Living in a tiny home is challenging. When you take that tiny home even further off the grid by placing it on the surface of the water, life doesn’t get any easier. When you’re trapped on board with your partner for all hours of all days, you enter the primary phases of pandemonium.
When I was younger, I spent my summers visiting my great-aunt and uncle. They had recently retired and were settling into their new life. I’m pretty sure both of them hated it. They each confessed to me in private that the other person was, unfortunately, always around. They had gone from having professional lives, schedules, friends, and independence to having a lot of free time. Finding new hobbies and balance took some time and effort. Luckily for them, their home also had several levels so they could at least find some alone time.
Aunt Maggie and Uncle Frank played a pivotal role in my life for many reasons, but I’m not sure I expected this lesson to be one of those reasons. Craig and I can’t, and shouldn’t, try to be everything for each other. One of the main reasons is that his fashion sense is terrible and I wouldn’t trust him to give me an honest opinion while clothes shopping. But also because it’s not healthy.
On land it’s easier for me to be social and hang out with friends while Craig does whatever hermits do. We used to have cars and jobs and obligations and social lives apart from each other. Now, we are generally not more than 30ft away from one another. I can’t remember the last time I had a meal where Craig wasn’t present. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Every. Day. THAT’S CRAZY.
Over the last couple years, there have only been a handful of times when one person takes the dinghy ashore on a solo mission. Today was one of those days. While Craig was busy shaving the beard on Small World, I rowed Zubie to shore for a quick trip to the mini super. As I rowed, I watched Craig’s fins and snorkel trade places on the surface of the water and thought, “FREEDOM!” I was only going to shore to get some totopos (AKA Mexican tortilla chips that are way better than American ones) and some WiFi, but it felt glorious.
With the oars in my hands and the sun on my face, I was out there on my own. I rowed myself. I hauled the dinghy up the beach myself. I ran around to all the little stores myself. I downloaded StarTrek and podcast episodes myself. I enjoyed a second cup of coffee by myself. And when it was time to set sail, I hauled the dinghy back into the surf and rowed back to Small World myself. And it felt amazing.
Over the years, especially while growing up, I’ve prided myself on a certain level of independence. Sometimes Craig ruins that for me. That guy is like, TOO helpful. He does everything! And he does it happily! And sometimes it’s really easy to let him do everything. I get wrapped up in being lazy and having time to read books that I forget that I enjoy the little successes. Eventually I get fed up with myself and start to kick Craig out of my way. The last week has seen a resurgence of independence and it’s been awesome and rewarding. Today’s solo trip ashore probably means the cycle is about to restart. I bought chips, so you know, I’ve done my part. What’s for dinner, Craig?