Once we made the decision to buy a boat, Baz and I moved through various scenarios of the best way to make the next life chapter viable:
Idea 1 was - Buy a 38 foot motor boat for coastal cruising Australia's East Coast and scuba dive over long weekends while working shorter weeks. This wouldn’t be practical though as each weekend we would only be able to sail so far before returning home.
Plan 2 was - Leave work, sell the house and buy a small blue water cruiser that would take us further afield but also purchase a small rental retirement property that we could come home to. This proved impractical as we still had a mortgage on our home and there wouldn’t be enough money from the sale to fund both rental and boat after paying our debts.
When I suggested Plan 3 - Consolidating our resources and just buying a boat, Barry really struggled with the idea, despite this being the closest match to his dream. While he did like the streamlined scenario which worked better financially – he hesitated. Actually he looked physically pained like he had kidney stones.
“What on earth’s the matter Baz?” I touched his forearm in concern. We were having a very late lunch and he put his sandwich down and looked at me.
“I do like the idea ... but... “He raked his fingers through his hair. “No, I can’t do it.”
“Why? This way, we won’t be splitting our resources and ending up only affording a knackered boat and a run down, farty, little fibro retirement house. We’d be able to afford a newer, larger and more seaworthy yacht that we could live aboard and sail anywhere we wanted. Doesn’t that feel right to you? It feels right to me.” I trust my gut instincts; they always show me the best direction even if my head can’t make a decision.
Baz hesitated then said, “Yes I like the idea very much. But I can't do it... I can’t do it to you.”
Confused because I knew he wanted to go with this option, yet was obviously having some mental conflict that was showing in a very pained expression, I asked, “Do what to me?”
“I can’t leave you without a place to retire to. I have to provide for you in your old age.”
The romantic part of me couldn’t help but be touched by that noble reason, but the 21st century chick within won out and I burst out laughing!
“Oh gawd Baz, that’s so sweet! But are you crazy? When have I ever expected you to provide for me?”
“So why do you think you have to provide for me when I’m old and doddery? If the Universe has supported me up till now, why would it be any different when I’m older?”
“But I’m your husband. It’s my duty.” He still looked conflicted.
“You’re a wonderful husband and I love you. But the best thing you can do for me is to trust that putting everything into a better boat is the best scenario for both of us, and it will work out all right as we go along. And love, please drop that old fashioned heavy mindset. It belongs in our grandparent’s era.”
Baz still looked uneasy, so I asked him, “If you were on your own, what would you do?”
“I’d sell up everything and buy a boat.” No hesitation there. In fact he couldn’t sound more definite.
“Right then. So if that’s what I want, and it is clearly what you want, what shall we both do?”
Barry whooshed out a big sigh and visibly relaxed.
“Okay,” he grinned. “We’re going to sell the house and buy a boat. Oh my gawd, we must be crazy!”
I laughed with him, feeling all at once excited at our big, brave, crazy plan and also relieved that Baz had let go of an unnecessary burden he had mentally carried throughout our marriage. As well as stepping out on an adventure, I knew how much my dear responsible partner needed to relax. And while having the physical freedom of adventuring was a major aspect of that relaxation, so was releasing the strict set of internal rules he had imposed upon himself when we settled down to raise our family.
Once again I realised what a potentially powerful catalyst the boat was
Once again I realised what a potentially powerful catalyst the boat was for us, and we were still many months from even finding her.
Before that happened though, we would have to turn our tired old family home into a sparkling gem that someone would pay top dollar for. While I trust that the Universe has my back, I’m well aware that I am certainly not an idle participant in manifesting dreams. If we were going to risk everything and give up our future security for our dream boat (which we eventually decided on would be a 45ft Elan or similar), we would have to be wise as well as daring. Our house needed a lot of work and we were going to have to get our hands dirty in order to make her attractive to the market.
I didn't so much fancy the idea of stripping walls and sanding and painting, as there was so much needing attention. But, ooh, was that a colour palette calling? We may have needed to partially renovate the house, but as well as blood, sweat and tears, my creative juices began to run as I realised that I was going to have the opportunity to get creative and call upon my interior decorator within! Every artist loves an engaging project and I realised that our house was going to be my next canvas!
So my first two tasks were to rethink paint colours, plus flooring and kitchen reno ideas within our budget. And just as importantly I wanted to choose the right real estate agent to work with.