Having sensibly walked away at 9pm from the works leaving drinks last night, I wake up feeling great and an overwhelming feeling of freedom.
What seemed like it took forever to arrive, with the remaining weeks, days and hours in slow countdown, The time actually raced by and I can’t quite believe that I am now about to start my professional sail training course on Sunday.
Reflecting back on the past 3 years of global work, I think it’s going to take me a while to adjust. No more need to wake up at the crack of dawn to commute into London, No more long haul flights and racing around to connect or sitting around in soulless airports , no more early or late night conference calls, no more waking up to emails and messages from the APAC region and no more one last check of emails before bed from the US region, having worked a normal UK day, if there is a such definition of a normal working day anymore in this constantly ‘on’ world.
Many many learnings and positives to take away but I wouldn’t be honest or probably human if I didn’t admit to an element of nervousness & anxiety as I sit here staring out of the window in the glaze of the springtime sun, will I be bored….?, will I ever earn again…?, have I made the right decision…?. I guess only time will tell whether the Napkin Plan will actually work out, but at least I have a vision, plan, goal to aim for and thats a great place to start.
Now as the next chapter begins, there is no time to sit around around and look back, it’s all about looking forward and approaching the next challenge with the same vigour as my technology leadership career. Over the next 10 weeks I will be learning new skills whilst sailing around the English channel and beyond, collecting sea miles and more experience to put me in the best possible position for the 12 hour exam at the end and hopefully success in passing.
It is not going to be ‘plain sailing’ that is for sure and I have been refreshing my memory on the Yachtmaster theory that I passed last year. They call it the ‘rules of the road’ for some reason but Collision Regulations (Colregs) is a particular brain drain, along with buoyage lights, sounds, shapes, navigation, meteorology, safety and signals there is plenty to remember or forget in my case !
Now I need to bring all that into the practical and apply it with professionalism in any situation, anywhere with any crew. Quite daunting when you think that 3/5ths of the planet is water and no one can control the weather or when s**t happens ! – which in sailing does happen more often than not !
The intention first all is to stay alive, secondly and probably jointly first, will be to not endanger my fellow crew mates, followed by making sure I enjoy it, put myself in the best possible position to try and pass the exam at the end and be ready for the next work challenge in whatever form that might be…..
Anticipation & Preparation is king in sailing, the key is not to put yourself, the boat or your crew in a situation which frankly could result in some level of pain, either financial or physical.
I would like to think that I have prepared the best I can at this point and now it’s about turning up to the course, being present, focussed and soaking up all the new learnings like a sponge.
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