New Year’s Resolutions

It’s time to start finalizing New Year’s resolutions because, can you beleive, 2016 is almost here! I have some things for you to consider but it’s not what you may think. Let me explain.

So the general population in Punta Gorda Florida is more than twice our age. No problem. But when residents learn that we’re living Burnt Store Marina an entire month, many of them immediately ask if we’re bored. Heck no we’re not bored! I played tennis this morning and Trent is still out golfing with our fishing buddy, Fred, who’s got a condo on the end of our dock. I really don’t suspect that we’re going to make many new friends near our own age. It feels a lot like home in the regard, which doesn’t bother us a bit.

The world is so backwards, isn’t it? Youthfulness should spent on adventure and travel or whatever it is that you responsibly and reasonably feel like you want to do before you expire. The elderly should have to pay it off, not the other way around. All to often, by the time people have become eligible for retirement, they either have health issues and/or have already lost a spouse. I hate stories that end that way and why does it always seem to happen to the most deserving people? Sad.

It’s been about 3 years since I picked up a tennis racquet and more than that since Trent’s used a golf club; we’ve just been tied up with this thing called work. I secretly can’t wait to hear how he did at golf though. Fred will give me a full report on his performance I’m sure. He’s been “grandfathering” me a bit, which I enjoy since mine are both gone. He takes my fish off the hooks so I don’t have to touch them, ties my tackle, gives me hell but always brings me a cold beer. The days of Monica raising money full time for the hospital and serving wine in a tasting room on nights and weekends wore her out. I was however always vigilant about spending an hour at Crossfit 830 but that’s about all the “me” time I could manage. Trust me, I needed that kind of stress release too. It served two purposes for me: exercise and a time to socialize. Gosh do I miss that place and all those super fine athletes (that was supposed to be a funny shoutout to my gym rat friends).

I feel so blessed beyond belief to have the means and vigor to jump on a sailboat with Trent. Even for us this was a complete leap of faith though. Nither of us had much experience on the sea but we both had a strong sense of adventure and a drive to live life to the absolute fullest. I’m not going to lie, it’s scary to dump everything you own and trade it in to liveaboard, knowing nothing about sailing or the ocean. Hats off to those that have worked hard to earn an actual retirement and continue to live out their dreams, whatever they are, but especially if it means becoming a liveaboard because this stuff is hard at any age; it’s worth every second, but hard.

You’ve got to be an excellent navigator and learn weather patterns because you’re in charge of your own travel and other lives. You constantly watch and talk about weather in this life. And if you’re not made of money then you’d better be a damn good handy-man too. Boat repairs are exorbitant. B.O.A.T. actually stands for Bust Out Another Thousand. You can’t just call up a handy-man to fix the engine off-shore. The work is just never-ending. Though we’ve had a lot of fun, we still work on little projects everyday. They include things like sealing up minor leaks, changing the oil, spray painting markers on the anchor chain so we know how many feet we’ve let out, washing upholstery and more provisioning. Lastly, but super important is that you’ve got to be in good physical shape to maneuver the vessel as well as to maintain her.

In all of our youthfulness, at times these things are a lot for Trent and I to handle. I’m telling you all this because we’ve just met far too many people trying to single handedly sail or even motor their boat around the world and just as many who are in poor health and some struggle with both and it’s absolutely disheartening. There are so many lonely travelers. People work their whole lives to get to this far in living out their dreams and sometimes life isn’t fair.

Since we can’t bring all our friends and family with us on our big adventure, I hope that by me sharing our story, it inspires you to make some plans. Go out and actually do that thing you say you’ll do one day, right now. Make plans. There’s never going to be a “good” time of year, more money or enough vacation time. It might not be easy either but hardships will make it all the more rewarding in the end. So why not give yourself something that you can look forward to. Ladies, enough with the weight loss new year’s resolutions goals too. Make your 2016 resolution to make a memory. It’ll last forever! Trent and I made Pepper our home and hope to do this as long as we can and as long as we want to, even if our dream completely drains the bank account. We’ll have some good stories to tell, and hopefully no regrets, when we’re sitting around in a retirement home one day. Hey, it might even be in Punta Gorda.

Oh and by the way, our fresh fish diet is sustaining. We’ve had a bounty of mangrove snapper and sheepshead. It’s been eaten blackened, on fish tacos and we’ve even thrown it on salads. There’s even enough to throw extra into the freezer.


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  1. Marc

    Thanks for keeping us up to date, Monica. Your observations are so true.
    I visit with Mike McFarlane on occasion and am glad you and Trent have gotten to know them and are spending some time there. Heading south after Christmas?

    • Monica

      Well we’re sticking around a bit longer and spending Christmas with the McFarlanes. We’re just not ready to tell them goodbye. We’re trying to leave Burnt Store together and get down there at the same time…buddy boat!

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