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An Unexpected Journey

Nancy's Editorial from the December 2010 issue of BoatUS Magazine: October

December is always the time when we reflect on how the past year has gone, and our hopes for the future.

At BoatUS, we're thankful to have survived the economic ups and downs, the Gulf oil spill, the hurricanes and tornadoes, the government rules and regulations, the list goes on — many challenges, yes, and at the same time, much for which we're grateful.

I've been on a journey of my own this year, one I hadn't planned embarking upon — as I battle a rare cancer for which I'm receiving chemotherapy.

I have up days, and down days, like anyone else, but my attitude is positive; and rest assured, the BoatUS.helm is being vigilantly steered.

I share this news with you because I know every BoatUS Member knows someone with cancer — a friend, family member, or maybe even yourself. You're not alone; I stand with you. You've learned, as I have, that this diagnosis puts sharp focus on what's really important in our lives, helping us prioritize and get some balance — at least for us workaholics!

It also makes us think about our "bucket lists," the term made famous by the movie of that name with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, where two buddies create a must-do list that will make their lives complete.

I'm fortunate to have checked off many of the adventures and experiences on my list, and I suggest to you that no medical challenge needs to confront you to start your own bucket list.So, what do you still want to do and where do you still want to go? Have you sailed the gorgeous blue waters of the Caribbean, cruised the Greek Islands, navigated Alaska's Inside Passage? Have you made the trip out to Catalina, or around New England? Still high on my list is salmon fishing in Alaska, and a cruise to Australia, and planning to go to these places makes me feel stronger and directed. For some reason, the South Seas and Tahiti never made my list, and I admit that working on a floating "fixer-upper" isn't on it either. But I'd love a bigger Grady-White to better handle the Chesapeake Bay chop.

We have a colleague here at BoatUS, also battling cancer, who was inter- viewed on television recently. She said she's always lived life to the fullest, she just does it with more determination and clarity now. I know how she feels. I encourage you to think about what you want to do and start making plans to do it. It's joyful to check things off the list — long term, short term, it doesn't matter.

It's our dreams and goals that keep us growing, and give us strength. Reality creeps in when it has to, but it's energizing and healthier to think big and work towards realizing a dream. After all, it's the journey toward our dreams that's most rewarding, that makes us feel most alive!

Be well and happy in this New Year, which is sure to hold exciting adventures and new journeys for us all.

It's the journey toward our dreams that's most rewarding, that makes us feel most alive!

On October 7, 2011, we lost an important member of our BoatUS family. BoatUS President and the Publisher of our magazines, Nancy Michelman, 60, lost her courageous battle with cancer.

This loss is a poignant one for our Association and for the Members whom she loved and worked for. Many of you have known Nancy through her letters to you, through meeting her at boat shows, and through our magazine, where she wrote a personal message to you in the front of every issue.

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