Friday, July 25, 2008

The die is cast

So its been over 6 months since the last update. The point is actually moot because most of the people that would actually take the time to read the blog would have received in person briefings from either Pat or me, or both. Family and friends have been following our story almost more closely than we have!

If I had a nickel for each time we have been asked when we are sailing off, I would not be fretting nearly as much about our financial situation!! BTW I keep telling myself that money is not an issue, my accountant tells me that money is not an issue, and my financial planner has produced multi-coloured best case, worst case curves and in every circumstance short of a total meltdown of world financial markets, we will be fine. Even in the instance of a total meltdown we will be better off than most. So why then am I feeling so out of sorts????

I guess its because I've never been in this situation before. I used the "R" word (retirement) for the first time the otherday and it felt sort of strange. I mean isnlt retirement what people do just before they croak? I hope not. In a past career I worked with a very wise fellow named Jim P, who had a saying about retiring to something rather than retiring from something. The message obviously struck a chord because nearly 30 years later, I can still see him saying it to me at breakfast while he munched through his dry rye toast. His other saying was the whiter the bread the faster your dead... another ditty that stuck.

I gave notice at work the otherday. My boss handled it pretty well, even though I'm sure he would rather not have to deal with finding a replacement when everybody is stretched pretty thin. Its rare to come across someone who genuinely respects people and acts accordingly. Sometimes in business you meet some people who are about as sincere as a Hallmark card, and just as substantial. When you meet a good guy, it makes the leaving harder to do.

In hindsight, I knew that cutting the strings was going to be tough, so the plan to breakaway had several key points of no return, each point moving me closer to setting sail and farther away from the way it was. First there was the purchase of the boat, not exactly a point of no return, but it was several hundred thousand reasons to stay committed. Then came the upgrades to the boat, heaters, radios, wifi, computers, radar, water maker etc, all installed by yours truly. To turn back now would be difficult, but still doable. I'd just have to live with the stigma of the guy who figures wearing the latest fashions from the West Marine catalog makes him a real sailor.

Selling the house in June, was getting pretty serious. For those of you familiar with Canadian winters, you know that living under shrink wrap, hoping the lake doesn't freeze around you, is not a Club Med type of experience... By selling the house, at least we had narrowed down the time of departure to sometime before the canals to the Hudson River close.

So with the tendering of my resignation we now have another significant strand of umbilical cord cut. August 15 is my last day, and it will be interesting to see how the next few weeks will turn out. I'm usually the one to turn out the lights so to speak, so it will be interesting to see how focused I can be, given that the page is about to turn. I'll take it as a personal challenge to make this work for the best....who knows I may get bored with the cruising life and someday I may look to re-enter the rat race as perhaps a line judge or a referee, or even a water boy, rather than a full fledged contestant.

For those of you who like technical bits, I'll post some more over the next few days to illustrate the iimprovements I've made to Threepenny Opera.

Bye for now!

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