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Old 20-01-2018, 06:21   #1
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Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

I know this isn't exactly "sailing" related... more about the process of changing your lifestyle in prep for the cruising life. I just find that I need to talk this out with someone.. and get out everything I'm feeling...

So, I'm a complete wreck today. It's not necessarily all bad... just a lot of anxiety, fear, excitement... did I mention anxiety?

Without going into a lot of detail... My husband wants to keep serving in the Air Force for another 2 years. (he is a Lt. Colonel, and has served for 23 years) In order to do that, he needed to have the top military brass approve a waiver to extend his service 2 more years. We have been waiting for this approval for almost a year now. BUT, since congress can't seem to pass a budget... we seem to be in a black hole right now. They won't look at his waiver because they don't have a budget... we can't apply for his retirement, because they are holding up his paperwork waiting for a budget. We haven't had a paycheck in over a month. With the government shut down last night, this more than guarantees that it will be another 6 weeks, at least before we can even think of him going back to his military job and getting an actual pay check. And, contrary to what you may hear.. my husband, at least, will not get compensated back pay... We are currently living off of our savings.

Anyway.. we decided this week that we needed a plan B.... and so him started casually applying for a regular job because that could take a while, and we can't be without income for more than a few months.

So, he applied for a job yesterday at 8:30... they called for a brief, (15 minute) interview... asked him to send a few more bits of information to them, and by 2pm he got a full written offer from them. And they need to know ASAP.

We live in St. Louis.. the job is at Shaw AFB in South Carolina. So, in a matter of hours, we are on the precipice of moving halfway across the country.

We've already been downsizing for 2 years now (prepping for living aboard and cruising)... but, still have way too much stuff. This will be an opportunity to downsize another 50%... rent a tiny house, and when they finally give him his retirement pay, we will be able to save over 60% of our income. Two years of that, and we will not only be able to pay cash for our Catamaran.. but have a big sailing kitty. This is all good stuff...

So, what's wrong? I'm a wreck. It's so fast... it's a HUGE change... we will be leaving everything we've called home for 2 decades, not for our dream of cruising.. but more for a transition period to get us closer to our dream. This is not the way we planned things. My husband will need to start immediately, So, I will need to handle ALL logistics so he can concentrate on his job. That means selling off half of our stuff... finish final remodeling touches on the house to sell it. Working with a realtor.. movers.... packing, packing, packing. I'm very capable.. but to do that all myself is overwhelming. And, I'm scared.

Anyone else go through something similar, super fast and live to tell? I could really use some good stories.. advice.. and support.

OH, and if by chance anyone is from South Carolina.. I'd love to make a friend there... and also hear about Lake Marion, which will be about 20 minutes from the base... (Lake Marion is a HUGE positives as we will be able to sail much more often there than we do here.. )
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Old 20-01-2018, 06:35   #2
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

It seems you're doing everything you can to turn an uncertain future into one you can count on. I can't speak for my wife whom (I hate to admit) I twice left in similar situations as yours when we transitioned from military to civilian life and then crossed the country from one civilian job to another. We had great friends that helped her, and we invited/paid for a parent to come help both times which gave them time with her and the grandkids.

Being a military spouse has its challenges. I'm sure you've successfully faced them before, and you'll get through this one. Take each step into the future in manageable, achievable chunks, and don't be afraid to ask for help, even if you don't think you need it.

Thank you for your service and support of your husband and family!
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Old 20-01-2018, 06:49   #3
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

Going through it right now. Quit a great job 2 weeks ago, wife has been packing up the house hard. Our adult kids are moving in so we don’t have to rent it or get rid of the pets.
Moving from Colorado to Texas next Friday and moving onto the boat. We’ll need jobs for a little while but hope to shove away May / Jun.
Wife woke up one morning and decided it was time to get going on this dream of ours...... so that’s what we’re doing.

In the USMC we believe ANY direction is better than no direction. So my advice is to pick a direction and go for it. Bad things happen to people that just mill around wondering which way to go.

South Carolina, just go stand outside for about 5 minutes. A new friend will come along pretty quick.
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Old 20-01-2018, 06:59   #4
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Brannon View Post
We had great friends that helped her, and we invited/paid for a parent to come help both times which gave them time with her and the grandkids.
I have a really hard time asking for help... I think it's a combination of not wanting to impose.. and wanting to keep my privacy. I really need to get better at doing that. I wish I could hire someone to sell off my stuff for me... that's the worst..
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Old 20-01-2018, 07:01   #5
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

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Originally Posted by SSgtPitt View Post
.
Wife woke up one morning and decided it was time to get going on this dream of ours...... so that’s what we’re doing.
I don't know you wife, but I already like her. I'm the one driving the sailing dream in our house (although my husband is now all in as well) You decided not to take the pets with you? I can't imagine leaving mine behind.. I actually like them better than my husband.. lol
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Old 20-01-2018, 07:16   #6
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

I won’t address any of your employment situation because every persons situation is different.

I will address transitioning to cruising, however. We’ve been in the process for almost four years. We started a little different though in that we acquired the boat first.

Difficult parts of the transition are selling the property and then ridding yourself of years of acquiring personal possessions. I won’t go into exact details because they are not really that important.

What is important, is to set the goal of going. You have to tell yourself that, that, is the ultimate and final goal. You have to tell yourself everything that you are doing is to obtain that goal. Some of it will be easy, some of it will be difficult, some of it will suck. Difficult decisions will need to be made, sacrifices and compromises too. All the while remembering that everything you are doing is to get to the goal.

If you don’t, you will sit around dreaming of it just like 99% of the population…….
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Old 20-01-2018, 07:17   #7
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

My wife and I are wondering if she'll be paid, she's a medically retired vet. We aren't considering making any changes or moves unless they don't work this out for a long time.

You're husband isn't likely to be required to work for free in the private sector.

You won't be unreasonably far from the coast either. Go ahead and get some salt on your sailboat!

Good luck!
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Old 20-01-2018, 07:19   #8
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

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Originally Posted by Davy J View Post
What is important, is to set the goal of going. You have to tell yourself that, that, is the ultimate and final goal. You have to tell yourself everything that you are doing is to obtain that goal. Some of it will be easy, some of it will be difficult, some of it will suck. Difficult decisions will need to be made, sacrifices and compromises too. All the while remembering that everything you are doing is to get to the goal.

If you don’t, you will sit around dreaming of it just like 99% of the population…….
I absolutely agree... we've been working on going for 4 years. We had never sailed before when we decided to cruise for retirement. So, we bought a boat.. learned how to sail.. learned how to race.. got some ASA certifications.. started selling stuff off. We are taking an intensive, 17 week weather class... and are signed up for a diesel engine class as well... So, all of that is good. We have our date of 01Jan2020 as our set sail date... we just weren't counting on this transition in the middle of everything...
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Old 20-01-2018, 07:22   #9
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

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Originally Posted by Fiveslide View Post
My wife and I are wondering if she'll be paid, she's a medically retired vet.
Good luck!
She probably will be. It's not supposed to affect any type of retirement pay... My husband won't get paid because he isn't on orders right now because they are waiting on approval. So, if/when he gets approved, he doesn't qualify for any back pay. However, if he ends up just retiring from the AF... then he should get his retirement pay back dated to 01jan.... or at least that's our hope.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for your wife... it isn't easy to go with out pay even for a few weeks....
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Old 20-01-2018, 07:44   #10
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

Retirement pay is not an annual discretionary budget item, nor are VA benefits or the GI Bill funds. These are funded with separate legislation. However, Active Duty paychecks could be delayed next month if this situation drags on more than a week or two.

To the OP; move on, I would be a wreck with so much uncertainty & waiting on others to decide the fate of my family. Consider this, the pension is already available, today! Begin collecting it, any monetary advantage of 24 months more and pay raises can be quickly exceeded by going to work in a second career & banking the retirement checks.

Like it or not he will eventually be forced to retire, a year or two after retiring no one, including both of you, will care that he didn’t stay longer. Leap forward, grab life.
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Old 20-01-2018, 08:02   #11
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
I know this isn't exactly "sailing" related... more about the process of changing your lifestyle in prep for the cruising life. I just find that I need to talk this out with someone.. and get out everything I'm feeling...

So, I'm a complete wreck today. It's not necessarily all bad... just a lot of anxiety, fear, excitement... did I mention anxiety?

Without going into a lot of detail... My husband wants to keep serving in the Air Force for another 2 years. (he is a Lt. Colonel, and has served for 23 years) In order to do that, he needed to have the top military brass approve a waiver to extend his service 2 more years. We have been waiting for this approval for almost a year now. BUT, since congress can't seem to pass a budget... we seem to be in a black hole right now. They won't look at his waiver because they don't have a budget... we can't apply for his retirement, because they are holding up his paperwork waiting for a budget. We haven't had a paycheck in over a month. With the government shut down last night, this more than guarantees that it will be another 6 weeks, at least before we can even think of him going back to his military job and getting an actual pay check. And, contrary to what you may hear.. my husband, at least, will not get compensated back pay... We are currently living off of our savings.

Anyway.. we decided this week that we needed a plan B.... and so him started casually applying for a regular job because that could take a while, and we can't be without income for more than a few months.

So, he applied for a job yesterday at 8:30... they called for a brief, (15 minute) interview... asked him to send a few more bits of information to them, and by 2pm he got a full written offer from them. And they need to know ASAP.

We live in St. Louis.. the job is at Shaw AFB in South Carolina. So, in a matter of hours, we are on the precipice of moving halfway across the country.

We've already been downsizing for 2 years now (prepping for living aboard and cruising)... but, still have way too much stuff. This will be an opportunity to downsize another 50%... rent a tiny house, and when they finally give him his retirement pay, we will be able to save over 60% of our income. Two years of that, and we will not only be able to pay cash for our Catamaran.. but have a big sailing kitty. This is all good stuff...

So, what's wrong? I'm a wreck. It's so fast... it's a HUGE change... we will be leaving everything we've called home for 2 decades, not for our dream of cruising.. but more for a transition period to get us closer to our dream. This is not the way we planned things. My husband will need to start immediately, So, I will need to handle ALL logistics so he can concentrate on his job. That means selling off half of our stuff... finish final remodeling touches on the house to sell it. Working with a realtor.. movers.... packing, packing, packing. I'm very capable.. but to do that all myself is overwhelming. And, I'm scared.

Anyone else go through something similar, super fast and live to tell? I could really use some good stories.. advice.. and support.

OH, and if by chance anyone is from South Carolina.. I'd love to make a friend there... and also hear about Lake Marion, which will be about 20 minutes from the base... (Lake Marion is a HUGE positives as we will be able to sail much more often there than we do here.. )

Scarlet, i've read you on here before and recall how you sounded so got-it-togeher-zen. Now, in this message, i can hear your heart racing. I cannot give too many personals on here but can tell you that i completely identify with the feeling of being overwhelmed by selling stuff, packing, fixing up the house to sell, handling things SUDDENLY completely on your own. the anxiety that ensues can be paralyzing!

my impulse is to say, "i'll be right over!", and this because, i too wish i could find someone to just help me get it all moving.

if you are like me, and this is what you need, then i hope you find someone on the ground to help you. (although i did do this for my sis last year when she was in the mist of a separation-divorce-move-and-new-job, i'm literally on the other side of the world: else, i might just show)

i haven't found that person. i tend to offer help first and foremost and can get rather good at THAT, but.... me too, i've actually thought hiring someone to help me sell my stuff! (i'm frugal, so this thought shows how this is a big deal)

so, whereas some girlfriends will say "You've got this, girl!", i'd suggest looking for someone who'd be willing to help you get things moving.

in the meantime, it could be good to tackle just a few initial bits. there are always those bits that need to be done first. they are always a pita... and they usually look as though they require extraordinary energy to do... only to be much more doable once tackled head-on. once on the other side of the preliminary pita bits, things may feel less overwhelming.

a little trick that helps in those moments when you feel the to anxiety kick in: breathe in and count to four or five or six, and then breathe in and count to one of these numbers: repeat for as long as you can, being completely consistent (and without forgetting altogether - it is much harder than it sounds).


Oh, and as far as Carolina goes... it can be very beautiful. it can be lots of wonderful things, but for me, it is a wonderful place to leave! i hope this is not the case for you there, but... but... being there may get you and your husband even more focused on your boat life.

think about it, in one year's time, you could be telling yourselves, Thank goodness we made this decision and sold up and got all that behind us: it has freed us from lubberlife! maybe all this uncertainty is flying at you so you will actually be on the boat by Jan of 2020. Wow - do keep me posted!


Hang in there Scarlet and know that it is normal to feel anxious right now. This is a lot of stress to handle!

good things to you, girl!

wolfgal
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Old 20-01-2018, 08:21   #12
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

Three years ago I downsized from a 2br condo in Seattle and a 5br house in Denver to a 2br apartment in Phoenix (divorce and biz partnership dissolution). Sold/donated/trashed 90% of what I owned in the first two, packed the remainder into a 23' UHaul van, drove it and upacked it myself in PHX in about 5 weeks. Then, about a year ago, I purged that overstuffed apartment, ended its lease, sold my car, kept enough kitchen/bath stuff for a studio and some winter clothes (fits a 5'x5' storage unit) and took 2 35L dry bags out to Florida to learn to sail.

So yeah, I know the feelings you're going through.

The hardest part for me was getting through the stunningly obvious but oh-so-underestimated FACT that all that **** was damn near worthless. Resale on furniture, designer clothing, jewelry, housewares is abominable (car sold for above KBB so that's one small grace). Consignment shops won't take styles more than a few seasons past - even if they still have price tags on them with 4 figures in front of the decimal. The realization that all this STUFF we accumulate or think will make us happy, secure, comfortable has virtually NO intrinsic value was brutal. I'd spent decades grinding 16-18hr days, often up to 63 days in a row, missed family events, lost friendships and marriages to "make it" and now that my priorities had changed, I was ridiculously overwhelmed with how worthless everything is.

What to do? Put the F'n Big Girl Panties on and deal with it!

Seriously.

With all due love and respect, get over yourself. Not in the "you're so vain" way but in the "stuff matters" way. The way you view what makes you happy, safe, comfortable. That STUFF has no value. Once you accept that it has no monetary value (anything you get for it is mere pittance against what it cost financially and in time-effort to acquire and now you have to spend more time-effort to get those few bucks to sell it) and you marinate in the truth - all the STUFF is keeping you from the LIVING the LIFE (experiences) that you want, it's pretty simply to clear house.

Work on reframing your psychological/mental/emotional connection to the past (oooh the memories!) and realize how it holds you back from your future. Then, be present in the NOW and get **** done! You can soooo do this.
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Old 20-01-2018, 09:19   #13
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

I feel your pain.

Although we are not in the military, we just went through this, although a lot of the anxiety was self-inflicted. Sometime early to mid - last year, we decided we needed to sell the house and live-aboard. We were spending too much money and knew that cruising and partially living in the Western Caribbean, we'd save a ton of money. Husband is retired and I only went back to work for the health insurance. We already had the boat. We finally listed the house in late August. Did we work on the house? No. Had we started to downsize? No. Was the boat cruising-ready? No. The house sold. Closing end of November. What the.....????? Ack. We've got time. No. No we didn't. Had to get a dog up to the kids in Massachusetts (we were living in Georgia) along with some family heirlooms. Had to sell all the stuff. 40 years of accumulation. Some stuff was still in boxes that I had moved from Massachusetts to Michigan and onto Georgia!

We ended up hiring an estate sale/auction house. They had an estate sale on our property while we went to Massachusetts. It was better that we weren't there. It was hard. Very, very hard. And what did we get for all those "valuables"? Not much. Arlee is right about that. And we worked every day on the house, mostly purging, right up until a couple of hours before the close.

Was the boat ready? Still no. We were down to one car; a two-seater convertible. We ended up renting a u-haul van for a week, which turned into three, but it worked as storage and hauling. Top Stitch finished the canvas work the day before we left the marina in Georgia. Solar was done and working. Still needed to add the water maker and inverter, but we were on our way!

And now? We're sitting in Bimini waiting on the membrane for the water maker that the distributor forgot to inform us that didn't come with the water maker itself. It's on the shipping boat and we'll pick it up later today. Waiting for Tuesday so we can move onto the Berries!

You can do it! You can. While I didn't sleep for a few months because the anxiety was so high, looking back, it was all worth it.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 20-01-2018, 09:30   #14
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Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

I’m sort of confused.
He has to have a Waiver to stay in, was he passed over?
You have lived in one place your entire Military career?
Off the top of my head O5 over 20 ought to be paid about 9K a month, basic pay.
He will Retire, and receive over half that a month, plus medical benefits.
You’ll be fine.

However what I’m really confused about is that you don’t just get to decide to take a Civilian job and move across the Country, there is this little thing called a discharge you have to go through first, which isn’t done overnight in my experience, although I wasn’t AF.
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Old 20-01-2018, 09:43   #15
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Re: Making Major Changes To Get You Closer To Your Dream

Moving is always stressful as is new jobs. Even more so with all the changes and things you have to do before hand.

I might recommend getting a storage unit (in south Carolina) for things you think you might need or want in the future. It's pretty hard to downsize all at once. Having a storage unit for a year or so will allow you to ponder and think about what you want to keep long term, without needing to make quick discussions.

Shaw is in a great location, Not too far from Charleston and there your on the ICW.

I'm from Savannah, am a former air force brat, Alas the black sheep as I'm the only one that did not go into the air force. Even my mom served. I currently on the left coast, but grew up in the low country.

You should love the Sumter / Charleston area. Really Charleston is the queen of the south as the folks there are pretty nice all around. Good sailing too and much to explore on land and by sea.

It does take time to downsize and it's not easy at first. But there is freedom in having less "stuff" too. Take time out of each day for calmness and care for yourself. Relax and breath, it will all get done.

I will note that all I currently own fits on my sailboat. it did take a while to make that happen. Everyone is different, so only do what makes you comfortable for now.
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