Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Have a Dream

Although I am not a cruising sailor, I do occasionally read some cruising blogs. Blogs about people who have left their everyday jobs and homes and gone cruising across an ocean or even around the world. Some of them are quite entertaining and interesting, even to a humble Laser sailor like myself.

Sooner or later, most of these cruising bloggers seem moved to write what I have come to know as the "dream post." This is all about how their cruise is about "following their dream" and how their "dream" involves breaking away from what people expected of them like having a job, buying a house, having kids etc. etc. etc.

Now don't get me wrong. I have no problem if people want to go off yachting for a few years, or even their whole lives. But these posts often seem to have a tone of moral superiority as if the writers' choices to go off sailing are somehow more daring, more adventurous, more virtuous, more worthwhile than what other folk choose to do with their lives.

I do find that tone a little irritating.

Now, I am not in the least bit jealous of these "dreamers." I have tried sailing on those kinds of boats on which you live and cook and poop, and have discovered that I don't enjoy it as much as sailing my Laser. It's just not my thing. Not that one kind of sailing is better than any other. Each to their own.

So why do these "dreamers" have to make such a big deal about how wonderful they are for following their "dreams?" Who are they trying to convince? Me or themselves?

But wait. It gets worse.

Some of these dreamers recognize that sailing around the world is not everybody's cup of tea, but they still seem to think that everyone ought to have an ambitious dream and that they should be making preparations to follow that dream. They get angry at readers who say that the are unable to follow their own dreams. They lecture readers how important  dreams are and challenge us all to think of crazy things that will change our lives. They want to inspire us. They seem to want us to be just like them.


We are all different.

Some people seem to need a big hairy wild-ass goal to feel complete.

Others don't.

Isn't it enough to enjoy life as it comes?

What's wrong with taking time each day to smell the roses and appreciate the blessings of the lives we have?

Why shouldn't someone be happy cultivating her own garden instead of ploughing a furrow across an ocean?

What's the matter if some of us want to live each day as if it were our last, without having some grand dream of how we want to make our life somehow different ten years from now?

Why can't I have a dream simply to be the best Granddad I can be?


Unknown said...

Well Said!

I agree whole heartily, just because they have the need to try and disprove to themselves that they are missing something in their lives, doesn't mean we all have to.

I to "have discovered that I don't enjoy it as much as sailing my Laser" and that it will do me just fine thanks

Doc Häagen-Dazs said...

My daily dream or ambition, realized less frequently these days is to get in any boat, raise sail, strangle engine & move. As Denis Olson said,

"My competition is with myself and the water planet. While sailing, you hang suspended with one hand in the ocean (tiller) and the other hand connected to the sky (mainsheet). You are the pivot point between these two great fluids, the two worlds, and you get to go along for the ride."

I want to live this dream, daily. If I could, I would not ask for more.

Tillerman said...

Unknown - I wish I knew you. It seems we think alike.

Doc - I think we are saying much the same thing. Maybe it's the perspective of our advanced age compared to most of these extreme dreamers?

Baydog said...

As someone whose age is probably somewhere in between the dreamers and those who are happy with what they've got, I'm at the point where I'm quite content with what I've got, and hope I can maintain this modest happiness.

Keep Reaching said...

I hadn't seen that quote - I love it, just perfect.

Adam Turinas said...

I have a dream that some day I will write a post about the trials and tribulations of owning and maintaining a cruising boat and Tillerman won't post a comment that this makes him happy he owns a laser.

Tillerman said...

Nice one Adam.

I think you must be even more of a masochist to own a cruising boat than I am to be a Laser sailor.

I have a dream that one day I will write a post about the trials and tribulations of owning and maintaining a cruising boat without making it sound as if I feel sorry for all owners of cruising boats.

Tillerman said...


Anonymous said...

I'm wondering whether you read the world tour stories blog

Anonymous said...

World Tour? Sounds like a rock group.

Anonymous said...

Where is the "World Tour" chick now? Peddling "ayurvedic consultation" and "group acupuncture!"


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