Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The importance of living life

Yes, I'm afraid it's going to be one of those posts; ramblings about life, what is important, and various other mutterings that will go from thought to keyboard with no filter (apologies ahead of time).

A friend of mine recently got the news that her brother-in-law has stage 4 melanoma.  The man is not old (at least by my standards), and should,  according to what most people plan for their lives; have a lot of life left to live.  I'm sure he had plans for his life (and still does I'm sure).  Things he wanted to do, planned to do.  Life has just told him that he needs to turn those wanted to's, and planned to's to actually do them!  He has accomplished a lot in his life, as far as monetary rewards go.  He has made a lot of money, and has provided well for his wife. But with that has come a lot of stress, and I wonder if he feels he has actually really lived his life well.

That same friend, is herself, very successful. She has her own business, owns a very nice house, a Porsche in the garage, nice furniture, enough free plane tickets from an overabundance of frequent flier miles to fly free wherever she wanted to vacation, and do you know what; she is completely miserable.  She is probably the kindest soul I know, but she also stresses about everything and works herself to unhealthy levels.  She worries about everything.  And she does nothing but travel for work. 80 hour weeks are her norm. She can't vacation, and she can't relax.  She is constantly stressed about making enough money to cover all of her expenses from all of the stuff she has.

So what does it all mean.  Is our modern society, and the race for bigger, better, and more stuff really a good way to live? Now granted, we have many things because of that society that we wouldn't have otherwise. I just look around me, and see a disconnect though. People don't know how to enjoy life,are disconnected from life, and spend too much time worrying about how to pay for it all. I'm sure there are people out there that are happy and living life, but I would guess they are the exception.  Oh I know people with money can take glorious vacations, and have plenty of stuff.  But what about the other 50 weeks of the year.  How much stress is involved in the race to get all of that stuff; to take those amazing vacations.

That's why I am looking at alternatives to the rat race. I wonder if it's possible to get in touch with living life, instead of treading water in it. Maybe I'm just throwing darts, and hoping something sticks.  I don't know.  But I know anytime I'm near the water I feel better, it's almost instantly soothing.  Do I have some fantasy that life cruising will be all sunshine, warm weather, and laying in a hammock?  Well not entirely :)  But I look forward to becomming more self-reliant, learning to do more with less, and hoping to trade the stress of working on land with the stress of living on a boat.  I'm rolling the dice hoping one is better then the other.

I think the problem a lot of people may have though, is that by the time we figure out our life isn't working for us, it's hard to make that change.  Take yours truly for example.  A divorce, and year long layoff have definitely done a number on me financially.  There are debts to get rid of, bills to pay, kids to get off to college.  I look around at all the stuff that I've accumulated, and try to figure out how much I use, or look at that stuff.   The answer is not much.  So why is it still here?  Or the better question is, why did I get it in the first place. Even after I read the various blogs out there on the same type of subjects, I still ask myself how can I make it a reality. It still seems almost impossible.  I know - just yesterday I said look at it in small steps.  I'm trying it's just hard. Plus news that comes like my friends brother-in-law hits, and I want to speed up the process.  The question is still how?        A lot of people on forums and blogs just say do it!  Maybe I'm just being a chicken.   I still believe it'll happen, it just seems like a lot of obstacles to get through.

Just looking for that little ray of sunshine to give me some inspiration!  Ok my ramblings are over for the night. I think I heard a collective sigh of relief from all my readers (all 2 of you :) ).


  1. Tux, we have more in common than you know: http://www.hometownannapolis.com/blogs/post/2844573/ALIVE-FOR-FIVE.html

  2. We are there with you Hun...and from reading your blog...you ARE moving in a direction of more meaning and more living...it may seem slow...but we are having to shed our "old skins" first. We will get there...and so will you...hang in...Doll (& Capt'n too)

  3. Rant on:

    If I can weakly paraphrase Yoda; "Sail. Or not sail. There is no try."

    Some will have their own challenges to face, same with you. So the best way to honor those who cannot be healthy is to do more with yourself.

    Get rid of the excess junk, get the children set up in school and get going on to your next phase. That phase does not necessarily mean going overseas, you can just be in the Great Lakes, Florida, Texas or any other water front zone. You can even take your kids with you on your boat, they will thank you later.

    A family can live on a 28 foot boat. I've seen it more than once, and I'm talking about teenagers and Dad.

    By the way; Sailing is a state of mind. Ecven though I have a trawler, I still think of myself as a sailor.

    Rant off!

  4. Dan & Jaye - what a great article that was you wrote. And congratulations on fighting the good fight, and doing what you love! You two are an inspiration. And you are so right about there always going to be reasonable excuses as to why I can't proceed. But they are in effect just excuses, and I should just get on with it. Life is too short!

    Doll & Capt'n - Thanks for the encouragement! In my case there is more skin to shed then there used to be (yeah - that's a dig at my weight! ). I look forward to watching you blaze the trail I will follow!

    Barco - I can always count on you to lay it out simply for me. Just get out there and do it. If I really want to do it, I should just do it. Everything can be managed. And I couldn't agree with you more on the Sailing is a state of mind. A desire for a more rewarding life; somebody that truly tries to enjoy each day. Be it on a powerboat, sailboat, fulltime camper, whoever. I think it's all the same mentality.