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-   -   Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look. (https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f74/single-men-living-aboard-and-cruising-an-honest-look-152569.html)

owly 26-12-2019 10:47

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
In a decidedly odd Christmas, my plans were "hijacked" by neighbors / close friends. I had intended to spend it alone doing a barbecue, and running a batch of gin, working on a woodworking project in the shop, and watching "my" birds, consisting of Magpies, chickadees, ruby finches, and downy woodpeckers this time of year. With feeders within 2' of my face when sitting at my computer (silvered window), their antics and fights are endlessly entertaining.

Fortunately the one project operates on electronic controls so I can walk away for an hour or so at a stretch, as I was called over to a large family party. Who can resist a call from a 5 year old , especially one who is a dear friend, and who I take great pains to spend time with, and introduce to nature, walking a mile through the woods together often and taking the time to look and enjoy those wonders that as adults we often breeze by and forget because we "have more important things" to worry about. What in the final analysis is more important than joy, wonder, and learning, or more soul satisfying than immersing yourself in nature and spending time in the wild places?
I didn't know most of the party attendees, and fortunately I had made a cream cheese pecan pie, and had a considerable amount of my new batch of gin to share, so I fit in fairly well, and I have an ability to make friends with strangers and find common ground quickly. Weather the topic was brewing and distilling, diesel engines, cooking, health and wellness, or Lapidary, I had a genuine depth of knowledge and experience that allowed me to contribute.
Frankly, I find group dynamics exhausting, and am a one on one type. My project at home allowed me to excuse myself at perfect intervals to make it "sustainable" for me. If you are a group oriented person you will not understand this.... that's OK.


I returned one last time after all friends and family had left. Just myself and my two friends and the 5 year old, who we put to bed. The next hour or so we spent amid the "wreckage", not cleaning up but "speaking of things that matter with words that must be said" (Paul Simon: The Dangling Conversation 1966). As we broke down the barriers of restraint, it all came out. They were distraught at their failure to conceive. The child is from her previous marriage. I asked if they had been tested......... No they had not, but were fairly sure he was "shooting blanks" or had a low count. Testing is the logical next step. I was shocked, and as tactfully as possible refused, when I was asked to "contribute"!! Not in my wildest dreams had I expected such a thing. At less than half my age, it would be beyond absurd. I understand why of all the possible candidates, they asked me, and I'm flattered, and sympathetic, but it will never happen, and is not open for negotiation. Sweet natured, and very attractive......... to me, it has nothing to do with desirability, but of a lifetime resolve and vow of long ago.


I must admit that it was the most wonderful Christmas gift I have ever been given, the deepest and most personal compliment, and I am far from without regret to have to turn it down, but it was the right thing to do, and if anything, it will deepen our relationship / friendship.


H.W.

Pelagic 26-12-2019 12:36

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. Kahil Gibran

weavis 26-12-2019 12:57

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pelagic (Post 3043670)
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. Kahil Gibran

Sure feels like they are as you pay for them..........

owly 26-12-2019 13:42

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pelagic (Post 3043670)
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. Kahil Gibran


While I have a huge issue with our outrageous level of overpopulation (humanity in general), I've always regarded children as in a sense "common property" that we all bear a responsibility for, though their parents are their primary caretakers. They are the future of humanity, weather they carry your genes or mine, and when they are in need, weather it be physical need, or spiritual need or companionship or guidance, it is the responsibility of whatever adult is present to meet those needs to the best of his or her ability.



“Omwana takulila nju emoi,” Hillary was castigated by the right wing whacko's for quoting that African proverb.... or rather paraphrasing it as "It takes a village to raise a child". It is in fact a powerful and sentient observation of reality, and I have lived my life with that as a "pillar". Other people's children have been an important part of my life since early adulthood, and that relationship has always been welcomed and has enriched the experience of everybody involved. It's the way it needs to be. I may choose not to contribute my genetics, but there are more important things I can contribute.


H.W.

john61ct 26-12-2019 13:53

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Yes real community is required for a healthy life, at all ages not just caring for kids.

Modern life means we have to actively create it, lots of work to maintain all the relationships.

Most men rely on their partner to handle this "emotional labor", but it's time now we take it on ourselves. Just withdrawing from society trying to be "independent" exacts a terrible toll, especially in later life.

owly 26-12-2019 15:33

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by john61ct (Post 3043709)
Yes real community is required for a healthy life, at all ages not just caring for kids.

Modern life means we have to actively create it, lots of work to maintain all the relationships.

Most men rely on their partner to handle this "emotional labor", but it's time now we take it on ourselves. Just withdrawing from society trying to be "independent" exacts a terrible toll, especially in later life.


Words of wisdom.........


I'm fortunate that I live not in a city or a town, but a community. It is a rural community with a small population, of farmers and ranchers widely scattered, but it is like an extended family. They embraced me as one of their own 40 years ago when I came here, and even when I've been away, for a number of years, I remained a member of the community, and was welcomed back when I returned. People here are mutually supportive across multiple generation, and I've known 5 generations, soon a sixth. It is deeply rewarding on some level to be a valued member of a close knit community. I spent most of my spared time for 5 years looking after an elderly lady who lived across the road.... on an informal basis....... from age 90 to 95. We became very close and the time and effort it seems was appreciated, as the local church group occasionally sent me a thank you note and a generous check in acknowledgment. The money I didn't need, but the acknowledgment was appreciated. In reality the time I spent with her was it's own reward. We have a saying here....... What goes around comes around. I will likely need somebody someday, and I know that someone will step in to fill the need. It is what is called "humanity".


H.W.

Bunji 26-12-2019 15:58

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by john61ct (Post 3043709)
Yes real community is required for a healthy life, at all ages not just caring for kids.

Modern life means we have to actively create it, lots of work to maintain all the relationships.

Most men rely on their partner to handle this "emotional labor", but it's time now we take it on ourselves. Just withdrawing from society trying to be "independent" exacts a terrible toll, especially in later life.

Withdrawing from society is for many the only way to preserve what’s left of ones mental state, If maintaining all these relationships requires lots of work we must surely be making the wrong choices, I have way more better things to do Life is way to short to spend it doing what others want u to do

john61ct 26-12-2019 16:27

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Well at the macro level yes all of the trends are in opposition to naturally occuring stable community.

But that train left the station long ago, not going to get reversed.

Some people find it hard to make the ongoing efforts to create their community, just like a healthy marriage it doesn't "just happen" where most of us live.

But if you allow inertia and "introversion" to leave you isolated as you get older, your risk of negative outcomes increases geometrically. **** happens, and we need each other.

Of course we all have the freedom to choose, to make the bed we end up having to lie in it.

But health, peace of mind, even a modicum of happiness, all usually require some level of give and take interdependence.

Pelagic 26-12-2019 16:57

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by john61ct (Post 3043765)
Well at the macro level yes all of the trends are in opposition to naturally occuring stable community.

But that train left the station long ago, not going to get reversed.

Some people find it hard to make the ongoing efforts to create their community, just like a healthy marriage it doesn't "just happen" where most of us live.

But if you allow inertia and "introversion" to leave you isolated as you get older, your risk of negative outcomes increases geometrically. **** happens, and we need each other.

Of course we all have the freedom to choose, to make the bed we end up having to lie in it.

But health, peace of mind, even a modicum of happiness, all usually require some level of give and take interdependence.

That's one way of looking at it John but I happen to subscribe to:

"The Importance of being Selfish" philosophy.

Most people shudder and shut down when I try to explain as that word is often heard in such a negative context.

But being Selfish is incredibly freeing!

Everything I do, I do for selfish reasons.

I only do things that make me happy!

If it happens to help someone else, then that I see as a collateral benefit, since my motivation was to make me happy and I expect nothing in return..

When I become a burden on those close to me, it will make me unhappy and I will remove myself.

As by then I will be curious about what may lie beyond this consciousness and it will make me happy to find out.

Bunji 26-12-2019 17:32

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pelagic (Post 3043779)
That's one way of looking at it John but I happen to subscribe to:

"The Importance of being Selfish" philosophy.

Most people shudder and shut down when I try to explain as that word is often heard in such a negative context.

But being Selfish is incredibly freeing!

Everything I do, I do for selfish reasons.

I only do things that make me happy!

If it happens to help someone else, then that I see as a collateral benefit, since my motivation was to make me happy and I expect nothing in return..

When I become a burden on those close to me, it will make me unhappy and I will remove myself.

As by then I will be curious about what may lie beyond this consciousness and it will make me happy to find out.

Couldn’t agree more I’ll leave this world one day knowing that I gave way more than I ever took, but also feeling happy and content with little or no regrets that I was fortunate enough to do pretty much everything I ever wanted to do, if that makes me selfish I’m good with that. U can be both

Bunji 26-12-2019 18:11

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by john61ct (Post 3043765)
Well at the macro level yes all of the trends are in opposition to naturally occuring stable community.

But that train left the station long ago, not going to get reversed.

Some people find it hard to make the ongoing efforts to create their community, just like a healthy marriage it doesn't "just happen" where most of us live.

But if you allow inertia and "introversion" to leave you isolated as you get older, your risk of negative outcomes increases geometrically. **** happens, and we need each other.

Of course we all have the freedom to choose, to make the bed we end up having to lie in it.

But health, peace of mind, even a modicum of happiness, all usually require some level of give and take interdependence.

Ya dreaming John The train never left the station it’s getting longer and longer This World and it’s peoples have never been more selfish more self centred more self entitled. We peoples are inherently selfish and things will only get worse as a result

Exile 26-12-2019 18:33

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pelagic (Post 3043779)
That's one way of looking at it John but I happen to subscribe to:

"The Importance of being Selfish" philosophy.

Most people shudder and shut down when I try to explain as that word is often heard in such a negative context.

* * *

Yes, but even if they do understand the context you describe, they also shut down because they don't want it to be true. That is, don't want it to be true of their own motivation & character. Some people just feel a need to hold themselves out as morally superior, and it becomes part of their identity that they don't like being challenged on. After all, humans have always had their "prophets," in all of its various & sundry incarnations.

Pelagic 26-12-2019 19:01

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Exile (Post 3043816)
Yes, but even if they do understand the context you describe, they also shut down because they don't want it to be true. That is, don't want it to be true of their own motivation & character. Some people just feel a need to hold themselves out as morally superior, and it becomes part of their identity that they don't like being challenged on. After all, humans have always had their "prophets," in all of its various & sundry incarnations.

Yes, its easier for some to use an example of "Collateral Damage" as a guilt trip, when you make a selfish decision to maintain your happiness.

Most of my friends and relatives could never understand my decision not to procreate. Felt it was incredibly selfish to deny the gene pool as they all thought I'd make a great father

I think it was really their fear of being alone in their old age, that was projected on to me.

I am always alone, especially in a populated environment where I need to wall off the searching eyes and frenzied energy of the crowd.

Even with my partner during our most intimate loving moments, there is a part of me, seperate and watching, so as to selfishly relive that happy memory.

"Intuition" is an interesting word.
Where does it come from? Can you be intuitive and totally engaged with others at the same time?

Exile 26-12-2019 19:53

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pelagic (Post 3043829)
Yes, its easier for some to use an example of "Collateral Damage" as a guilt trip, when you make a selfish decision to maintain your happiness.

Most of my friends and relatives could never understand my decision not to procreate. Felt it was incredibly selfish to deny the gene pool as they all thought I'd make a great father

I think it was really their fear of being alone in their old age, that was projected on to me.

I am always alone, especially in a populated environment where I need to wall off the searching eyes and frenzied energy of the crowd.

Even with my partner during our most intimate loving moments, there is a part of me, seperate and watching, so as to selfishly relive that happy memory.

"Intuition" is an interesting word.
Where does it come from? Can you be intuitive and totally engaged with others at the same time?

I'm not sure if intuitive is the right word or not (it could be). But my guess would be that more people than not can probably be totally engaged with others while at the same time acting in the manner you described as "selfish." Maybe more so with introverts perhaps. I recently read an obituary of a well-known American author who considered herself a misanthrope:

"Misanthropes have some admirable - if paradoxical - virtues. It is no exaggeration to say that we are among the nicest people you are likely to meet. Because good manners build sturdy walls, our distaste for intimacy makes us exceedingly cordial. 'Ships that pass in the night.' As long as you remain a stranger we will be your friend forever.”
― Florence King

gamayun 26-12-2019 19:54

Re: Single Men Living Aboard and Cruising... an honest look.
 
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Guys! Owly just told a lovely, poignant story of him about to spend Christmas alone with a full itinerary and then getting invited to a family party by a cute neighbor kid with lots of people and then BAMPOWABUNGA!!!! Next thing he knows he has been propositioned by the couple to help them conceive. I am having a hard time reconciling the depth of this ask with the awkwardness. Do we let this go without another thought? Owly, I hope you know what a huge compliment they endowed upon you. And what a burden, too. It will not likely ever be forgotten. Cheers to you, good sir :)


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