When I posted my question, I was thinking things like, "What if as soon as I start selling stuff off, the couch, chair, TV, and bed
all go and I need to spend more time here in Nebraska for some reason. For example, if I set my retirement
date to April 30th and on March 31st all my seating and bed sell...
Then I read a bunch of your posts and the ones that had themes like "get rid of it all" were the ones that felt right.
So, I put everything up for sale
, called my sisters to see which (if any) family
heirlooms they might like to have. The hardest things for me to part with are the art works I have collected. Most are signed and numbered prints (not originals and maybe "print" is not the right word. Lithograph maybe?) Then I have two signed and numbered works from an artist I had the amazing good fortune to call friend. I'd give them back to him, but he's currently out of the country travelling for a couple years. And I have my original sculpture, again from an artist I met at one of her shows, and it's just such an amazing work
. I paid several hundred dollars each to have the pieces framed. And a keepsake signed and numbered poster from my days as a classical radio
announcer that I just paid over $300 a month ago to frame. I just LOVE my art sooooo much. But, it's still just "stuff."
Today, I took my most loved books
to this little bookstore near my house and sold
about 10 very nice books
for a total of about $10! LOL! The copy - 2nd printing - of James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake," I let go for $3 because I wanted it to have a good home more than I cared about getting closer to the value of what I think might be a collector's edition. Who cares. I have two goals: (1) get rid of everything that won't fit in a safety
deposit box at a bank on the east coast
(my loosely planned "home base") and (2) have other people (the buyers) carry it all away so I don't have to! LOL!
So, as soon as the junk is gone and I have a renter for my house, I can tell the office "I'm retiring right now" and get in the car and head
where I'll eventually sell the car.
I've had lots of nice offers from people saying they'd teach me to sail - one even offered me a nice little boat for free! Not a liveaboard
, but a very nice little weekender.
So, the plan as it has advanced since I posted this question is: once I'm free of the stuff, the house, and the job, to head
and start boat shopping
. I think I have someone who will help me with the boat shopping
to sail - even offered to lend me a boat to practice sailing! And, I have an ex-brother-in-law nearby (we're very good friends) who I can stay with (near Jacksonville
, Florida) while I boat shop and/or find a place to live if I can't just buy a boat and immediately start living on it.
I thought about hanging onto a few paperback books or maybe some of my tools, but there's a chance I'll be a guest on someone else's boat (crewing) and I'm just assuming they're not going to have room for me to have a bunch of stuff - no matter how much I love it - so pretty much everything is going, one way or another.
I got rid of basically everything when I moved to Oregon
from Missouri in my late 20's and again when I moved to Ohio
for grad school
and again when I left Ohio
after grad school
. So, getting rid of stuff certainly can pluck at your heart strings, but I can't think of anything that I would not part with for the chance to be sailing along with dolphins
swimming alongside my boat! I saw that on a couple YouTube videos! That's what I call thrilling! That is living!
I'm probably going on too long here, but I'll just add this. I'm taking a big risk here if living aboard
out. It could be a very expensive mistake that I really can't afford. BUT, if it does work out for a few years (I'm 63 years old), I'll have had a marvelous time, worked hard for myself, seen things I never thought I'd get to see if my access was only via standard vacation
type travel (I can get lots of places very cheaply if the wind
permits and my boat and me and whatever crew are able). So, when it's time to move back ashore, I might be a pitiful old lady living in near poverty, in a tiny dreary apartment, but that hides the fact that I had some seriously awesome adventures and met wonderful and interesting people all along the way and during those years, I was truly FREE! No dragging my tired arse out of bed on Monday mornings to go push papers in a giant bureaucracy, no stress that is not directly related to life aboard (yes, I've heard it can be really difficult) but it's not the same kind of stress insane bosses can create. If I'm somewhere that isn't what I'd hoped, I can just unfurl the sails
and head off to blue water
I'm sure I've got lots of rude awakenings awaiting me, but my life has never been easy and I'm not a wuss and one of the most thrilling experiences of my life was the one and only time I actually sailed, I took control of a little 16 foot sailboat, felt the wind
fill the sails
, and the boat respond to my actions and I fell head over heels in love.
I've always been on the wrong side of the locked marina gates just yearning. The sight of a harbor full of all kinds of boats sets my heart aflutter and the sight of a boat sailing along is like the greatest gift. I would love to find a more experienced person to join forces with - a friend, boyfriend, husband, a group of good fun folks - and be able to rely on their knowledge and experience, learn boat maintenance
and all the rest and all while "living the dream." LUCKY ME! Oh my gosh! LUCKY ME! YAY!