It’s definitely time to finish. Although I do have times that make me smile every day, I am very ready to get back to ‘normal’ life. It’s less about flushing toilets and readily available glasses of wine than you might think. But more about a number of other things:- being in control of what happens to me i.e. when it is wet and windy I can choose to stay indoors, I do not need to be at the mercy of the weather. Not having to get up at 2am to ‘go to work’ for 4 hours. The luxury of walking from bed to toilet in the middle of the night without a gymnastics routine over/round/under/clinging onto things/other people and being able to do it in whatever attire (or not!) I choose. On the subject of going to the loo – being able to go at a moments notice (unless stuck in a traffic jam on the M6!) and only having to lift a skirt or drop some trousers, not take 10 full minutes removing layer upon layer of cold, wet clothes. Also the delight of a toilet that is completely flat, not at 35 degrees. [I’ve just re-read this, there’s a lot about toilets isn’t there!]. Oh the pleasure of time to myself, not worrying about who can see my wobbly bits as I’m getting changed, who will be in the way when I want to get into the kitchen, that when I want to sit and read, no one will talk to me. The joy of knowing that the tin opener/toilet cleaner/sharp knife/electrical tape/gaffer tape etc will still be where I left it and it will not involve a 20 minute hunt for them and if it did I will not be getting soaking wet from water pouring through a hatch or clinging on for dear life as I look. Oh the joy of turning on a light to find the thing that I’ve lost in the dark and not having to worry about waking anyone up. Knowing that there will not be 5 or 6 different opinions on the best time or way to make soup/clean the toilet (toilets again!)/store the food etc. being able to pick and choose who I spend time with and choose not to spend time with others. Southampton and the 22nd of July cannot come quick enough. Family, Friends, Greenery, Driving and even work are all things I’m looking forward to. I am lucky, I love working for Mars and have learnt to appreciate even more over this year how great a business it is, how much I love my line of work and what great people I work with. It’s been eye opening racing alongside people from all walks of life and I’m happy to say that the people I work with at Mars are really the cream of the crop. I’ve also realised that I am an average sailor. I cannot help but bench mark myself against Rich/Triinnggg/Daisy; he started sailing the same as me, from a base of zero and in this year he has become watch leader. He has picked everything up so quickly and not only sails from a technical perspective but from intuition now as well. I am no where near as good and without a gargantuan effort, I never will be, so if I’m honest I’m a bit bored now because I’ve stopped putting in the effort and am satisfied with average (I know that I will have sailed more miles than most other people who own boats etc and yes, compared to Jo Bloggs who potters around once a month on nice sunny days in the summer I may have a bit more knowledge and skill but my bench mark here is high and I’m nowhere near). That’s one of the reasons I am so keen to get back to work. I am looking forward to adding real value again (something that is so important to me, feeling that in some small way, I do something that makes a difference for people) and to doing what I do best every day, also, working with great people as opposed to my days now which consist of hoping for sunshine and wildlife to ease the boredom (I’ve just re-read this and it sounds a bit doom and gloom aboard for me, don’t worry I still laugh every day and am positive and optimistic most of the time, after all there are some people here to have great fun with). If the race had ended in Panama it would have been lovely having survived the Pacific then having had a bit of sunny downwind sailing to ensure that I was re-energised about sailing again and not ready never to set foot aboard a boat again. Of course there have been many highlights and some real benefits to this year. The simplicity of eat, sleep, sail has for the most part been a pleasure and made for a very easy life with very few decisions or complexities. I’ve visited many places in the world in the last year and am looking forward to going back to some of them. I’ve learnt a lot more about how strong my values are and how I react when they are constantly challenged. I’ve discovered how different people can be, and how, when people have similar values amazing friendships are created. I’ve realised how much I know about some stuff (leadership/management/motivation – again, a bit of benchmarking went on here!) and how little I know about other stuff (wind angles/engineering). I am sure there will be lots more when I have a chance to step back from it all and get everything in perspective but right now I am looking forward very much to getting home. Not long now – woo hoo.
inglisroundtheworld on Jingle Bells 2012 Lesley Roberts on Jingle Bells 2012 inglisroundtheworld on Jingle Bells 2012 John and Gaynor on Jingle Bells 2012 Pru on Jingle Bells 2012