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Old 31-03-2014, 11:52   #76
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

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Originally Posted by AliRodrigues View Post
Thanks again guys, for all of your replies! I will clarify a couple of points about our situation.

My husband is a Brazilian national. Upon obtaining US citizenship in 2012, he promptly announced his move back to Brazil. We keep things civil, he emails me to check on his son and that's the extent of our relationship. It was a shock to everyone who knew us.

He has abandoned us in every way. But you can't control other peoples' actions. You can control your reaction, though, and I think carefully about the way I approach every situation since I have a 6 year watching my every move. I know that I'm teaching him how to deal with life-good and bad, and I'm proud of this little guy! We have adapted just fine. I have a strong personality and my son has come through in a remarkable way.

I own a home here in Raleigh and that's my only tie. I have great tenants renting it, but could put it on the market pretty easily if inclined.

Jacksonville, Florida is not new for me-it's my hometown that I've been away from for 5 years. Although I'm not particularly close to them, my entire family lives there. My father is a tugboat captain there in the city. What's new to me is the boating scene there!

I've been downloading books on my kindle and purging some possessions and it really feels good just to even be considering this possibility.

My son and I have been watching videos, talking about what it might be like (pros and cons), and he's expressed a lot of excitement over it as well.

I make a decent salary and haven't ever had trouble getting a job in my field. But I'm not really going into this thinking that I'll save any money at all. My thought was more like I'm upgrading us to a better quality of live on the same salary. I'll wake up and see a sunrise. I won't spend two hours a day sitting in traffic to commute to work. I'll meet new diverse friends. I'll live a simpler life and experience new challenges. I'll freeze my ass off walking up the dock in cold rain to go get groceries and I'll deal with it. I'm not a woman who cares much about luxury or possessions and I'm raising my son to be the same way.

And if it's nothing like I imagined or hoped, I really haven't lost much anyhow. I can always go rent that apartment and say I took a chance and have a cool story to tell.

I don't normally infer a lot about a person from their posts, but because you revealed so much in this post, I think it revealed a great deal about you.

I get the very strong impression that you are logical, methodical, thoughtful, intelligent, resourceful and driven - most of all responsible. These are the characteristics that my mother also had (along with eyes in the back of her head, radar, spies and satellites - she claimed the CIA contacted her for intel on world events, and I believed her based on her uncanny ability to catch me doing anything, anywhere!)

Those characteristics, which I also believe could be inherited traits, will serve your son in good stead. Due to my mother's influence (she called herself Mother Nature, I assumed due to her relentless pursuit of excellence she was like a force of nature) I excelled in everything academically and athletically.

This is a long winded way of saying that I think you're one of the most responsible parents I've heard of in recent history. I think your son will benefit greatly from the experience, especially if you guys sail off to the Bahamas or some other great destination occasionally. Between your traits as a mother and perhaps the revolutionary curriculum that is The Khan Academy, your son could very easily get accepted to any top university if he chooses and applies himself.

If you meet a wonderful guy and fall in love, great! I honestly think that if you end up looking for a father figure for him, it might be very difficult to find one who will be as good of a role model as you already are. I've met quite a few single mothers who seemed frazzled and unable to cope with their child(ren) who were looking for a father figure. You don't seem like that type at all, you seem to have it all under control.

My only word of caution is this: as a kid, he should get plenty of exercise and not lounge around playing video games all day. I used to be in excellent shape until I was stationed on a submarine and although there were a couple of pieces of gym equipment, you had to wait in line to use it. I gave up exercising, and slowly got older and fatter. Don't let him get in a position where it's inconvenient for him to run and play!

I wish you the very best for you and your son!
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Old 31-03-2014, 12:14   #77
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

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There is also just the entire issue of changing too much, too fast. This issue is an important one for both you and your son. Perhaps combining too many steps can complicate things. Talk it over with your son. If you do move to a boat in Florida make sure it's running to something that's really right for you and not just running away from the past. Perhaps take it all in small steps. Do some boating and see how that goes. Talk about Florida. Maybe a trip. Maybe move and an apartment and discuss the dream of a boat with him. Then maybe you find that boat and go look together and talk about living on one. But before living on one permanently at least find a way for a week or two on one. Find out how the things you both will be sacrificing truly will impact you. Some things you might find easy but then you might be surprised by some.

For you both, you've lost already, you've lost a marriage and a husband, your son has lost a father and what his previous definition of family was. Moving then involves losing all your friends. Yes, you'll communicate a little at first. But in essence you're both alone. Moving involves losing all familiar surroundings. We moved to Florida and love it and don't have a single regret. But we do sometimes miss certain things, certain people. In fact we have a trip to NC planned in a couple of weeks to see what we miss most. Not our friends or work or family. No, we miss an orphanage we were very involved with. We miss those who run it, but mostly we miss the kids. Yes, we're involved with one here, but the kids there are where we gave our hearts and souls and were a passion. We'll drive up and, if we see old friends or go by our places of work, then fine. But they aren't the reason for the trip. It's "our kids" as we think of them. Each one. Especially those about to graduate and move on and where will they go and will we see them again. Thank god for email and the ability to keep in touch. Make sure you have those means for you and your son to keep in touch with those you want.
This is an interesting perspective.

My experience as a Navy brat was almost the opposite. I dreaded packing up and moving to a new destination, but as soon as we arrived, I (and my little sister) were ready to meet new friends, learn new languages and get used to new customs. We moved from Socal to Okinawa, to Key West Fl, to Sigonella, Sicily, back to Socal and spent almost an entire summer driving/camping through most of western Europe.

We didn't get a chance to dip our toes in, we packed up and flew out. The interesting part is that it dramatically proved to all of us that the younger minds were the fastest to adapt and assimilate. My sister was born in Okinawa, and as we moved, she was the first to pick up new languages (she got to play more) with me close behind, my mom a distant third and my stepdad hopelessly stereotyping the ugly American. Mom and I spoke Japanese (Yokosuka dialect), my sister picked up Okinawan to my mother's horror (LOL) and then we moved to FL. She immediately picked up a southern accent. Then we moved to Sicily and she was speaking fluent Sicilian within a few weeks, I was a couple of months behind.

The benefit of living abroad was incredible! During my formative years, I was exposed to a European influence in culture and cuisine (and a student/teacher ratio of 15:1) that put me far ahead of my peers by high school. By comparison, I was a mysterious world traveler and I am to this day, a much more open minded, accepting person for it.

I would say he will adapt almost immediately to new circumstances, it will be the mother who will need time to adjust, if anyone does.
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:57   #78
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Cool Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Go for it!

I am single father with two kids (girl 12, boy 9). They are with me pretty much all the time, getting time with their mother infrequently.

We took the leap in late 2012 after several years in the house. Sold the house, settled up the divorce, and started to look for a liveaboard (and on a very tight budget). By about early March 2013 we had bought and moved aboard a Jim Young Rocket 31, which we keep in a marina berth. Its working out to be a good life for us.

Some comments if I may:
- space matters: you don't need heaps and heaps, but space has to be used well and you need to have enough
- kids are messy and its hard to do work with kids under your feet, so I find it helps to organise life to give you a day here and there to just do chores etc and get a bit of downtime just for you
- school that is close to the marina really helps
- sailing the boat really does need to be as easy as possible - autohelm, handheld chartplotter, and good safety gear on kids that understand about being safe on a boat
- enjoy marina life and getting out to sail the boat - you and your kid will be building good memories.

Seriously, this leap of faith into becoming a liveaboard family has been one of the best decisions of my life. The next one is just when to go full-time cruising
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:55   #79
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

ENJOY WHEN YOU CAN
ENDURE WHEN YOU MUST
life is short..
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Old 12-11-2014, 13:00   #80
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

My wife and I lived on our 43foot sailboat for almost 10 years. best part od our life, although expensive. Now she is passed,(she was MY LIFE) I have a house I want to sell and a boat might be in the future. I am 68, I have no family to really look after, want a more carefree life, and frankly have had a good life. Am I nuts or should I get an apt., then move to the nursing home? I hate life this way. HELP ME?
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Old 12-11-2014, 13:10   #81
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

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Originally Posted by aisling222 View Post
My wife and I lived on our 43foot sailboat for almost 10 years. best part od our life, although expensive. Now she is passed,(she was MY LIFE) I have a house I want to sell and a boat might be in the future. I am 68, I have no family to really look after, want a more carefree life, and frankly have had a good life. Am I nuts or should I get an apt., then move to the nursing home? I hate life this way. HELP ME?
sounds like you need to complete your stages of grief and figure out what you want to do .
finding a reason to live is from within your own self and is often difficult when you lose a significant other of long duration.
you need to find what moves you and do it.
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Old 12-11-2014, 13:48   #82
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

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Originally Posted by aisling222 View Post
My wife and I lived on our 43foot sailboat for almost 10 years. best part od our life, although expensive. Now she is passed,(she was MY LIFE) I have a house I want to sell and a boat might be in the future. I am 68, I have no family to really look after, want a more carefree life, and frankly have had a good life. Am I nuts or should I get an apt., then move to the nursing home? I hate life this way. HELP ME?
I know people at the marina who have cancer, are much older than you and can barely get out of their boat. They are living on the water because that is what they want to do. You can too, as long as you have the physical ability. Haven't seen too many of those motorized wheelchairs down on the dock....
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Old 12-11-2014, 14:39   #83
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

I lost my wife in 96.
Raised two girls alone.
You will not regret a move towards a higher quality of life.
The girls turned out quite nice in spite of me.
Stop worrying about what others think and do what is best.


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Old 12-11-2014, 16:42   #84
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

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I think you have the perfect mindset. F@$k those people that say you are being selfish. That is a stupid, uninformed opinion that simply demonstrates they are small minded and not willing to think about anything that is not fed to them on the TV each night.

There are a number of books, blog posts and magazine articles by kids that were raised on boats. From what I recall they are all happy, well adjusted people who are generally stand out from their piers in their intelligence and composure.

My thoughts exactly! Go for it, dear.


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Old 12-11-2014, 19:18   #85
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Hello. I have a very good friend that was in a very similar position to you about six months ago. I sold him my old sailboat, but made him think about it for a couple of months claiming I had other buyers so I knew he wasn't being rash, then I sold him the boat for half what I was asking once I knew he'd considered it carefully. He is a single Dad, 3 boys 4, 6 and 8. I have to say, I wish I'd sold him the boat sooner. I feel like he'd lost a little something with his relationship with his sons, during the tough divorce, but when he brought them aboard an old sailboat named the "Black Pearl", he was a pretty popular guy. He was a relatively new sailor himself (professional mariner, but the sail thing was new to him). So basically he learned to sail with them, it was neat watching them share the journey together. Boys loved it, he loved it. So, my two cents- give it a try.
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Old 12-11-2014, 23:37   #86
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

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Originally Posted by aisling222 View Post
My wife and I lived on our 43foot sailboat for almost 10 years. best part od our life, although expensive. Now she is passed,(she was MY LIFE) I have a house I want to sell and a boat might be in the future. I am 68, I have no family to really look after, want a more carefree life, and frankly have had a good life. Am I nuts or should I get an apt., then move to the nursing home? I hate life this way. HELP ME?
First, just take care of yourself - ok. Seriously.

Beyond that - there is no reason you could not move aboard again. There are heaps of people around this marina who are still actively sailing (and maintaining ) vessels of various sizes and configurations. It seems to me that sailing keeps some people alive longer to be honest - heck, its one of the reasons I want to retire as soon as I possibly can and I am only 54 And most people I meet sailing, including the odd one or two single older guys, seem on average to be pretty happy, healthier from the lifestyle and enjoying a few beers and a dockside chat of an evening.

Life has its trials, some of them pretty bloody tough - but its still good to be alive and 'living'
So if it will put a smile on your dial and you have thought it through - go for it !
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Old 13-11-2014, 01:30   #87
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

aisling222,

First off, so sorry for your loss, I can only imagine what I would feel if Jim predeceased me.

Well, we're older than you, and I would agree that keeping yourself moving and doing things keeps you a bit strong and a bit flexible, and couch potatoing won't do that, for sure.

But I also think you need to give yourself time to grieve, in spite of how painful that is, and I understand the lack of time, but give yourself time to heal from this loss, and then, when you're sure what you want to do, go for it. Don't let others talk you out of your heart's desire. You have only now in which to go for it. And *maybe* your going for it is the bet choice for you.

Good wishes, sir,

Ann
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Old 13-11-2014, 04:43   #88
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

We haven't heard from our OP AliRodrigues since March. I wonder if she moved aboard, or is heading in that direction.

You still check in here, Ali? We'd love to know how it turned out.
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Old 13-11-2014, 08:53   #89
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

I was widowed at age 50. Thinking back to that time, For two years I was very lonely, but traumatized by the loss so that I could not deal with another relationship. This is typical of men. You need others, but you have no one related to you, so I would find a friendly marina, and move onto a sailboat as soon as possible. You could walk around the docks and ask about available boats to see how friendly people are.
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Old 21-11-2014, 01:59   #90
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

aisling222, have you looked at any boats by buy? Is it possible to rent as a place to stay for not much money?
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