Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blogging from A to Z: Q is for the Hardest Question

During April, I'm participating in the Blogging from A to Z challenge -- one alphabet-themed post per day, starting with A is for Aruba Aftermath and ending with Z is for ... I don't know yet what Z is for, I'll figure it out when I get there.

Someday, we'll have to reenter settled society.  But where?

What's next?

My friend Krysty Anne recently asked me if Dan and I ever talk about settling in the Caribbean or St. Augustine or Annapolis for good. "You make it sound like such a great place . . would that be a viable idea though?" she wondered.  She didn't realize it, but that was the hardest question she could have asked.

Moving off the boat, and settling in a house? Someday of course when we're old and feeble we will have to decrease our range, move ashore, but...  Even if it was a waterfront property with a spectacular view -- not that that is likely on our incomes -- and even though the idea of unlimited hot water and electricity, and no longer worrying about storms and weather is appealing, and even though having a car again would be convenient, and even though there are lots of opportunities that occur only because we've been in one place long enough to make the enabling connections, still the idea of picking just one place to live gives me chills.

You say "stability," I hear "confinement." You say "continuity," I hear "boredom." You say, "putting down roots," I hear "lockdown" and "chains."

We both love it here, but settling permanently anywhere, "swallowing the anchor" as we say, is just too scary a commitment.  We've found lots of good places, that we enjoy ... but no one place that we're sure is the best place.  We both feel way too young to settle!  Anywhere we are for an extended period, we look at each other and imagine being there long term, and watching the slow change of the seasons, and say, hmm, we're happy here, maybe this could be it.  But then, we start to wonder if there's something even better, just over the horizon, and new things to learn and see, new ways to be.

So, is that unwillingness to settle down a great bold character trait; or does it mask a restless failure to make a decision and commit to anything, and in the end we'd have nothing?  We've talked about getting a van or RV in addition to the boat, and as we get older being able to take some vacations inland.  Or house-sitting for people all over the world, traveling with just what fits in our backpacks? I joke that when we get too old and feeble to sail this boat, we'll be looking to move to an assisted-living marina.  Someday, I might event want to a garden.  And a cat.  And a house with a white picket fence. I might want to go to the same grocery store every week, so I know where to find the mustard.  Routine.  And predictability.  Someday.  But that "someday" isn't something in our immediate future.  And for that, I'm glad.

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