Transitioning to the Off-Season
At the time of writing, Chris and I are four days until the end of lobster season and eighteen days from moving out of a rental in Ojai, California. Soon, we’ll drive east to work on our *fixer* home in Wilmington, North Carolina. A cross-country road trip is how we’ve begun and ended each season for the past two years.
For me, it’s been a dream to live bi-coastal. And since Chris is a fellow adventurer who loves a project, road-tripping from one side to the other is just an excuse for fun, to be together again. Some people think we’re nuts, and I get it. I see how this lifestyle isn’t for everyone.
Similar to my thoughts on having children; amazing to some, just not for me. (Hell yes to Aunt life, though!)
I guess we could agree that all dreams have their quirks.
One HUGE quirk we understand as partners of commercial fishermen is how awkward transitioning to the off-season can be, but each season, we bend and stretch and get by with a bit of help from our friends in the Private FB group. Fellow POCFs and I have found that planning a weekend getaway, a staycation, or a date night ignites that bond again. For us, it’s a road trip.
The experience may be vastly different if you have children, but we can still relate. For example, fish wife of almost forty years, Jolene Colomy, explains what it was like to raise children with a fisherman and how the home transitions were a bit of a challenge:
Q: Fellow POCFs and I have discovered the transition when a fisherman comes home can be a hard adjustment. How did you handle that transition?
A: “Sometimes, not very well. Cause you’re on your own flow. You got your own thing. With the kids, that was the hardest because it was all being done my way. Then he would step in and would do things a little bit differently. Which he should, because we’re all different people.
Sometimes, we still have that. I just have my way of doing something, and I get a little irritated. I can be snappy, and sometimes I get up and just go, Okay. And sometimes I say, “Don’t forget, I’m by myself doing things a lot. And you need to think about that, too.”
It has to be an understanding that just because you drop in, I’m not doing it all your way, and you’re not necessarily going to have to do it my way. Here I was for three months, basically, by myself. And I went from that to him being home every night, because now with his retirement, he gets home by four o’clock every day.”
Jolene proves that we are not alone no matter how long we’ve been in the game. So when anxiety rises as the season comes to an end and things start to get weird, remember “this too shall pass,” because it always does. Soon, you’ll savor the sweet spots. Like a slow morning over coffee with your fisherman as he sits in his favorite chair when plans for next season are yet a blip on the horizon…
What is transitioning to the off-season like for you? How do you reconnect? Please share in the comments below!
If you liked this, you’d love the rest of the interview with the seasoned fish wife, Jolene Colomy of Santa Barbara, California.