Zoe during better times
It’s been a hectic week! We weren’t kidding when we said There is a Lot Going On Around Here.
As a follow up to Good Bye Awesome Car, Hello Future our second awesome car has been sold! We have been looking for an opportunity to sell it, as eliminating our last car payment will really boost our savings. We’re now driving my parent’s Jeep which they are selling us for a very good price that we think we should easily be able to recoup when we sell it. Parting ways was much easier this time… each step forward is a step closer to cast-off day. The bedroom has been painted, the carpet is on the way, and I’m done with the classroom portion of Divemaster training. Next up is assisting with classes and student training dives.
Of all of the progress made this week, perhaps the most momentous was telling my parents. My family is very close (we live 2 blocks away from them)… so we weren’t exactly sure how they would take the news that we are planning on moving thousands of miles away. More on that in our next post.
On a much sadder note, our dog Zoe passed away on Saturday. Although she was only four years old, she had been battling Addison’s disease for three of those. Steroids twice a day for three years allowed her to live an active life but also took a toll on her small body. Even though we understand the necessity of giving up our dogs before leaving for life at sea, this was definitely not the way we had planned on saying good-bye. It also has given us just a little reminder of the good things that we will be leaving behind. Even fulfilling your dreams can be bittersweet at times.
Follow your dreams. Follow the Horizon.
Playing horse is just one of many great ways to spend some time!
If you listen closely enough throughout the course of your day, you will probably hear a mention of “spending time” more than once. “I spent some time going through that report…” or “I’m going to spend some time with my kids this weekend…”, you know what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, I think that too many of us don’t actually realize the consequences of what spending our time actually means.
Americans, in general, are not well known for our ability to save money. We like to spend it as it comes. (Not exactly the most prudent choice, but we’re not talking about what’s advisable, just what is true.) However, it seems that the opposite mindset is true of our time. For some reason our society has decided that if we work like maniacs now, we will be able to retire when we are at some unknown “older” age… at which point we will have “earned” enough time to relax and enjoy life. We have, unfortunately, picked the wrong commodity to try and hold on to.
In a program called The Truth Project, a recurring question that is asked is this: “Do I really believe that what I believe is really real?” That question has plagued me ever since I first heard it. People say that time is our most precious asset, it’s the only thing that we can never have more of. But do we really believe that’s true? Because if we really believed that, wouldn’t we do everything that we could to cherish every second and be a little more judicious with them?
My son was born almost 20 months ago. They have truly been the fastest 20 months of my life, and I’m sure that the months are not going to start rolling by any slower in the future. It’s about time for us to start spending them a little more wisely. Dan and I are in the process of finding out what it really means to live what we believe. I hope you will find out for yourself.
Follow your Dreams. Follow the Horizon.
Now that Michele and I’s cruising plans have been put into high gear, getting ready to “retire” and begin cruising is hard! No really, it is. Let me list a few of our current projects for you…
- Get the house ready to sell
- New Fireplace Mantle DONE
- New Bedroom Carpet IN PROGRESS
- Carpet removed DONE
- Carpet pad removed DONE
- New carpet picked out
- New Paint in Bedroom IN PROGRESS
- Remove hideous 90′s wallpaper border from Bedroom DONE
- Finish Crown Molding in Kitchen DONE
- Paint the Shed IN PROGRESS
- Become a PADI Divemaster
- Assist with Open Water Diver classes IN PROGRESS
- Attain 60 logged dives IN PROGRESS
- Become better sailors
- Join local yacht club DONE
- Sail as often as possible IN PROGRESS
- Sell my Saab
- Meet with potential buyers IN PROGRESS
- Get LASIK eye surgery
- First appointment DONE
- No contacts for 3 weeks IN PROGRESS
- Surgery August 17th in Chicago UPCOMING
Dealing with the above (and more… part of which I’m really excited about, but it isn’t ready to show you guys yet!) while trying to continue in a job that my heart isn’t in anymore has been weighing on me recently. When it gets bad, I close my eyes and remember standing with Michele on the beach. The sand, wind, ocean… they all comfort me even tough they are a thousand miles away. Michele and I are doing our best to bring them quite a bit closer, however. The sacrifices we make now will allow us to cruise more comfortably (and sooner!) in the future, and I’m glad we’re making them. But life is not always mai tais and mini umbrellas… but at least it is exciting to be making progress in following our dreams.
“Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity” -Henry Hartman
And so begins the next step of our journey. Ladies and Gentlemen, Dan and I have officially changed our mindset (and actions) from what we like to call the Planning Stage to the Preparation Stage. As I said in my last post, we are preparing now to be ready to cruise by the end of next year’s hurricane season. We’ll be (hopefully) saying Happy New Year 2014 from an anchorage in the Bahamas. That being said, there is a LOT to do in a year if we really want to be prepared to get out there.
First and foremost among items on our To-Do list is getting our house sold. We are frantically fixing up all the little loose ends around our house that have been left undone in the almost 4 years that we have lived here. Prime example: the family that lived in our house prior to us moving in apparently decided they like their mantle piece on the basement fireplace too much to leave it behind, (totally bizarre I know) so we had to put a new one in. Luckily, we’re hoping to have the vast majority of those things completed within the next 2-3 weeks, as we would like to have our house on the market by the beginning of August. Speaking of getting our house on the market, anyone know a good realtor in Peoria?
Secondly, we have instituted a policy of no spending that is not beneficial to live on a boat. While that may seem somewhat broad, the biggest part of controlling our spending is based on the mindset of looking at every dollar going out of our bank account. Every dollar we spend on land is another dollar we won’t have when we’re living on a very fixed income on the boat. Going out to eat? No way. Visible home improvements? Sure. New swimsuit? Maybe. There are still quite a few large purchases/financial obligations that we will need to deal with before we can leave, but hopefully many of those will help us make money (like Dan’s scuba instructor certification) or save money (like getting LASIK surgery) in the future.
So what’s next, quitting our jobs? buying a boat? telling our family? duhn duhn duhn. Coming soon to a blog near you!
Follow your Dreams. Follow the Horizon.
Maybe we’ll set a few of these off when we leave
Today, people all over the United States will be celebrating Independence Day aka the 4th of July. We all get together for picnics and fireworks, and then tomorrow we’ll all go back to work. It leads me to reflect on how close Dan and I are to our own “Independence Day” when we can cast off the lines and really start our cruising life. Almost a year ago now, we took a hard look at what we would need to do to accomplish that goal, and we estimated it would take us around 4 years of saving and planning to have a comfortable cruising kitty.
That was a year ago. Now we’re sitting in office chairs wondering “what the heck are we doing here?!” We’ve come to find that doing the work-a-day life is significantly harder to stomach once you’ve realized there is another option. Judging by some of the other blogs that I have read by cruisers who have already left, we aren’t the only ones who have experienced the over-anticipation that occurs once you start planning to cruise. Frankly, 4 years is just waaay too long to tolerate under our current mindset.
Therefore, we have decided to speed up the process a little. By a little, I mean our goal is now to have our butts in the Caribbean by the end of next year. There are a lot of steps that we are currently evaluating, but let’s just say that things are going to start moving at a quicker pace in our house very shortly.
Independence Day, here we come!