The Back Story

May 2014 Flying back from Bonaire, I had been in a wheelchair 2 weeks earlier and Bruce broke his foot the first day shore diving, luckily our friends were fabulous about carrying him around most of the trip.  We were in bad shape physically and emotionally but needed to get out of NH and a trip with friends was vital

It was approximately a year ago that our life, already quite fractured, officially broke.  We wanted to blog back then about what was happening to us but for various reasons we were literally and figuratively muzzled. It would have been miserable reading so I am relieved we took a year to cool off and recover.

At some point we found ourselves joking about domain names to register for the blog where we would document, in graphic detail, all our tragedies anonymously.  One of the names we liked for our blog was “Taken by the sea”.  I have a dark sense of humor which has become one of my dearest possessions. At the time it amused us think of 'taken by the sea' as an analogy for what remained of a lifetime of work, sacrifices, good deeds etc: similar to what the retreating waves of a tsunami would both take back to sea and leave behind. 

We actually were being swept away (or bulldozed depending on the day) but over time we stopped fighting the direction we were being pushed and pulled.  Letting go would eventually be an incredible relief and render us a lot less miserable, boring and serious.

Even though taken by the sea was never intended to be a viable domain name, we bought it, along with a few dozen other domain names that seemed more appropriate for our public blog. More than anything it was for our own entertainment and 'lost at sea' was, to our great disappointment, not available ;-)   We appreciated the dual meaning and that it could be glass half empty/glass half full.  From a positive perspective it worked for expressing our total adoration of everything salty.   So the name grew on us and came to mean something more uplifting.

We did not start off wanting to make lemonade out of our lemons. We were not at all happy about the changes in our life.  If I met the version of me today who wants to 'get swept away' I would have told her to fuck off, unless she was inviting me to go diving.  Most of what happened to us is excessively personal or involves other people, who for various reasons we have to find ways to avoid identifying.  Talking about our past would be challenging but since it is not even remotely entertaining we plan to skim over it.

It is enough to simply say that we experienced an angry, bitter, hurt, betrayed (every synonym for miserable that exists) phase for a few months. During that fabulous time in our life we lost our 15 year old, wheelchair bound dachshund, whose death felt like someone ripping my heart out of my chest and running it over a few hundred times.  For many people the loss of our dog seemed like the least of our problems but it was a very big deal for me.  Having virtually given away the large sum I would have otherwise used to adopt, to people who could not possibly have deserved it less, her loss really hammered home the fact that children (furry or otherwise) were no longer on the table.  

Shortly after the &$@#-storm of events that ended with her death we found ourselves saying ‘F&%$ IT”, ‘we give up’.  And we realized we should, and could,  simply go..... Diving!   And from August through December that is essentially all we did, with friends, visiting friends and to some of our favorite islands. We funded it by selling one of our cars and a number of other prized possessions but we are also lucky enough to have incredibly generous friends, loyal, funny and amazing friends.  We were given a timeshare in Cayman, invited to stay with a few of them in their homes, and taken to Disney by another, 12 of us spent a week on a live-aboard in the Exuma Islands and we took 2 long trips by ourselves where we ended up meeting another group of wonderful people who we are meeting in Honduras in a few weeks. 

It was during this financially reckless period of diving indulgence that we decided to just get rid of all of it. By that time we knew we were never going to get our previous life back, and we no longer wanted it back. 

What we wanted was to be happy and we determined that would require us to be closer to ocean, let go of our bitterness, and we even had to give up on justice.  That may always be a struggle but will be easier when we are no longer reminded of the 'villains' in our story, day after day.  Our happiness recipe requires other ingredients like physical activity, time spent outdoors and underwater and most importantly time spent surrounded by friends and family.  

That is what we are pursuing and our biggest challenge now is getting rid of the tremendous amount of 'stuff' in our house.  We can't bring it with us, unfortunately most of it is rather unique and not the type of thing you do well selling in a hurry.