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Old 06-09-2015, 04:10   #1
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Location: Tortola, BVI
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The family at home

Wondering if other have had similar experiences with family members, parents sisters, brothers, children, etc. Also, hope this is the right forum.

My wife, Kimberly, and I purchased a Bavaria 33 this past May. We spent May in the Virgin Islands working out bugs and breaking the ice so to speak on sailing for Kimberly. Our plans are to go back at the end of November or beginning of December and spend as long as we want before coming back to California in the summer. We're not even sure of where we'll end up because it shouldn't matter.

Anyway, since we've been home, we rarely post anything of Facebook about the boat or our plans. We have kept up on storms as I share them to Kimberly's wall when she's at work (she just can't bring herself to retire yet). She's 47 and I'm 52. Things just worked out for us that we can do this so we've paid off bills here and have made the jump. We financed with very nice rates and payments. So, it's all good.

However, ever since we got the boat, our families have been extremely strange. On my side, I get all the hushed talk that makes it back to me about how can they afford that. I try to explain how it can be done frugally if you try. Then all of a sudden my mother has started in about be being angry (I used to be in politics and am still passionate about it but not angry). Heck, I've even toned it down quite a bit in the last few years, and I'm far far from an angry person. I am suing a previous business partner (long story) but today my mom says I should drop it because I can afford a boat so I don't need my $100k back (I really don't follow that logic). And, both sisters have distanced themselves from me quite a bit. Mind you I live 5 hours from them (I've always tried to stay a good distance away), but their weirdness is just different lately. I hear from one what the other is saying from all three of them. All the while they all claim they never talk about me. And, it all revolves around my future travels, or seems to.

Kimberly's family, on the other hand, keeps trying to find a reason she shouldn't go because of danger. Oh, you guys better be sure to have a harness and good life jackets. We show her parents who were visiting one day (they live 25 minutes away) the life jackets with built in harness and all the tie downs for them and how it all works. Then her mom says she just had a dream that the boat flipped over with us tied on and we drowned because we couldn't get unhooked. It's always something like that. Or we get that we should move the boat to San Diego, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe or the best Lake Almanor (local medium sized) lake. Then one of her daughters, my step daughter, has stopped talking to us because we won't let her live in our house while gone because we tried that and she's lost and broken quite a few of my tools and such. She can be trusted. Plus, even though the boat payment comes out of my account, she claims I'm making her mom spend all her money on the boat.

All our friends couldn't be happier for us and are always wondering when we're going and why we don't give more updates as to what we're buying and planning on doing. We just say we'll get around to a blog or something. But, the real reason is we just want to avoid the drama from the family.

Anyone have this kind of experience and what have you done to deal with it?

Frustratingly confused,


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Old 06-09-2015, 04:29   #2
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pirate Re: The family at home

Told them to sit on their opinions and swivel.. have not had much if anything to do with them.. or seen them since the 80's..
Life got so much less stressful..
One does not take that kind of crap from friends and all this 'Shared Blood' crap is just that.. a loada crap..
I do not exist to impress the world.
I exist to live my life in a way that will make me happy.

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Old 06-09-2015, 05:02   #3
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Re: The family at home

I can understand a families fear. If you were to look back, it is most likely you that has shown more of a propensity to face the fear in your life than they have. People for the most part have become very comfortable in their lives and have done everything they can think of to make their life seem safe to them and to avoid risk at all cost. Insurance companies market directly to this and make billions from this mentality. I find that real courage is harder to actually find these days. Life is a risk and the conclusion is the same for all of us. How do you convince the woman who gave you birth not to have the natural tendencies to worry about you and you're safety? You don't. The rest of the family does not share your idea of adventure or how one should live their lives and your just upsetting the apple cart when you don't just go along with the masses like you are supposed to be programmed to. It makes them realize deep down that perhaps it is they who are trapped. Most people like their life laid out for them and feel that if everyone else is accepting the same that they must be living right. You and your dreams scare them, it shakes the foundation they rely on. Their first reactions will usually always be their fear placed upon you. Go sail the world. While you are gone you'll be the fool hardy one with no common sense and a screw loose. But when you return, you'll be the brave, courageous, and most likely the admired one. You can't change either outcome. You just have to live "your" life, not theirs.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:19   #4
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Re: The family at home

I get the same Drivel even when
I crew on others boats for long trips.
I am just in the planning stages
for my great escape and can't believe
What I hear from relatives but not friends
I'm lucky in one respect in that my Daughter
and Son want to come along
It all comes down to two things in my book
1. Flat out Jealousy of your freedom
2. Their lives are so devoid of passion for anything that they just can't take it when anybody does anything
I have lots of relatives that could retire tomorrow and do whatever they want for the rest of their lives but what do they do
Work to just make more money
What a waste of life
And yet they degenerate my sailing
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:16   #5
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Re: The family at home

I have a couple of family members that worry about silly things. My sister in law is convinced she will never be able to talk to me after we start cruising. We'll be mostly coastal cruising but she's just convinced our cell phones won't work, EVER. Everyone of course asks what we are going to do when there is a storm, the normal stuff. But for the most part everyone we know has had 34 years to get used to the idea because that's how long we have been planning this. I just tell them that if they really want to worry about something, worry about me driving to work everyday on the I-695 beltway with all the crazy people checking their cellphones instead of paying attention to their driving. I think I'm actually in more danger there twice a day every single day than I will be out on the water.

Our problem is with our daughter and grandchildren. We are very close, and always have been, but due to a very strange twist of events we ended up living on separate coasts some years ago. They are now in California, we are in Baltimore. Our problem is that now they think that as soon as we retire we should move the boat to California and basically just live aboard it near them. Whenever we say anything about the things we want to see and do over on this coast, or basically anywhere except California, we get "the look." So we don't talk much to them about what our cruising plans are. Not that we have any firm plans, because we don't, but there is definitely a lot to see and do over here and even if we were planning to go to California, which we probably will eventually, I would be in no hurry to just bust over there without seeing what there is to see here first. I have a feeling that the tension will really begin when we actually start cruising and don't immediately make a beeline to the left coast. If we decide to stay over here for an extended time we will make every effort to see them as often as we possibly can and they will have to learn to be happy with that.

I will say this, everyone is responsible for their own path and their own happiness. We love our family but they have made their own choices (one of those choices is actually the reason they live on the other side of the country) and in doing so, even though I know they felt bad that they separated the family, in the end they still did what they thought was right FOR THEM. And I am not denying that it was the right thing for them, as much as it hurt at the time. That was a valuable lesson for me about the true nature of family relationships and how much influence and control you can reasonably expect to have in the life of another person (basically none), regardless of the familial or other relationship. And it gave me great insight that helps me put our current situation and other people's reactions to it into perspective.

My daughter does occasionally say that she worries a little about our safety but that she understands that we are willing to take those risks in order to experience something that makes us so happy. In our case it is probably helpful that she grew up sailing with us, and lived aboard a boat with us as a child, so she actually knows what goes on out there and knows that we know what we're doing. But I'm sure she'll continue to worry....just as we did when she started driving, went off to college, got married, or during many other times in her life. But the fact that we were worried about her was no justification to try and guilt her into not living her life.

Ask yourself this, the last time your parents or siblings, or children made a life altering decision such as what job to take, where to live, who to marry, whether or not to have children, how to spend their money....did they seek your counsel or approval? Do you think they would have changed their course of action if you had said you disagreed with what they were doing? If you are honest with yourself I think you'll realize that they wouldn't, and they never will. Just because their choices are not as adventurous, and maybe as risky, as yours isn't the point. The point is, they make their own decisions for their lives, the ones that are right for them, and if they consider you at all my guess is that their consideration of you would not in any way change their course of action. Maybe your mom would, moms are a little different, but maybe not.

As far as your step daughter being upset about not being allowed to live in the house...... If you have raised her successfully to adulthood and she has the capability of making her own way (not limited or disabled in some way that would prevent it) then you have done your job. She is now an adult and responsible for her own life and decisions as you are for yours. And you owe her absolutely no accounting whatsoever for what you and your wife do with your money. It's yours, you earned it, and even if it were true (which I understand it's not) that your wife was spending all of HER money on YOUR boat, unless you are holding her hostage and embezzling her money then it seems to me that it's a choice she is free to make. None of the daughter's business. Kids have no right to expect an inheritance. You earned it, spend it the way you want.

Go and enjoy your life. The people who really love you will learn to be happy for you. The people who can't bring themselves to be happy for you don't deserve your concern.
Preparing for the journey south, Fall 2016.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:41   #6
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Re: The family at home

I have found that as soon as people hear the word YACHT (or big sailboat, whatever), stuff happens. It doesn't matter how cheap the boat was, or how hard you worked for the money. Somehow, people just assume you are too rich, too spoiled, too lucky.

Personally, I think many people perceive having a boat as something happy and successful. And it makes them feel that they are not as happy and not as successful. Or that you don't deserve that happiness and success. Most people have nothing more to show for their workaday lives other than a closet full of clothes, a fancy car, and a big screen tv.

Also, sailing is a skill sport. People don't like to be reminded that you have skills, and they don't. A friend once said to me she would never own a boat. Ouch...on so many levels.

You worked hard to earn the boat. You are financially smart. You have skills. You are enjoying life. Well done, seriously. If family members can't be happy for your success and achievements, that is their problem. Life is too short to be miserable. There is enough sadness in the world to go around. So if you can go sailing, be happy, have some adventures and it. Thats the good stuff in life.
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Old 07-09-2015, 00:52   #7
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Re: The family at home

Great replies everyone. We both really appreciate them.

I think it is a mix of what everyone has put forward here. I always have been the risk taker and hippy of the family surfing, extreme snow skiing, riding motorcycles, sailing, nude beaches, etc. I've also worked hard but played harder. My sisters and mother live the very safe lives (read boring) and never take risks. They don't even like to hear about the political work I've done because it upsets their safe little world. They have their (well mom's retired but did) 9 to 5 safe job with benefits, fancy new cars, have always dressed nicer than I (just throw something on to be legal is practically my dressing desire), and all the fancy gadgets at home they never enjoy because they're working.

Tonight Kim's parents had a dinner with her brother, his wife and us. The boat came up and we were talking about where we wanted to go and how we'd avoid pirates her mother just asked about (yep). I explained we'd stick around the VI for a good bit until Kimberly feels comfortable crossing out toward St Martin. She asked about my open ocean experience, again, so I told the worst story I have. We were sailing out of San Diego into a swell from a hurricane off Hawaii in a 37 ft sloop. We had to batten down everything because the waves were crashing over the bow and filling the cockpit. We beat that for a little more than an hour before we turned back. Then on the way back that 20,000 lbs boat surfed the swells back toward safe harbor. I said of course we won't go out on days like that in the Caribbean. Kimberly's mother's face turned white, and she didn't ask anymore questions. LOL

We are both so looking forward to getting away. It's gonna be hard work sprinkled with fun, and then more fun and some Cruzan at the end of the day.

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Old 08-09-2015, 16:43   #8
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Re: The family at home

People DO choose their happiness. No matter what you do the unhappy ones will be unhappy.
As for adult children, yep, it's the last great test of a parent...letting the little buggers fall flat on their faces from time to time. Said with all love of course!
I told my nearly 18 year old "you WILL resent something I did or did not do at some point. I am OK with that. At least you will know what you would prefer and can act accordingly in your own life".

Don't worry about your relatives. They will be fine.

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