All Souls’ Day Thoughts
It’s been a little over 7 years since my dad passed away. Well before his time, as the saying goes, and relatively sudden. We had six weeks, from diagnosis to funeral. A lot less then the year or so we were promised. But I’ll cherish the time we did have and am forever grateful we were able to say goodbye. To each other and the future plans that will never be.
Healthy people usually assume there’ll be a later. Later is when we’ll make more time for the things that really matter to us. Later is when we, maybe, say the things that need to be said to loved ones. Later is when we plan to truly live our lives, now is for making sure we’ll have all the stuff and funds we think we need later.
The thing is – we can only be in the now. Later is the proverbial carrot on the stick. I’ve lost friends, I’ve lost my father and I’ve seen too many young people pass away. There are always plenty of life lessons in any loss, but for me, the most important lesson is that now is all we have. Later will never be now.
I bought Lizzy Belle and became a liveaboard after my father died. Only a week before he passed, my brother asked him if he had any regrets. I’ll never forget how he slowly turned his head to look at a picture of his dream, his later: a 66 ft, 100 year old barge he bought as a sunken hull and was rebuilding.
The last time I talked to him, he told me not to wait. He knew I wasn’t all that happy with my life and he wanted me to understand I had to fix it now. It took me two years, but I did it.
A well paying job, a house, and all our stuff – we think it’s so important. It isn’t. I said goodbye to my job, the house and pretty much everything in it.
Every single thing you own complicates your life. We all know we have to pay for everything we own and want to have, but rarely do we realize we pay with much more then just money. We pay with the most precious thing we have: time. Money buys obligations, time buys freedom.
Untangling my web of obligations is the best thing I ever did. I can breathe now. I’ve learned to be happy with what I have, rather then be unhappy about what I don’t have. I’ve learned to see and appriciate what matters most in life: time and freedom.
The time and freedom to just sit in the cockpit with a cup of coffee and enjoy a beautiful sunrise. The freedom to work while at anchor, the time to take a break and jump into the water for a swim. The time and freedom to simply live my life, and be with those that matter most.
The best things in life are free, they say. I feel differently. The best things in life require time and freedom. Most people have everything except time and freedom. On this All Souls’ Day, I can’t help but think about my loved ones who never got their later. I owe it to myself and to them to live my life. Now.
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