Friday, January 5, 2018

The working life

Today I sit in our comfy little Townhouse watching the rain lashing the windows, hearing the wind scurling around the yard. The tarpaulin's covering the dinghies, puffing and rattling in the gusts. It is mid summer and we are at last having some much needed rain, after what had started as a hot dry spell of weather. The Christmas and New Year hype are a thing of the past for another year, and we can settle back into a normal routine.

I have finished my contract with the Whangarei District Council, so I am now an unemployed bum, but that is OK, as we have plans to go sailing again. Kabuki has been hauled out at Riverside Drive Marina for about 4 weeks now, but because of work and the festive season not a lot has been done, and now the weather is stepping in to slow work down. Paul is down at the yard cleaning and greasing the valves, but there is not a lot I can do, as painting is out. We are completing our annual haul out a bit later than usual, going sailing along the coast is a bit crowded over the Holiday period, so we thought we could do the work required then head off sailing when the hoards go back to work.

I can't wait to get away again, I have missed the live aboard lifestyle so much. It is a fresh, active, fulfilling way of life. No sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day looking at a computer screen, no office politics, no worrying about saying the wrong thing. Give me the fresh air, the smell of the sea, the activity required to live life on board a cruising yacht, and the freedom to expand....

Working shrinks my mind, it is hard to explain. When I work I have little desire to write, our lives are choked up with our work, it is what we talk about when we come home, it becomes that drudgery so often depicted in cartoons. This little video which I first saw shared on facebook earlier this year is a classic example.

We are getting to the age when our friends are getting sick or having life altering operations, others are dying before their time. We have realised that life is precious, time is precious and we do not want to squander any of our time on working unnecessarily for things we don't need. Work squashes our creativity, sucks up our energy, and tramples our being. Unfortunately we need to work to earn money to live, but here in lies the quandary. How much money do you really need to live the fulfilling life that you desire. How much do you need the things that money can buy you? and how much do you really need to spend on those things?

We have just purchased a new car, well new to us. It is 10 years old and the flashiest car we have ever owned, we are hoping this car will see us out i.e. to when we can no longer drive or when they no longer have petrol driven cars, which ever comes first. Some of you may say..What? Why buy such an old car? Yesterday we sold our previous car for $1000.00, it was 23 years old, still going well and it had cost us $2000.00, 8 years ago. We do not need a "new" car, we are quite happy with second hand. Second hand boat, second hand motorbike, second hand house, second hand bed. When we do buy new, we look after it and keep it for as long as possible.

Our philosophy is not to squander your life on working for "things". I am not saying don't work, we have worked our asses off over the years. We built a house and lived in the incomplete shell with 3 children, while we finished it off over 3 years. Paul has worked hard at his place of employment, and still works hard. I am not saying don't buy anything, get the things you need, do the things you want but, think... we did without expensive holidays (no taking the kids to Surfers Paradise, we went camping, no glamping here), we have always had old cars, our appliances last, we replace only when something dies, and we got our first credit card 8 years ago when we had to buy something from America on-line. Saving is a habit we have gotten into, we are still saving, but we are starting to enjoy the benefits of our saving.

Everybody's life choices are different, some people thrive on Career and work, they find it fulfilling and require the stress to survive. But for others like us, work is not the mainstay of our lives, we are not career minded. Work is a means to an end.

Viva la difference

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