Call it what you like, luck, providence, or karma, but I think it's the height of hubris to say that I "earned" my boat. I don't believe in luck, but it's the most neutral of the possible descriptions, so I'll use the term.
I was lucky to be born to an American family that had a home. I was lucky enough to have been born with decent physical and passable mental faculties. I was lucky to break a leg when I was 12 and get dropped from my competitive soccer team so I started officiating, which taught me the joy of income
and economics at a young age. I was lucky enough to get hired as a trencher for an electrician, and lucky enough to have the faculties to work my tail off and move up. I was lucky enough that they opened a specialized technology school
, one of the first of its kind, right when I was eligible to enter.
I was lucky I had a father who drilled into me the pitfalls of debt, who was the first in his family to graduate high school, and who lived as an example of what lots of hard work and integrity can do. I was lucky enough to go to college at a time when by working and not partying too hard I could afford to pay as I went and start my first career debt free.
I was amazingly lucky enough to find a young lady who, although from a much more affluent background, was not only smart and a hard worker, but had such poor judgement that she agreed to marry me. I was lucky enough to find an absolute dump of a house in a really nice neighborhood, and doubly lucky that at the time Uncle Sam was handing out loans with 2% down. I was lucky enough to have had several jobs in construction so that I had acquired the skills fix it up myself.
I was lucky enough to sell that place for enough profit to buy the dump of a ranch we had. I was lucky enough that my new next door neighbor was so glad that someone was willing to fix the eyesore next door that he loaned me his tractor, backhoe, and any tools I needed but couldn't afford and often came over to lend a hand and expertise.
I was lucky enough to always find myself in the right job at the right time, and to have fallen backwards into the Internet game
before the boom. I was lucky enough to be involved in a startup, and lucky enough to get completely screwed in the first sale
, which taught me the valuable lesson that there are no friendships in business. I was lucky enough that because of my hard work there, I was able to negotiate some of what I should have gotten to stay on with the new owners, and was lucky enough that it took off. I was also lucky enough that when that first startup folded and my ex-friend was sued for fraud and lost
his ass, since I had been completely cut out of the profits I was also completely cut out of the liability and loss.
I was lucky enough to sell that ranch at the height of the market and have enough, with some help, to buy our current
place near the coast, and to have the coin to fix it up just how I wanted it. I was lucky enough to have a wife with such poor judgement that she agreed and supported me leaving the rat race
of the corporate world and taking my childhood dream job of a firefighter. I was lucky enough to get hired from the first interview I was granted, and crazy lucky that a guy who say behind a desk for that many years was able to get through a frighteningly rigorous training academy.
I was lucky enough that I had been raised to live within my means, so that I wasn't overextended or drowning in debt when the bottom fell out of the economy and my home value dropped by half.
So yeah, I'm so lucky to have a boat and be able to sail. I may not be lucky enough to leave everything and cruise
full time right now, but I'm lucky enough that I have a great life that I don't really want to permanently leave yet. I'm lucky that I'm healthy enough to wait a few years for that.
So if someone told me I was "lucky" to be able to do what I do, I'd have to tell them they don't know the half of it! Any one of those or any other thing goes differently, and I could be digging in garbage cans looking for my next meal. I may work hard when given the opportunity, but there's nothing intrinsically awesome in me that I earned the chance to. That was given to me.
I can look back at the amazing good fortune in my life and say that it's proof that there's some meaning to it. I see people's worst day every time the bell rings at work, and it's not because they didn't work hard enough or save enough, or scrimp enough. It's given me a whole new perspective.
-- if you read that whole thing, you're lucky enough to have amazing patience!