It's the beginning of another year, and the dream of my adulthood has changed significantly over the past few years. I used to dream, when I was a teenager, that I'd be highly successful in publishing a handful of novels by the time I was 25 and that breakfast would be enjoyed on a balcony table in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower off in the distance, having already traveled to exotic far off places like Egypt. Today, I can imagine nothing better than wracking my brain over a piece of writing while the boat gently sways with the slightest of harbor currents, keeping hot water for tea and having new ideas while the sun begins to set in the early afternoon, sailing every possible weekend and becoming an expert at it all. I'm still not published, I'm still working on second-drafts of things, but the fire is still there. The scenery is new, the boat is a symbol of possibility, my husband is still the breadwinner while I search for employment opportunity, and the dog is curled up at my feet. At fourteen or fifteen, I honestly didn't even imagine a dog. I pictured a husband somewhere in the middle of it all, and I got the best one, ever, but the entertaining child/poodle is a daily delight I hadn't even pondered. Now I can't imagine living without her. A little furry face who loves us unconditionally because we fell in love with her and brought her home with us. I could never have imagined that by the time I was 28, I would have gotten married and moved from one continent to another and back again within the first two years of marriage, not to mention relocating to another state by the end of the calender year. A whirlwind that made me giddy; new sights, new places to explore, new people to call our friends. We say it a lot, every time we move and get re-settled, but we're kind of amazing. We truly rock at this whole “shift again” lifestyle. When we decide that we're going somewhere, we shift into high gear. Clothes get washes, sorted, packed into boxes or designated into suitcase piles, the apartment is half in limbo, our heart rates go up and every morning we wake up with a new “to-do” list but by the time we land where we're supposed to be, we're breathing again, we're excited, we've stopped worrying about half the little details and life is awesome. We downshift, we acclimate, we get it together, and it works. And yes, there are always little issues that come up and we somehow are blessed with the kind of good luck that gets us through them. Knowing we're going to be settling in for a time is helping us to shift our focus on being thrifty and financially stable, and looking into the future a bit more definitively. Being so close to home, being back in California, is the place to be. In a few months we'll own the boat we're living on, in a year, we'll have a small apartment somewhere close by and I'm imagining go-bags constantly prepped and hanging out in the truck of the car so that we can spend a week on the boat at any given moment. In Miami, it was good to be at least back on home soil. Monterey is our heart and our home, and it's a wonderful feeling to be back near it as we settle here in the Bay Area. Driving back and forth the couple times we've done in the past four weeks has been the most amazing feeling, knowing we can be there in a couple hours on a whim, if we like. I'm no longer one to make New Year's Resolutions, as I hardly keep to them, like most human beings, but since we're back here and now living the boat lifestyle it's in my head to learn as much as I can about living aboard and figuring out as much as I can to make it as successful as possible. I'm also wanting to work, at least part time, to keep writing, and spend more time with my family as I've been away from them for two years. Life shifts in funny ways. Kris is fond of saying that the universe gives you exactly what you ask for even though it never looks how you'd expect it to look. That has certainly been true of our adventure thus far. You can have dreams, and they will come true if you keep them in your heart. You might not recognize them but if you find yourself happy one day, guess what, your dream has aligned with your life and your goals. It's a nice feeling to be in a position to see that one of your milestones is just up ahead of you by a few paces.
Hope everyone's New Year is off to such a re-energized, positive start!