Welcome To Limbo

It’s been a loop of “Hurry Up and Wait” over here, and right now, we’re waiting.

At the Strictly Sail boat show in January, Aaron and I bought new Henry Lloyd foul-weather coats. We were tired of them sitting in the closet, so we suited up accordingly for our Valentine's Day date. Somehow, I don't think Chicago's blizzard conditions that day were what they had in mind as foul weather...

At the Strictly Sail boat show in January, Aaron and I bought new Henri Lloyd foul-weather coats. We were tired of them sitting in the closet, so we suited up accordingly for our Valentine’s Day date. Somehow, I don’t think Chicago’s blizzard conditions were what they had in mind as foul weather.

Our house is for sale, our boat is for sale, Aaron’s job is for sale. Our life is for sale. Anyone interested? We’ll negotiate!

The good news is that we’ve had recent interest on all fronts, and it feels like there’s hope that one of these chess pieces will move in the near future. But until then, we wait. And waiting for your house or boat to sell is like…well…waiting for your house to sell.

One of the things that has come to light in this recent chapter is how the process to this point has affected Aaron and me differently, and at different times. For me, the entire month of January was awful: all of the work to get our place on the market in a timely manner (and the unexpected hurdles it unearthed) pushed me to my breaking point. But the day we took the photos for the condo listing, the weight was lifted. Now, it’s just a matter of maintaining. And after that chaos, I don’t mind a bit of waiting.

For Aaron, though, this part is much harder. As the mental space of just executing tasks has been freed up, it’s been filled with the reality of the mental shift he’s making – from being entrenched┬áin his career for more than 18 years, to taking his family to sea.

An important nuance is that he’s not quitting his work altogether, and that’s for two reasons. First, though we’ve been financially preparing for this chapter for years, he’s still the primary breadwinner for our family, and will continue to support us afloat. Second, he loves what he does and is still inspired in his professions. But he (we) have gotten the calling to take to the sea, and in the work-life balance, he’s ready for the pendulum to swing to life for awhile.

To help provide serenity these days, I've taken to knitting sea creatures. Some see this as a wonderful hobbies, while others see this as a sign that I may have passed the point of no return.

As a therapeutic activity, I’ve taken to knitting sea creatures. Some see this as a wonderful hobby, while others see this as a sign that I may have passed the point of no return.

In a way, I’ve already experienced a similar transition. When I had Claire, I went from working full-time for eight years through the day before she was born, to becoming a stay-at-home mom overnight. It was a decision Aaron and I were both in agreement on and happy about, and one that we’d made long before she came. But I didn’t realize how much of my self-worth I had tied to my job until I passed maternity leave – the point of no return – and I struggled for quite awhile with figuring out who I was all over again.

It’s funny: Aaron and I have followed so many blogs of cruising families, read the books, watched the videos, etc. There is a library of content on planning, saving, budgeting, provisioning, and training for this adventure we’re about to embark on. But there’s little or nothing that we’ve found on how to mentally prepare – or at least, the importance of acknowledging that this shift in thinking is a huge part of it.

The unknown, too, of how and when this is all going to play out for us, makes it that much more intangible. One of the things I’m trying to work through right now is preparing myself to not panic as soon as we get the call that our condo has sold, or our boat has sold. I know that seems a bit strange, given that we’re (excitedly) taking this leap of our own volition. But the truth is that I’m still very much entrenched in our place, our routine – how can I not be? Claire is still off to preschool in the morning, Aaron off to the office. I’m still on deadline, with client calls and deliverables due.

We are planning planning planning for this and things are happening – but IT hasn’t HAPPENED yet.

There will come a point, sometime in the near future, where what’s left of our things will all be in boxes and we will have nowhere to live (if only for a few weeks).┬áI’m reminding myself, starting now, to be okay with some of those pangs I know I’m going to feel, and to not let them get the better of me. We have to remember what the next chapter is going to look like when we get there.

Look how happy Claire is! Maybe the boat will be too big for her...

Look how happy Claire is! Maybe the boat will be too big for her.

So, for now, we wait. While we wait, Aaron and I are working on our shortlist of boats we’d consider buying when Clarity sells. We’re packing up and selling a few more things here and there, and continuing to research all avenues of cruising life.

We’re also taking this opportunity to spend as much quality time with friends and family as possible, and enjoy the luxury of being able to drive anywhere we want, whenever we want.

And I’m taking really, really, really long baths.

One bitterly cold afternoon, Claire and I made baking soda dough and molded it into sand dollars and stars that she painted the next day. Somehow, I doubt the sand dollars that we will be spotting along the beaches in the islands will be quite this vibrant - but then again, they just might be!

One bitterly cold afternoon, Claire and I made baking soda dough and molded it into sand dollars and stars that she painted the next day. Somehow, I doubt the sand dollars that we will be spotting along the beaches in the islands will be quite this vibrant – but then again, who knows!

The beach is out of reach these days, so kinetic sand will have to suffice.

The beach is out of reach these days, so kinetic sand will have to suffice.