Monday, December 29, 2008

What I Learned From Sailing in 2008

Anyone who sails a good deal knows that sailing teaches you a lot more than the differences between a rolling hitch and a carrick bend, a ketch and a kedge, or a barnacle and a baggywrinkle. Sailing is an arena where you learn such vital life skills as teamwork, leadership, decision making, discipline... and how to avoid the club bore.

So, in that spirit, I thought I would look back on 2008 and contemplate what lessons I learned from sailing that have relevance in everyday life...

In January, in Airline Paranoia I learned that it's good to be paranoid. And in Airline Paranoia Revisited I discovered that just because you are not paranoid it doesn't mean that they are not out to get you.

In February, I discovered in Fear Factor that I know seven different ways to overcome fear... most of which I forget when I really need them.

In March I learned from an Olympic sailor a lesson that applies to many walks of life, Don't Get Burned Out by Practice. Good job there's no chance of me making that mistake in any pursuit.

In April I learned that I should be careful what I wish for in Ironman No More.

In May I learned in
Polyphony that if you strike up a relationship on the Internet with a member of the opposite sex half your age, there may be unexpected consequences.

In June I learned in Tiverton Tilling that sharing your spouse's passion can also have unexpected consequences.

In July I learned in And Now For Something Completely Different that sometimes it's a good idea to respond to one of those unsolicited emails from total strangers. Unless it's from Nigeria of course.

In August I learned in Hidden Law of the Universe that it's pointless to try and apply my logical brain to some aspects of life. Some phenomena are just not amenable to logic.

In September the US Stock market experienced a total Meltdown, and I learned that the best response to the end of capitalism is simply to go sailing.

In October I learned in Fat Boy and Little Man that contrary to what Harry Chapin sang in Cat's In the Cradle, it can be a good thing if my son grows up "just like me".

In November I learned in Gonna Need a Bigger Boat that grandkids trump a bigger boat any day.

And finally, in December I learned in If I Had a Boat that, when it comes to experiences, quality is more important than quantity; and that if you have a dream then you should be more like Tonto.


EVK4 said...

Which month did you learn that the number 43 was by far your readers' favorite number despite W's association with it?

Tillerman said...

I think Ms 43 made her first appearance in June and was much appreciated at the time, but her enormous global popularity only came about when she disappeared from view in July. Her grieving fans were somewhat mollified when she reappeared for a few weeks with her twin in late November.

Thanks for drawing our attention to the association between Ms 43 and the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Perhaps I should have counted in American presidents all along? That would put me at 2 Obamas and a Quincy right now.

Tweezerman said...

Thanks for the compendium of best of Proper Course 2008. In 2009, may your quest to Laser greatness be further thwarted, so we can continue to be entertained.

"Its all about finding the right note at the right place and knowing when to leave well enough alone. And that's a lifelong quest." David Sanborn

The O'Sheas said...

Tweezerman? Really? Is this the American Cousin?

Amazing the connections one finds here inside the interwebs.


Tillerman said...

Yeah, as far as I can tell Tweezerman only started his blog in November but has been blogging up a storm, mainly about Moth sailing, since then. Definitely one to watch in 2009!

EVK4 said...

You could also say you're at two Garfields, a McKinley and a Harding. For some reason, I really wanted a theme for your number. What do you think those three have in common?

Tillerman said...

They were all born in Ohio and all died in office.

EVK4 said...

I didn't realize until I looked it up that 8 presidents have died in office. Statistically, that's a lot out of 43.

Tillerman said...

Technically it's only 42. They counted Grover Cleveland twice.

The O'Sheas said...

Oh, what I wouldn't have given up to have the number be 9.


The O'Sheas said...

You know, Edward, for a guy who bags on the US education system, you sure know a lot about presidents. Dead ones, especially.

Oh, maybe you were a business major.

Pat said...

And no US president has ever died while sailing, so there.

Tillerman said...

Quite right Pat. But John Tyler was almost killed in the explosion on the USS Princeton in 1844.

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