In the blink of an eye, Christmas cheer is upon us as yachts big and small are migrating toward the Caribbean turquoise waters, mimicking the flocks of geese headed south for the winter season. Spending the holidays in the Caribbean is a welcome dream to those of us who have been stuck in the office for several dark cold months awaiting a glimpse of the sunshine, only to be thrown back into winter’s reality. Some of the more fortunate yacht crews are actually living the dream of being in a plethora of diverse, exotic and warm climates.
One wonders, at this time of year, do they miss all the decorations and glitz found in suburban shopping malls? What about the trek through the snow to find the perfectly shaped Christmas tree? Or do they relish in the warmth of the sun; the sparkling waves and the island celebrations filled with reggae music and coconut laced drinks? After speaking with a few crew-members this past week, I’m finding it’s a different answer for everyone.
Some have been away from home for so long, they are used to the idea that birthdays and holidays are just passing moments that are not considered part of their job description. They have grown accustomed to long days at sea and last-minute arrangements that constantly alter their location and awareness of what day it is. Others relish the idea of being away from home and the well-documented dysfunctional stress the holidays can stir up, even with the best of intentions. And still others would give anything to be back home with everyone.
For the rest of us, here are some gentle reminders the end of the year brings to light:
- Being with family can be fun and difficult so try to make the best of it while you are together. There are others that wish they could be with family during this time of year but cannot due to their work or finances.
- Think of those family members that are far away. The holidays are the perfect time to remember to reach out to friends and family you haven’t spoken to in too long, you know the ones. Do it with no expectations and you’ll be surprised at the outcome.
- Connecting across distances is more possible than ever through technology. Try live-chats with loved ones, especially the elderly. Tell people you love them, now is the time. Period.
- No matter where you find yourself this year, make it a point to get out in nature. Nurture your mind and take a break from all the computer time and handheld devices to enjoy the sounds and sights of mother earth. While you’re out there, make a commitment to reduce your impact on the environment and the ocean.
- Be grateful for the year past and all that lies ahead.