4 Important Life Lessons from Losing on a Lake

by Carol Cronin (from her blog: Carol Newman Cronin, Author, Editor, Olympian)

Two decades ago, Paul and I had to return a borrowed Snipe to Mystic Lake, a hill-encircled body of water just west of Boston. The local fleet was racing that day, so—shrugging our shoulders into “why not?”—we decided to join them; might as well break up four hours of driving with a few hours of sailing. Though it wasn’t the open water ocean we both loved, it was still sailboat racing. We’d undoubtedly learn a few things, catch up with a few friends, and then head home.

By the end of that challenging day, the only thing I’d learned for sure was that divorce is NOT a four letter word.

We are still happily married, of course. But the crazy windshifts on that most mystical of lakes—so unpredictable, so random—left us both feeling battered and bitter and—stupid. Surrounded by high hills, the breeze would fill in or disappear, seemingly at random. Our combined sailing expertise (earned over two lifetimes on open water) no longer applied.

That same frustration has returned in 2020: something we can’t see or predict is requiring us to learn new habits on the fly. It’s as if life’s summer seabreeze suddenly decayed into a land-confused, puffy, shifty “mystical” wind, and we have no idea how long it will be before we can again trust our senses to figure out what “wins.”

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