back at home, down. What if they needed me?! And then I realized: they'd be okay. Not just okay, they'd be great and figure out any potential curveball that might come their way. Even if they couldn't call me.
Then a magical thing happened: I let go. My husband (the avid sailor) and I had been planning this trip for so.many.months. 7 days, just the 2 of us, on a 30' monohull boat sailing The British Virgin Islands. Forget the cell phone. This was my chance to truly melt into the moment.
For one full week, neither of us looked at a screen. No pinging or ringing. We felt the wind on our face, we swam and snorkeled for hours a day, we daydreamed together. We stargazed.
Out in nature, navigating the water and the weather, I learned a couple of things about life/partnership/parenting:
Prepare, prepare, prepare and then just show up. Things won't go exactly to plan (see phone meltdown above) and there's so much you won't know until you get there. Roll with it. Trust yourself. See what happens. Feel things out. You might get a quick, 7-hour labor and push your baby right into the world. You might not. You might get a baby who sleeps well starting at 2 months old. You might not. Read books, take classes, consult with friends. But also remember you're stronger than you realize and yes, you'll be just fine. Embrace the moment. Enjoy the smooth sailing when it comes and weather the rough waters knowing they too, shall pass.
Above all else: you're in it together. You might be surrounded by people in other boats, sailing the same course as you. Smile, wave and say hello. You don't know where they've come from and you might not know where they're headed. And they're not, quite, in the same boat as you. No one ever will be. It's you and your partner, together, figuring things out.
Ultimately, the best part of disconnecting for an entire week was seeing my partner in a new light. On one of our last days traveling, we were moored up in a bay of the most exquisite, blue water. We were listening to music, drinking rum and taking turns diving off the side of the boat. For hours. It doesn't have to be exotic, but there's something about shaking things up a bit. Get you and your sweetie out of the hum drum, the daily grind, for a bit and you'll be amazed how you really see each other again. You might even fall head over heels all over again :)