Its funny how things all seem to run together in a rush at the end of a process. You know what I’m talking about. When the tub is draining and it gets low there is suddenly a great slurping noise as the water forms a whirlpool. Well such is my life now. I had begun to wonder if it would ever happen and now that it is happening it seems to be in a great rush. I mean that both figuratively and literally. How so?

The great literal rush is the wind. Since we’ve moved aboard, two great cold fronts have moved through bringing with them high winds and a bumpy marina. Life aboard is different. I’m more in tune with the weather and the day/night cycles. I find that I go to sleep much earlier and that I wake up much earlier. I sleep like the dead though, slowly rocked to sleep at night with the sound of wind in the rigging and waves gently lapping at the sides of the boat.

The figurative rush has been much less restful though. You see, for many years now, I felt like we were taking baby steps.
Toy Sailboat in front of a painting

We bought a boat. We fixed up the boat. We sold a house. We did things. We made preparations. But we had crossed no real threshold. Everything could be stopped. We hadn’t crossed that line… The point of no return. I’m sure the point of no return is different for everyone, but for me it was/is my resignation. Dani had a job that would end at some point, a project based employment, but not I. I have a job that I’ve been at for over 10 years. A long standing position of seniority in a company that requires a high degree of knowledge of the internal workings. In short a position that is not easy to replace someone.

Over the years I’ve loved what I do, but at the same time, it was overly stressful. When I took a two week vacation my blood pressure dropped 15 points! My boss (the CEO/owner) and I had a working but difficult relationship. I didn’t know how resignation would work. Would it be ugly? Would he become enraged and fire me on the spot? Would he try to get me to stay on with offers and bonuses? I just didn’t know. Then there are “my guys”. A team of IT workers that I helped organize and build. Anytime a leader departs there can be sort of a “jump ship” mentality in IT. Would the team be rocked by my departure? I didn’t want that, I love my company, warts and all.

Well on Oct 31, I finally did it. I crossed the point of no return by putting in my resignation. To my great relief, it went smoothly. The conversation with the owner was amiable and the team was happy for me when I announced that I’d be taking a long sabbatical. My fears never materialized. The stress of it all was still real though. I had given my months notice and crossed into that strange space of impending unemployment.
I resign

Leaving a career and depending on your prior financial planning and saving is hard. It takes a lot of confidence mixed with a real desire to do >something<, and for us, that something is our sailing trip. And I've finally done it. It feels real now. It feels like it is actually going to happen. The months leading up to that moment have drug out. Days felt like eternities as our ticker slowly counted down the months. Sometimes I felt like hours were days. But now time is flying. The last week has passed me by like it was only a single day. Time compression and expansion is an interesting side effect of grand life changes. The same day that I tendered my resignation notice, Dani and I had a furious "final move" as we cleaned out the condo and turned in the keys. After that we were truly living aboard with no place on land to go, well almost. I have been working from a friends home, who was lovely enough to lone me some space to use an office during my final month of employment. And after the final steps of leaving land based housing I immediately had a big birthday celebration with my best friends and my Dad. Nothing quite says, "I'm free!" like getting sloshed in the French Quarter with your family. Group pic of Tate and friends at Adolfo's on Frenchman Street NOLA

Now I’m working my way through the final steps to close out my position at my job. Every day is a million little “final” steps to ensure a smooth transition. And every night is a walk down a long pier to a cozy little boat. One of the surprising things is just how easy living on the boat has been for both Dani and I. In a way, it feels like an upgrade from our humble little condo. Despite having less space, it is OUR space. The stove is gas, not crappy electric. The lighting is cozy, the wood is welcoming, and the sleep is divine.

I suppose that soon “new experiences” will become normal. Its only a couple of months before we take in the dock lines and head off in the wild blue yonder. Besides some wrap up boat projects and closing out my position at work, I expect it will be filled with visits from friends and family. And so it goes.