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Old 20-12-2010, 11:31   #1
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Some Family and Friends Are Giving Me a Fit About Going Cruising

So my Husband and myself have been planning on going cruising for a little while now. It takes time to change directions after twenty years of full steam ahead in a Life of typical Suburban Life. Careers, house, stuff...

We have had our home on the market for two months now and we are getting closer to realizing 'OUR' dream...

Well, a family member that I am very close to has been talking about our cruising plans behind my back, and I find out that a close friend of both of ours has been also agreeing that I am being 'ridiculous'. They are seemingly blaming my husband for the fact I was working on one of our boat's bottoms last winter/spring mostly on my own (I am self employed at the moment and working very little) and that this is not 'woman's work'.

It is partially my fault because in moments of frustration with the plan and when I was having anxiety dealing with all of the logistics I talked too much to certain people...BUT, I do not think this gives them the right to bad mouth my plans and me behind my back.

It is just tough.

What this high lights for me is that as much as I want to think the world is one that is equal, there is still this belief that women should stay with in certain parameters, and certain expectations do exist in a great majority of people's minds in regards to what women 'should' do with their lives.

Very few people in our family and group of friends is questioning my Husband's motivations for going cruising or seeking adventure in his Life. The few that are, then look to me with what seems like a silent request to 'talk some sense into him'.

It is all very interesting and maddening.

I am smart enough to realize some of this is fear of losing me either just in proximity, or a fear that I will perish out there in the Ocean.

The advice to keep it to yourself that you are going cruising until you shove off I think is VERY good advice.

I am just sad that I do not have more positive support in my immediate family of our plans. I grew up in Annapolis and those, that are having the hardest time with our plans are the very ones that took me sailing at the age of 3.

I do think that society in general has very different expectations for women than they do for men. How dare I not have children?, How dare I leave my family behind for some far flung adventure of my own?, How dare I not keep my feet on the ground?!?

The sad part is that this will probably be the last Christmas we are home for the next couple Christmases, and I got so upset by the bologna flying through the air that I decided to not go home for Christmas...

So yes, Don Lucas, Sailing Women can have 'Issues' too

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Old 20-12-2010, 11:35   #2
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and p.s. One of these people that seems to be thinking I am being ridiculous lived on a trawler with two teenage daughters and her husband for three or so years...

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Old 20-12-2010, 11:39   #3
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There are four times in your life when you find out who your true friends are:
The death of a close loved one.
Going cruising.

Don't let the doomsayers live rent-free in your head.

Now, having said that, remember that if you don't want people taking shots at your life choices, don't hand them ammunition- air your frustrations with your significant other, or yell at the boat, but DON'T vent to those who are likely to gossip enviously. It's a boat thing- they don't understand.
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Old 20-12-2010, 11:40   #4
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that's all very nice.

but what does your husband think?
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Old 20-12-2010, 11:42   #5
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Good for you !

Don't the naysayers influence you.
They have no idea what you already know, and they're probably fearful for you.

My wife was in the same position before we left, listening to all the negative comments and doubting her abilities.
Once we sailed from Seattle to Mexico and she saw what had been involved, the other boats out there and their crew abilities, she realized how much she really had accomplished.

Have fun cruising!
"I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned,
but not greed to want to take somebody else's money"

-Thomas Sowell
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Old 20-12-2010, 11:44   #6
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Check out this thread if you want to read about some similar stuff. We had family members placing bets on when we'd quit once we had our daughter. Our four month old has more sea time than all my in-laws.

Family Reactions to Lifestyle Change -
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Old 20-12-2010, 11:48   #7
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Thanks bljones...I thought if anyone could understand, these two that have been around boats forever, would understand it is a 'boat thing' but then again I never saw either of them ever painting the bottom of one ;0) Ok, no more 'rent-free' status in my brain...

Hmmm, what does my husband think??? I think he thinks I am pretty awesome and he can't wait to float around with me untethered by all the monotony of land life...barring my occasional, annoying, Sassy outbursts and as far as other's opinions are concerned he doesn't really care...I need to take a page or two from his book...

Thanks for responding...
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Old 20-12-2010, 11:52   #8
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Thanks senormechanico! Great link Rebel Heart! Thanks.

It has been amazing to me how much our desire to go cruising is bringing so many issues in our family into focus for me. How I am growing, and how it is throwing everyone else off in our family...interesting for sure.
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Old 20-12-2010, 11:55   #9
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We are from a different planet. Some of the question and comments are just so... un-thought out.

When I first started looking for a boat to live on, one of the comments I got was, "my neighbor has one for sale in his driveway", refering to a high powered 19' ski boat.
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Old 20-12-2010, 12:08   #10
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For me the criticism lost any potential shred of credibility as soon as they use the term "women's work". In our society at least, that should be as outdated and unacceptable as using racist slurs. Unfortunately it isn't and I see a lot of sexist bigotry going on when women aren't around so it seems there is more of it going on than is ever acknowledged in mixed company.

On the other hand, especially since this may be the last Christmas home, let it go, take the moral high ground and go see the family, and make sure you enjoy every minute of the visit.
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
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Old 20-12-2010, 12:11   #11
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These were woman using the term "woman's work" - woman who I thought were very liberated...schwoo!

I don't think I will be going home skipmac, as much as I would like to, there are other issues going on too at home which involve some behavior I just can't be around this year. I have decided to take a stand after other Christmases I have had there have involved being preoccupied with other's wellness...I just need to be free of it this year...
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Old 20-12-2010, 12:14   #12
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Originally Posted by High Heels View Post
So yes, Don Lucas, Sailing Women can have 'Issues' too
Well think this just shows the opposite. Sailing Women don't issues! It's the others that have issues with the Sailing Women!
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Old 20-12-2010, 12:26   #13
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Hello, "High Heels", this is from Ann, not Jim...
I made the break about 25 yrs. ago, and there were definitely some rough bits in it: and from your exposition, I think you have two separate issues that are presented as if they are one. One is work, which you found satisfying enough to do it (painting the bottom). For you to do it or even all of it when your friends wouldn't is truly incomprehensible to them. In much the same way, it is hard for Jim to understand that I like gardening. It may be that a woman of your class would be expected to hire it done. Never mind them, you get to continue to do whatever work you are drawn to, and get as much pleasure out of it as you can.

The other issue I see is that this is a transition time for both you and your friends and relations. The fact that this is coming to a head now is exacerbated by it's the holiday season, when family-type expectations are heightened. The transition will be hard for both of you, as both are giving up things that are meaningful to them. After you have made the break, and are happily out cruising, you will find that you shall have made friends and acquaintances with whom you will share holiday times, and you will discover that you have a new support group that has materialized around you, drawn from among compatible men and women within the cruising community. BLJones hit it spot on, IMO, speaking strategically, keep your frustrations and fears as something you talk about with your husband, so as not to accidentally give ammunition to others. I only add to give yourself space to feel your sadness. If you resist it, you get sort of stuck in it, and don't have space for some of the fun and joy that will also come as you continue the separation process.

Dirt Dwellers don't "get it" at all, and perhaps the others have purely forgotten or never really lived as cruisers do, and that is different from liveabording or daysailing. Jim and I wish you and your partner the very best of it, and we know it can be done!

Ann & Jim Cate, s/v Insatiable II, lying Church Point, NSW, Oz
Jim and Ann
s/v Insatiable back in MBTBC marina, waiting for next eye jobs to be done
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Old 20-12-2010, 12:28   #14
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high heels-- the snipers are jealous of your gumption(balls) and stick-to-it-iveness-- dont worry about them. post your doings and laugh and laugh and go as planned-- what does hubby think of the sniping??
remember--ANYONE can be jealous of your success-- the best way to "get them back" is prove them wrong..LOL...SUCCEED!!!!!!!! send them LOTS of pix..LOL.
i have lots of family all around this nation and world-- they know i dont participate in land based STUFF and drama. my cousins in other states feel this cruising life i am going into and living in is a good time to meet up and hug--havent ever seen some of them and miss the rest a bit--might just do that--- on my terms.....gods made spot so they can see

home is where the boat is!!!!!
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Old 20-12-2010, 13:01   #15
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One of the problems is that the CHOICES you are making are highlighting the inactivity of the lives of those around you. It is not that they have any desires,or not, to go cruising but the fact that you are living a life that means taking positive steps can only exacerbate their, probably unconscious, decisions to do nothing!

Change is highly stressful. Not only for those involved in the process but for the onlookers. I would counsel having sympathy for those who see their own lives slipping through their fingers whilst you and your husband are taking positive steps to move on and out....

Best of luck. It was the best thing we ever did. 10 years of living aboard, best years of our lives, so far!

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