Monday, August 27, 2007

The Reasons

I've thought a lot about why I want to retire to a sailboat. Aside from the obvious, that both of us love the ocean and boats, I have found other reasons to do this, some of them rather enlightening.

One of the results of my "turning 50" evaluation was a desire to live more simply. It occurred to me that there would be a tremendous advantage in getting rid of all this stuff now, while I'm still alive, rather than leaving it for my children to do after I'm gone. Have you asked yourself in a while "Where did all this stuff come from? How much of it have I actually touched in the last 12 months?" Wouldn't it be great to put some of your stuff into your kids' garages?

Most days I find I'm wishing the day would pass quickly at work. It occurred to me the other day that I'm 51 and I'm wishing away days. Even to me this doesn't seem to make much sense, which leads me to reason #2. I really want to live every moment of my life. I want to treasure the ocean smells, or the smell of someone's fresh catch frying in the pan. I want to hear the sounds of gulls, of water lapping against the hull, of people chatting across the dock. I want to stretch out in the hammock and feel the sun warm on my face. I want to work hard all day and have the sore muscles to prove it instead of a sore behind from sitting at a desk all day. Some would say I'm suffering a mid-life crisis. I don't know that I would call it a crisis, but I have become intensely aware that there are less days in front of me than behind and I don't want to waste a single one of them. There's a saying (and I can't remember who said it) that goes something like "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do". Not much more I can add to that.

Those are my philosophical reasons, but there are indeed some practical ones. Our family is spread all over the place and sailing would provide an interesting way to visit.

Living on a sailboat is generally less expensive than living on land, allowing us to retire earlier (see reason #2).

I really really like to travel.

The Retirement Project is newly begun and I'm sure there will be many more reasons that emerge as we move along. At this moment in time, suffice it to say that there are more reasons to do it than not. Good enough for me. How 'bout you?

1 comment:

Dexter Litwiller said...

I believe that quote can be attributed to Mark Twain - the full quote goes like this: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." I have that one on my office wall... ;)