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Happy Easter- Rebirth, Renewal, and Reinvention

A year ago today we spent in the Emergency Room in Brunswick.  After 4 months living on a boat without incident, Emma James tripped in the hallway and split open her cheek on a piece of furniture and needed about 16 stitches.

So much for sailing being dangerous.

We’re in Tucson now.  So much has changed in the last twelve months.  There is almost no similarity between our old life and our new life.  The transition can happen that quickly.  It may seem like it takes forever but before you know it- WHAM- the unimaginable is now the norm.

A moment for reflection.

Hil and I are on the cusp of 40 this year.  Statistically speaking, we’re past the 50% point in our lives.  We’ll spend the next 20 years of our lives caretaking the children to adulthood and then we’ll be able to spend the following 15 years (or more with luck) healthy and able before our strength will fade and our bodies will start to complain.  That is, of course, if we don’t get hit by a bus, fall off a cliff, drop dead from a heart attack, die of cancer, or be seriously injured in a car crash (more likely statistically than cancer).

A call to action.

There’s no time to waste!  Discard all logical, reasonable, responsible, social stereotypes and preconceived notions about what you should be and spend some time considering not what you WANT but instead what you want TO DO in this short life.

Get to It!

If you’re single, there’s no excuse.  If you carry that dull lethargic weight, void of inspiration and anticipation, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year that can only be lifted by 12 cups of frappucino per day and a few stiff drinks at night, there are few careers that warrant your investment of blood.  Use your energy and/or youth to explore your world, big or small.

If you’re married, it’s time to sit down and work together to find a path that will invigorate both you and your mate.  This may not be so easy.  The world has changed.  That person you were during your courtship and your expectations about how the world worked is vastly different.  If your mate is ‘stuck’ or adamant about pursuing the social convention coupled with social consumerism you might be in for a rough time.  BUT, I sincerely believe you do not deserve a life of frustration and regret.  Baby steps, my friend.  Lead by example and work towards a path of personal satisfaction not determined by material objects or consumerism.  With luck, your partner will see your renewed energy levels and inner peace and say, “Hey, I want some of that too!”

If you’re married with children.  There is no trust fund, accelerated academic education, corporate career, three bedroom mini mansion, luxury automobile, stock option, season tickets, or vacation home worth more than the time spent with your children.  On one hand, think about yourself.  Dust off the forgotten dreams of youth and re-write your list of THINGS TO DO AND SEE BEFORE I DIE.  You deserve a life.  Fulfillment is required for peace and happiness.  Show your kids how to follow their dreams.

On the other hand, think about your children.  Do you want them to follow in your footsteps, find discontent and regret as their life learned rewards?  To truly lead by example means to follow your heart and show them how to continue to grow and explore as adults.

We receive lovely comments from folks reading the blog that universally state,

That was our dream but we waited too long…

People want to MAXIMIZE return, investment, output, efficiency- how about maximizing your life?  Life is short, my dear friends, sometimes the best thing you can do is cut bait and fish!  The hardest part (of anything) is to start.

Get over the idea of Security.

One, the world is not actually as dangerous as the media and your peers claim.  In fact, most of your peers don’t have a clue because they’ve never left the safety and security of their cocoon.  Why take a tour from a guide that has never been there?

Two, you’re living a carefully disguised fantasy if you believe you have any real security in your job.  Beyond government and state employment, unless you own your business there are no guarantees you will have a job tomorrow.  Look around.  You know I’m right and that’s why folks today may have as many as 8-10 job changes in their so called ‘career’.

Three, the great rewards of mainstream life, nice cars, comfortable homes, boats, second homes, country club memberships, cable television, 2 year cell phone contracts are all anchors that instead of providing you freedom actually reduce your ability to change course and do something completely different.  One day you wake up, “This is not my life” and you decide you want a life make over.  30 year mortgages, 5 year leases, 2 year contracts, monthly payments all make it tough to stop the merry-go-round once you’ve become aware of your predicament.  These things are not investments, they are liabilities.  You don’t work (and continue to make more and more money every year) you lose everything.  What security is in that?

(Just food for thought-People rise to their highest level of incompetence.)

If it’s true, why aren’t more people noticing this conflict of ideas and talking about it?

Well, for most of us that ‘have gone off the reservation’- we are never coming back (ps- never say never).  No way, no how.  In fact, stepping back into society after a few weeks on the boat Hil and I are both struck by the insanity of cities.  The manic behavior of the drivers, the dissasociative (spelling, I’ll fix later) demeanor of shoppers in the grocery store avoiding eye contact and a simple courteous greeting.

I’ve been listening to Eckhart Tolle’s “New Earth” on CD and I think it’s true that social society embodies psychopathic schizophrenic behaviors.  Take a few steps away and look for yourselves.  WACKO!

An acknowledgment.

Hey!  I get it.  We’ve had it easy.  We lost EVERYTHING and had to start over anyways.  That makes it a LOT easier to make some pretty radical changes.  I know, I feel pretty lucky to have lost everything that I worked for my entire adult life right as our first child is born.  I know I should understand that for those of you that still have jobs, investments, savings, bank accounts- change can be hard, really hard.  I mean, who has the time?  Who would consciously give up his/her Iphone willingly?

What the hay?  We were broke anyways.  It would have been easier to just go out and get a job like everyone else and reincorporate into the collective, but since we were penniless and asset-less it wasn’t that much of a jump to reinvent yourself, scrape yourself up off the psychological floor and step out into the unknown, lean on friends and family for emotional and financial support until something started bearing fruit, and let go of the fear and apprehension of not knowing what tomorrow would bring much less the long term future.

Yup.  I do feel a little guilty that we’ve had it so easy compared to the folks with 9-5 jobs dressing up in a nice pant suit before driving their 2007 hybrid’s to a multi-story parking deck each morning before spending their entire daylight hours in a glass tower pushing paper with the highlight of the day eating lunch in a fabricated fern garden with ‘natural’ water fall sounds only to head home to a ‘one in several hundred’ look-a-like box condo on the 18th floor where you don’t even know your neighbor but you have thousand of facebook friends and follow 389 people on twitter each day.  I can really sympathize with the tough decision that face you as you contemplate your inner unrest.

But let’s jump forward 30-40 years.  You’re on your death bed.  You have loved ones around you and you are not long for this world.  As your breath begins to fade and you move toward the shimmering light, you have an epiphany!  Now is your last chance to enlighten, to educate, to warn if you will, your loved ones before your brief time on this planet is doused like a match.  You say,

I wish I…

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2 comments to Happy Easter- Rebirth, Renewal, and Reinvention

  • Very inspiring stuff JC! I am so happy that my wife and I have come to these se conclusions while we are still in our 20s. Before we’ve gotten in “too deep”, to make it more difficult than it already is to change course.

    Our house is going on the market this month, and with a little luck we will be looking for a liveaboard boat this summer and the adventure will begin! I can’t wait to actually be outside rather than in an office…

    Thanks for writing such inspiring posts!

  • big cheese

    Bill-

    That’s great! At least give yourself the opportunity to try it on for size. Even if you don’t like living on a boat- it will be one more thing you can check off the list with a great degree of certainty and move on to the next dream.

    At first, the work seems monumental and very daunting. If you can chipping at it a little bit at a time the path will become clearer until, much like your daily routine now, your new life fits you like a well tailored suit.

    Best of luck,

    JC