Tuesday, May 14, 2013
On Monday morning I posted 33 Ways to Prepare for a Laser Regatta (most of which was written on Sunday) and then asked myself, "Which of these 33 things am I going to do first today?"
It was almost like the Monday mornings when I used to work for a living. After a refreshing weekend sailing or spending time with the family or skiing, I would go into work on Monday and start to get my head around what needed doing that week. Usually it was a list at least as long as the 33 Ways post, and with the similar depressing realization there there was no way I could get them all done.
How to choose what to do first?
I think there used to be some guidance about the difference between "urgent" and "important", but I forget what it was.
In the end I decided to go sailing first.
I trailered my Laser over to Bristol and set sail in a shifty, gusty wind from the WSW coming off the Poppasquash shore. There are more boats on moorings in the harbor now than there were a few weeks ago. One of them was called Carpe Diem. So I made that the title of this post. Why else?
I had planned on sailing some short windward-leeward courses and then doing some tacking practice. And that's what I did, but what I was actually practicing was getting used to sailing in a crazy, unstable wind that was so different from the afternoon sea breezes I've trained in on most of my outings recently. Gusts splashing down on the water and creating huge shifts. Slam dunk headers. Unexpected lifts taking me above the layline. Hey, that's the kind of wind we race in as often as not, especially on the lakes. All good stuff.
And then after a shower and lunch I did a few of the less appealing chores on my "to do" list.
It struck me that going sailing first made a lot of sense. (If there's any wind in the morning.)
Sometimes by the time I've done all sorts of other stuff in the morning, I am too weary or not in the mood for sailing by the middle of the afternoon. And then later I regret that I didn't go sailing.
I've always hated that hoary old quote, "When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did."
I think it's nonsense. There are so many things that you can't do in one lifetime that focusing in old age on what you didn't do is simply a recipe for misery.
I'm old now. I never climbed Everest. I never became an astronaut. I wasn't one of the Beatles. I didn't marry Angeline Jolie. But I don't "regret" not doing any of those things. I prefer to reminisce about all the wonderful experiences I have had in the last 65 years... not to mention what I still intend to do.
But as a guideline for what to do first each day I think it's not a bad guide. "Do first what you will most regret this evening if you didn't do it."
Especially if that thing is going sailing.
Posted by Tillerman at 5:56 PM