Let me just say that I am not a clean freak. In fact, that is probably waaay understating things. I certainly wouldn’t consider myself a grungy person or think that I live in a cesspool or anything that extreme and you won’t ever see my house on an episode of “Hoarders”, but Mr. Clean and I aren’t exactly best buddies either. My problem is I find myself going to two very different extremes when it comes to house cleaning: either every single speck of dust has to be gone or I’m just not going to bother. That attitude coupled with the fact that I work full-time and have a 1 year old means that the later has been my general philosophy for most of my married life.
Anyone that has sold a house can tell you that the number one thing to get your house ready to sell is to clean and de-clutter like nobody’s business. The “staging professionals” hired by our realtor described it as “clean like your grandmother would clean.” I like to call it June Cleaver Clean. The kind of clean that no house, car, or office of mine has ever experienced before. That is the level of clean that a house should be in before putting it on the market.
Well, our house is on the market…and I’m still working on the clean part. I’m pretty good at getting rid of the junk in the house, probably more so now that I know we can’t take most of it with us anyway. We only have 2 trunks full of stuff that won’t be coming with us that we would like our families to store. Things like my wedding dress and nice china. However, getting rid of all of our junk took a lot longer than I would have thought, even for my house that I like to purge of junk every 6 months or so. Our basement was especially bad, as we never used it for anything other than a giant junk dump. Our garage and laundry room are still not what I would consider up to par, but they are getting close.
That being said, having a house free of junk does not make it June Cleaver Clean. That part came this last weekend, as I took to the bathrooms and wood floors with my arsenal of cleaning products and waged war on grimy corners and scummy walls. It was a long hard fight, but I was victorious! And where was Dan during the War on Grime? He was fighting the good fight at 50 feet below in Mermet Springs. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.
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.
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.