I’m Crying Uncle

Pirate Claire, our Ambassador of Fun on these crazy days.

Pirate Claire, our Ambassador of Fun on these crazy days.

This past week was a hard one. Tears were shed, arguments had, curveballs thrown.

Here we are, a few months into this process, and now I really, truly understand why a lot of people don’t do this. The entire upheaval of a life. It’s exhausting, mentally and physically. It’s more than a full-time job. And it’s a mirror, I’ve realized, of who you are and what’s important to you.

As we’re in the final stage of getting this condo ready to sell, we’ve lost count of how many bags we’ve donated, filled to the point of overflowing. How many times Aaron has emptied the shredder from scanning and getting rid of more than 10 years of paper files. How many boxes we’ve packed of things to store, because of simple space restrictions on a boat, and because we won’t be using the same stuff anyway.

STUFF. SO MUCH STUFF. I am drowning in stuff.

And yes, in a lot of ways, it’s extremely liberating, to realize that you don’t need all of it. Which is not to say that it wasn’t important, or valued. It is gratifying, though, to free yourself for a more simpler life. But that doesn’t just come with the mental shift of deciding to live simpler. That comes with a lot of labor that truthfully isn’t that much fun – at least, not for me. Not all the time, anyway.
MissingTheBoatAnd you start to wonder, when you’re exhausted and you feel like you haven’t made any real headway – why am I doing this again? What was so unsatisfying? Is this really worth it? It would be so much easier to just stick with the same.

We have to keep reminding ourselves of the end goal. When we’ve put in a full day of work, or a full day caring for Claire, and then have to put in another full day at the end of the day to get work done on the condo. When our weekends become marathons of how much we can box up. When our to-do lists just keep getting longer.

“Sailing off to the Caribbean – that sounds amazing!” It does. It will be. But it’s also so. much. work. Just to get to the beginning.

The next 10 days will hopefully be a game changer for us. The boat will be listed with a broker and the condo will finally be put on the market. Then, we will truly be in limbo, which is not something either of us is particularly good at. House, boat, work, all in flux. Is there another spinning plate we can add to the mix?

But in the “Hurry Up and Wait” method of all of this, we will be past the “Hurry Up” part and into the “Waiting.” We’ll still be working, but on planning the specifics of our adventure. What’s our short list for boats? Our healthcare options? Do we need homeschooling materials for preschool for Claire? If we don’t buy a new boat, what route do we use to get Clarity out to the East Coast, and what’s the timing? Fun work. Work that will renew my excitement in this whole process.

What makes me smile, even right now as I type this, is the idea that six or eight months from now, I’ll be sitting on the bow of the boat (Clarity or otherwise), on the East Coast headed south, or maybe already in the Caribbean, reading through some of my posts just for fun, and I’ll come to this one. And I’ll laugh, and I’ll call Aaron over to read it with me.

And we’ll say with a grateful smile, “Yep, I remember that. I remember exactly where we were then. But you know what, we came out the other end. And now we’re here.”

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6 thoughts on “I’m Crying Uncle

  1. I could have written this post. In fact, I wrote a very similar one last year as we prepped to move aboard with our kids.

    You can do it!! It is so very very worth it to sort through all the stuff and make it aboard. Very best wishes.

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  2. Every cruiser has been in the same position as you. There will be hard days. Ridiculously hard days. But, there will be absolutely amazing days. And, at least for me, that is why I do this. The letting go of all the stuff seems to be one of the harder parts of this journey, the biggest hurdle. Maybe it’s because you are literally cutting ties to your former life. But as you said, it’s just stuff. Stuff doesn’t make the memories or the friendships. You can do this!

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  3. Stuff stuff is right! Our culture today certainly does not take that lightly…a pun absolutely intended! I think it’s so wonderful to be purging and you are right, the process is not fun. As you put this next notch in your belt, I hope your family gathers strength and lessons that you will be able to use to get you through the hopefully not too many tough times on the sea and make your happier times even brighter. Thank you for sharing this intimate process with us! It’s great for me to learn, too. xoxo to your family.

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