Friday 4 October 2013

Happy Boat Contract

People who will have read my last blog (Globetrotting Puppets) might say; Is that how they are getting ready for this trip? Puppets? Really ?   

Well, yes, partly, but  those are just distractions to keep me amused while I do the more “adult preparations”, stuff like; medical training, school preparation , survival training and one more.

On my LinkedIn profile, I list one of my jobs on S/V Amelie IV  as “Conflict Resolution” and let me tell you:  it’s a job I take very seriously, especially in OUR family.

Now YOUR family might have its very own favourite recipe for conflicts, but I thought I’d share ours with you today:

The 4M Home Made Recipe for Conflict:

Take one passionate, red-headed (can be masked with blond at times), opinionated mom, and make her right 99% of the time, and make sure she is EXTRA sensitive.

Now add one strong-willed, equally passionate (but not as transparent) dad, make sure he is a no-nonsense kind of guy (Read; Quote: “I had a feeling once and I didn’t like it”), and make HIM right 99% of the time.

Mix well, for at least 15 years, (give it time to accumulate baggage)

 To this add one energetic, no holds barred, 100 mile-an-hour, only-stops-when-he-sleeps-tornado of a boy who just entered puberty

Finally, add a passionate, (and oh-so-dramatic) pre-pubescent young lady who has been know to use the sentence “Oh WHAT EVER! ” a lot more recently .

Blend well

Note from the cook :(these are not ALL the characteristics of the four main ingredients. Indeed they do have some wonderful, positive sides ! I just mention  those who mix really well to create the” near perfect conflict condition” required for this recipe)

Next : Sprinkle on some stress, (I find that “Settling An Estate”, or “Home Renos”, or “Leaving A Job”, works well but you can also use “Out Of Town Business Travel” or some other of your family favorites...)

Now, take this mix and then... 

 ....shove it all in one long floating tube for about a year or more, add heat (tropical heat seems to works well for our family)

.....and “VOILA ! ” (kisses fingertips with her lips) 

You have yourself one big beautiful brewing conflict in the making !

Now if you are NOT into conflicts like me, then perhaps you might want to try a little something I brewed up in my spare time lately, in preparation.It is a contract for our family members to agree on, before boarding and I don’t mind sharing this with you, even if it shows my more mature/sensitive under belly. It is called the “Happy Boat Contract”


 Happy Boat Contract : 

 As we embark on this adventure together, lets all please remember that each one of us has the power to make this either a happy boat or an angry boat. 

Our behaviors towards one another will impact everyone onboard. 

Of course there will be days when we are in a foul mood, when we are feeling stressed  frustrated or angry but HOW we chose to behave towards one another is still within our control.

Think about what your tools will be in those difficult  times before they happen and use these tools out of respect of everyone else on board. 

Follow these steps if you think you might be feeling angry/frustrated:

1- Realize that you are in a bad mood 

2- Choose to take some time on your own to work it out by: 

    Going for a walk, Listening to music, Writing something down.

4- If you need to, let people know that you need some alone time.

5-Avoid spreading the negativity to others by blaming or lashing out at them. 

6-Once you feel calm decide whether or not this really is a big deal.

7- If it is not (and it usually won’t be)  just wait it out and the feeling will eventually fade. 

8-If it IS a big deal and is an ongoing issue that needs to change and that you need others’ help to make it change then take the time to communicate without anger to the rest of the crew about what the issue is, so that all can make a plan to help you with it. 


If you are feeling anxious scared or sad about something that is not the same thing !  

Make sure that you tell someone, this probably will help more than you know.

When you are feeling happy, proud, giddy  or hopeful : SHARE this with everyone; it might just be contagious! You have the power to make everyone else feel the same way!

We don’t want to look back years from now and have regrets on how we behaved towards one another. We want to cherish the memories of the time we got to spend together.

We only have one shot at this, one chance at doing our best and making this a happy boat, as best we can, so let's do this !


         (Add signatures (preferably in blood), date and notary stamp)