A Mixed Bag.

Over the past few months, Josh and I have been spending an inordinate amount of time reading blogs of those who have went before us…the one’s that sold everything, bought a boat and floated off into the sunset.  It’s been an incredible opportunity to live vicariously through their lives and an even more incredible opportunity for us to have great conversations about things they talk about in the blogs.  It’s been really helpful to prompt us to discuss things we haven’t really considered, or, at least, haven’t talked about before as we creep closer to our goal.  The last two blogs that we’ve read have ended with the couples calling it quits and returning to land, seemingly much earlier than they had ever anticipated.  While I’ve become increasingly perplexed by a number of decisions the couples have made both before and during their adventures, I’m a firm believer in the to-each-his-own sentiment and am confident that the couples made the best decisions for their relationships and lifestyles.  It’s been interesting to ride along on their journeys, from selling all of their possessions to transitioning to being liveaboards to returning to land and repurchasing the items they had given away only months or years beforehand in order to restart their lives on land, living aboard a boat now just a fond memory.  I’m encouraged by the discussions we’ve had as a result of reading the experiences of the one’s that have gone before us, easily drawing parallels between our levels of planning, levels of confusion and levels of motivation.  The biggest lesson we’ve learned from the blogs so far: open, honest communication and a rock-solid relationship are absolute musts prior to embarking on our journey.  There is no room for passive-aggression.  There is no room for being silent when you are uncomfortable.  There is no room for failing to communicate.

Last evening, we headed to Lancaster to meet up with some old friends we don’t get to see nearly as much as we want to anymore.  Over the past six years that Josh and I have been together, life for our small group of friends has changed in drastic ways.  A few years ago, we all spent a day cruising around on the motorcycles, stopping for drinks and laughs on a beautiful summer day, with no deadlines and no place to be.  These days, some of those friends have taken the same path as us – remaining child-free and able to pick up and go at a moments notice.  Some of those friends have taken altogether different paths – growing their families, settling down and requiring some preparation before committing to outings.  In our day-to-day lives, Josh and I are pretty solitary creatures.  We have a small group of people we associate with on a regular basis.  That group consists of two subsets – those that are our age that have chosen similar lifestyles; child-free, always pursuing a cold beer and a good time and those that are considerably older than us; already having raised their children, always pursuing a moment of relaxation and good conversation.  A lot of times I forget that Josh and I have chosen a different lifestyle than a lot of people our age because of our day-to-day circle.  And, because of that, I tend to forget that we live our lives somewhat outside the norm of what’s “expected” from us.  I’m not sure if this will make us more or less prepared for the journey we’re gunning for, but, I do know that it’s a difference.  Interestingly enough, Josh told me to listen to a song yesterday that I had never heard before.  She and I by Alabama.  I’m pretty sure it’s our new theme song…

In happy news, we’re just about done with the renovation of our master bedroom!  The walls and ceiling have been painted.  The floor has been installed.  The majority of the trim has been stalled, polyurethaned and installed.  And it looks FANTASTIC!  We made the decision to be pretty discriminate with “decor” when we were putting the room back together.  We still plan to be in our house for a few years so we certainly don’t want it to feel empty, but, at the same time, packing the newly redone room full of everything it held prior to the redo seemed unnecessary.  We decided that we would return the things that we really liked and get the rest ready for yardsale in the spring.  I’m really happy with our decision, as we decided to price about half of the “stuff” to get sold at yardsale.  One of the things that we decided not to return to our redone bedroom was my huge, obnoxious jewelry cabinet that had become an absolute nightmare; unorganized and packed to the brim with feather earrings, beaded necklaces I haven’t worn in years and lonely earrings, missing their mates.  A few days prior, we had gone through another box in the basement and found a box that sat on my dad’s dresser that collected random parts, pieces and most of the mates for my lonely earrings.  Knowing that I’m pretty basic when it comes to jewelry, wearing the same things until they break or I lose them, I knew that I didn’t need or want the majority of the things I had stowed away in jewelry hell.  I decided that I would eliminate the huge box and, instead, use the box my dad had used.  The pairing down process was pretty simple…keep it because I love it, pitch it because it’s junk, put it in a box because it needs fixed or put it in a box to eventually sell for whatever cash it’s worth.  Progress.

Then came the cleaning out of my dad’s box, which was pretty ridiculous.  As expected, the box was crammed with minuscule memories…a receipt from a car dealership from 1983, a receipt for an obsolete camera from 1989, a receipt for Toys R Us from 1993, a plastic chit from a local bar, good for one draft beer.  And $1 from the Central Bank of the Bahamas.  I trashed nearly everything in the box, save a few tiny items, while taking a few moments to maul over how much I really do miss my dad every single day.  (And a few moments to laugh at a pencil eraser shaped into a pair of boobies that had somehow become a piece of relished history, placed in the box for years of safe-keeping.)  At the end of the process, I had just enough room in the new, smaller box for everything I wanted to keep.  And Josh and I decided that it would become our mission to, one day, make the trek to the Bahamas to spend that $1 from the Central Bank of the Bahamas that my dad had left behind.

P.S.  Trump got inaugurated on Friday, 1/20/2017, as our 45th President.  The sun’s come up the past two days since his inauguration.  There were people out at the bar last night, drinking, laughing and dancing.  Things did not appear to be on fire, imploding or otherwise grinding to a halt in the wake of Trump’s inauguration two days prior.  So, I’m assuming that the world didn’t end, as some has predicted.

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