To go on a cruising adventure or not ....over the years I've heard the same story time and again!
A woman's agonizing decision...to go cruising with her husband or significant other or to stay in her nest where she can be available to her children, grandchildren, or elderly parents.
obligatory feelings toward her family are often much stronger than those of her
male counterpart. It's just born into most of us to be there and be available
anytime these people need us.
But there is this yearning for many of us to go on a cruising adventure. To spend time on a boat cruising the world with our partner ...discovering new things, eating new food, meeting new and exciting people, and enjoying the breath taking scenery we usually only see in photographs.
Letting go and taking that big step on board that boat and
shoving off for ports unknown is so hard. But if you look at it from a
different point of view it could make it much easier decision.
I lived aboard and cruised for three years. I was apprehensive but hopeful during the early stages of letting go. We sold our house and all the furnishings.
I went through all the "stuff" and only kept the most precious things. There were many trips to Goodwill to drop off "stuff". There were Yard Sales to sell "stuff".
Finally I was down to a small collection of "stuff" that I couldn't possibly part with. For that we bought a small storage building and located it beside my parent's house.
It was a nice arrangement. Then we loaded the rest of the
"stuff" that we couldn't possibly live without into the back seat and
trunk of our car and headed to Florida to live on our 40' Island Packet
What a wonderful drive that was. How liberating! How light I felt. I could almost float because the weight of all that "stuff" had been removed.
Simple life aboard a sailboat waited. No yard work. And what about housework? Believe me it doesn't take nearly as long to clean a 40' sailboat as it does a house.
Of course there's boat maintenance but my husband would do most of that and besides it's small in comparison to maintaining a house.
For many years we would hold the promise of spending weekends on the boat as the carrot on the stick that helped us get through the week and now we lived full time on the boat.
Yes, I liked it just fine... I made my nest on the boat ready for our cruising adventure.
OK, so there was the grieving of giving up my home and saying goodbye to my family. I had lived in the same place my whole life. I had lived in three different counties and they all bordered each other. So this was a big change.
My mother cried when we left. And, yes I was on a major guilt trip for a while. At the time she and my father were still in good health so it was actually a good time to have this cruising adventure.
But I had never lived that far from home so it was hard. I couldn't
be available if they needed me on short notice and vice versa. But the timing
They were in pretty good health at the time although about a year and half into the adventure my father was diagnosed with cancer.
He lived for four years so I was available toward the end when I was most needed. However, even if they had not been in great health, I think I still would have gone.
I had decided that I (and more importantly my husband) deserved this time. Sometimes you just have to put yourself first.
Maybe even more troubling than leaving my parents was leaving our three sons. However, they were all comfortably installed in college. They had been living away from home for a couple of years already.
They were all grown up now and could take care of themselves just fine, right? But do we ever stop being Mamas? I don't think so.
But here again was the thought; I deserve this time. I had been there through diapers, kindergarten, karate class, football practice, student council trips, etc.
It was time for an adventure and I was going to put myself first
just this once. And thankfully for me there were no grandchildren yet, I don't
know if I could have handled that one.
So did the cruising adventure change me? Yes, it definitely did and for the good. Change often brings new vitality to your life. Change opens new doors to parts of you that you never knew existed.
Perhaps one of the
most unexpected things was that I developed a renewed appreciation for being in
the great outdoors. I realized how much of my recent life had been spent all
cooped up inside.
I found myself enjoying the stars at night again. I found out how much I loved the smell of the ocean. I developed a new appreciation for tropical plants and the warm tropical breeze on my face.
And then there was the wonderful experience of meeting new and different people and learning about their way of life. Eating new and different foods or learning how to prepare the old ones in a new way.
And of course I gained confidence because this life is definitely not a bed of roses. I learned that I was tougher than I thought. I learned I could do things I never thought possible.
And most importantly I learned this one very important thing. After all the guilt trips I put myself through; worrying about leaving my parents and my children.
Was I being an ungrateful daughter? Was I being a bad mother?
No, I was taking some well-deserved time to be a good and caring friend to myself. And in the end I actually gave those loved ones in my life a very nice gift... a new and improved me.
returned to them a more independent, secure and well-rounded person. I returned
a better daughter and a better mother and of course, I'll have some wonderful
stories to tell the grandkids of our cruising adventure.
Inspired to purchase a boat or at least investigate more!
Article Source: Ezine Articles by Debbie Whiteaker