I like to work. There, I said it. From the time I got my first job in radio until today, I’ve always enjoyed working hard. It gave me a sense of purpose, and while I couldn’t always control the outcome, I was fully in control of my effort. Granted, there were times when I took it too far. There was a period during my radio career when I didn’t take a single day off for several years–not holidays, not weekends, nothing. Heck, I used to keep a mattress and a sleeping bag in my radio studio. And, I wore it like a badge of courage.
Turns out, I was an idiot. I ended up in this endless cycle of working myself like crazy, getting sick, crashing, then doing it all over again. A heart attack, multiple bouts with pneumonia and a world-wide pandemic later, I finally matured enough (relative term) to know that I needed to find other ways to spend my time.
As COVID fully took hold, my frequent business travel ceased and most work became virtual, I found myself resorting to the things that brought me peace. First and foremost, I began actively listening to music again (I always have music on, but active listening is a whole different thing). Every day during teleworking, I played a different vinyl album from my 10,000+ album collection. That led me to grabbing my guitar and practicing for the first time in decades. (Status update, I’m still much better at playing records than I am at playing guitar). And finally, I began spending time around, in and on the water. I have always enjoyed the ocean, being around water calms me like nothing else can.
Now, I realize I’m far from the first person to take up boating during the pandemic. Data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association show 415,000 first-time boat buyers entered the market in 2020, and that number included several of my friends and co-workers. And, with good reason, it’s the perfect socially distanced activity. Of course, what I knew about boating would not fill a Heineken bottle, but I didn’t let that stop me! With a little help from my friends, I picked up a 24-foot powerboat that I called the “Good Bay Sunshine” after the Beatles song.