When we finally decided to tell everyone our plans to throw off the bowlines and go seek adventure aboard S/V Dakota for the next year (or so…), the first reaction we’ve usually received is one of surprise – “What?! O mi god! That’s amazing!” (yes, we agree, it is). And the first question we get is “Aren’t you excited?!” Well, yes. I suppose we are. But for now, we are bogged down in the many many details of how to make it all happen. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful to have a very supportive spouse who understands that my need to organize and manage every detail is exactly that, a “need” and not a “want.” And we are grateful to have the opportunity to reallocate financial resources such that we can plan to live off the passive income we recently created for the foreseeable future. (Not without many late-night worries over whether it will carry us through, be enough to see us through the unexpected disasters and what the hell we’ll do when we get back…..but more on that another time).
See, we have quite a full and busy life, like most folks in our life situation do at this point in our family’s life. We are (were) a two-working parent household with one school-aged child and one pre-preschooler child, both of whom are very busy and active little boys. My husband and I both have demanding jobs that require that we either (a) be away from home much of the time or (b) work long hours or (c) both. See, I am a lawyer in Big Law and he is an airline pilot. The very nature of his job, despite the fact that he has, for the past few years, worked at headquarters in the airline’s training department, means that he must be gone. We live in the suburbs of Sacramento (California) and he works in the Bay Area. Sure, not unlike many folks we know. But coupled with my demanding Big Law job downtown, it has traditionally equated to little, if any, quality family time, let alone time to create an entirely new life(style) from scratch complete with finances, homeschooling, cruising plans and preparations and the overwhelming job of shutting down our current life (for the time being). As such, we haven’t had much time to get “excited.” Rather, we’ve spent the last six months mired in big life decisions of: how will we finance this pipe dream? Do we sell or rent our house? What about our beloved furry family members, Sadie and Guinness (meow)? What do we do with all of our stuff? Store, sell, donate or trash? And what about homeschooling (or boatschooling) our kids? How does that work? What are the legal state requirements? What must we do to figure that out? Who do we talk to? What resources do we need to gather now and what can be acquired while we are underway? There are so many details to attend to and there has not been, until recently, time to digest the impact of each of these small, yet at the same time, very large, decisions.
So for now, the politically correct answer is “Yes, we are excited!” while internally we continue to grapple with all of these to-dos while at the same time trying to remain present and engaged in our current life with our boys.
Thankfully, I invested in, and relied very heavily on, and have been extremely committed to the action items I laid out in my Passion Planner (thank you!!), and have been able to knock out the key details that have needed to be managed over the past few months. However, as we near the final weeks and days to moving out of our stuff-laden family home, the anxiety and stress of dealing with not only the material “stuff” we have accumulated over the last 20+ years of couplehood and our 7+ years of parenthood have proven to be a monumental task that I find myself questioning my capacity to handle on any given day.
I hope that by the time we finally feel ready, whatever version of that we find comfort with by early September (our planned-for departure date), I get to experience the excitement that so many of our beloved friends and family have vested in us.
In the meantime, I’ll rely on my daily ritual of little quality sleep and double lattes paired with regular check-ins with my Passion Planner and daily to-do lists and hope that I’m able to knock out everything on my list in time to finally breath that sigh of relief, let the anticipation and stress go, and just BRREEAATTHHHE in that beautifully salty air. Because in the end, what we hope to gain from this experience–a varied and rich quilt of experiences and memories as a young family–is absolutely worth it.