A couple of weeks back I had what will very likely be my last review as a professional environmental consultant. It was a good year for me. I completed a lot of work at a good profit margin for my major oil client. I won a major contract with a public school entity that I had previously had at my former employer and that I have worked to get back for two years. Our office is one of the most profitable in our company and I was a good part of the reason for that. Not to blow my own horn but I am good at my job. Despite the fact that I dread going to work every morning when I wake up.
I also have a pretty good setup. I can talk Summer to work with me every day. I work with good people who are fun to be around for the most part. I have a bar in my office. I have a corner of the warehouse to keep my stuff like our sails, dinghy, kayak, outboard, etc. where I can work on projects over the winter in warmth. I will now be working from the boat 1-2 days a week so I don’t have to commute in Boston traffic. And with the generous raise I got in my review and typical bonuses we now have a combined income that puts us in the top 5% of the US.
So why would I want to give this up to live hand-to-mouth on a small boat?
I had lunch with my friend Tim the other day and for the first time voiced this doubt. By most conventional standards we would be considered to be successful. We are essentially debt free, make a good income and have professional jobs. Why can’t I just be happy with a few weeks vacation and weekends off like most people? Why give this all up? Why does everything in my life seem to be an all or nothing choice?
Don’t get me wrong, its not all roses. I have had issues with the manager. Just a couple of weeks ago he and I got into pretty good. No matter how hard I try to change my perception, I am working in a box. Eight to ten hours a day or more. My clients can be irrational, demanding and difficult. I feel like I work in an industry of whores. Everyone is willing to undercut the other guy. Steal clients. Trash talk on other firms. Etc.
I just can’t seem to get past this desire to get more from life than weekends, vacations and retirement. I want to explore now. I want to experience new things now! I want to forget what it’s like to run my life by a clock, an email inbox and an Outlook calendar NOW! I don’t want to wait another 20+ years. This may be selfish. This could be childish and immature. Its definately cliche.
We don’t have a lot of time on this earth! We weren’t meant to spend it this way! Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about mission statements! – Peter Gibbons Office Space 1999
I am not looking at our impending cruise as a vacation. This is a lifestyle change. A change that is driven by far too much to go into in this post. But a change away from the way of life that lead us to have a house, 3 cars, lots of stuff and a boat to a life on a small boat scarce with belongings but rich in experiences.
I wonder if those who have cut the lines had these doubts? It’s not a topic that is often covered in cruising blogs or books. Is it normal to have these small moments of doubt?