might be around for a long time. Those who accomplished their dreams, according to Jeffers, did so with Fear as their companion.
It didn't take long for Mike to figure out there was a battle going on in my brain. Seeking to up the ante in his favor, he attempted to persuade me of the values of living on a boat with Lauren and Stefan. He approached me in the same manner I approached the giant woman Fear. He had stats and research. Pie charts, graphs, and probability distributions as to why doing it now with the kids would be a good idea. When that didn't work, he used words like simplicity, solitude, and togetherness.
âDon't you feel like our lives have been so busy lately that we have become disconnected with ourselves and each other? Living on a boat, say, for a year or two, would give us a chance to get to know our kids in the teenage years, when it is probably most important. We have some experience homeschooling, so we know we can handle that aspect. We can expose the kids to a broader reality. A reality outside of the mall. And don't you think it would be good for our relationship as well?â
It was a card well played. When I asked him how we would survive financially, he said, âWe could sell everything, bank most of it, and attempt to make a living from home. You could write. I would continue to trade stocks online. As long as I have internet, I can do that anywhere. I know we would be giving up a financially secure future, but what we really have to ask ourselves is: how much is enough? We may return with considerably less cash, but with a legacy of memories and a relationship with each other and the kids. How much is that worth? Isn't that worth everything?â
There are moments in life when you are keenly aware that you stand at the vortex of two paths diverging. Choosing one over the other will affect not only your own destiny, but the future of your children and even their children. I weighed the two paths. I could ignore the dream Mike and I had written down back in college. Perhaps I could construct a different, less drastic, dream. But I had the feeling whatever I chose outside my comfort zone, Fear was going to be there citing all the reasons why I should keep life safe and comfortable. I also knew that should I decide against living on a boat, it would be the decision that would forever haunt me.
Life, I thought, was one big game of Let's Make a Deal . I could hear the host, Monty, saying, âYou can keep this perfectly good life with all its benefits: security, comfort, and predictability orâ¦.you can choose what's behind door number three.â The crowd yelled for door number three. They always did. They had nothing invested and loved the drama. There I stood in my chicken costume, plumes of feathers going in all directions, looking back and forth with the same conflicted countenance I had seen on a hundred contestants.
I was wary of what seemed like greener grass over there, but the unknown behind door number three was attractive. If I chose it, I would be banking on the fact that growing past my fears, living a simpler lifestyle, giving the kids a broad perspective of the world and the memories created on such a journey, would be worth the risks of storms, seasickness, sharks, giving up a financially secure future, and living with two hormonal teenagers and a risk- happy husband. The potential for growth, painful as it might be, was tempting.
And, for me, God was mixed in there somewhere. I wondered if I could, outside the normal confines of religiosity, find God again, or perhaps allow myself to be found. I felt pretty cautious bringing God into the equation of a big decision. I knew that God could be used to justify any cockamamie scheme. But let's be honest here, I told myself. I wasn't about to set off with a sword intending to convert or slay. I was interested in paying attention to what my journey, the journey of others, and the world around me might teach me through a