Setting sail for adventure

Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do,” said Mark Twain. “So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Sailing into the sunset!
Sailing into the sunset!

Like so many, I feel that I’ve lived much of my life as a ‘dress rehearsal’, unaware of or perhaps just ignoring the slow but relentless ticking of the clock, always believing that time was in abundant supply and that I’d start to live my dreams once I’d achieved, bought, organised or planned a myriad of things.
Over the last decades, I have occasionally stopped paddling in life’s shallows and launched myself headlong into the torrents of the main stream. But, despite these brief sojourns into life’s wild side, my existence has been mostly comfortable, sedate, safe and dare I admit it, a little dull!

This is what 346 jelly beans looks like.
This is what 346 jelly beans looks like.

So, when a few months ago, the love of my life announced to me that he had decided to retire at the end of the year, it was a huge wake-up call. The gorgeous young man I married was retiring? How was that possible? I realise that time has passed, but so much time? How? When did we grow so old? This was my call to action!
So, I did what any good wife would do. I began a countdown … of jelly beans. I filled a glass jar with one of these sweet treats for each remaining day until he retired, 346 at the time and he has been religiously consuming one each day on his return from the office. I’ve become so used to his gleeful cry of “Jelly bean time!”, that I barely hear it now.

And this is 38 jelly beans!
And this is 38 jelly beans!

As I write this today, there are a mere 38 jelly beans in the jar.

I have realised that life is short, our time here is limited and that it’s time to abandon rehearsals and start the live performance. So, in the words of Mark Twain, let’s “throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” I intend to!

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Daphne says:

    Cheers Cathy ! Here’s to adventure !!!
    And lunch ☺️

    1. Hahaha! For better or for worse but not for …. lunch!!! 🙂

  2. Such a lovely post. I really liked the jelly bean idea. So unique

  3. Debby Thompson says:

    Brilliant. Go for it. That’s one of my favourite quotes. Good luck 🙂

  4. beingmepresently says:

    One of my favourite quotes! We can spend so much time waiting for life to happen, then one day you wake up and realise life is happening now. I say ‘go for it’, Do the things you love now because there is no time to lose. X

  5. Audrey says:

    I’m loving your postings Cathy – Frugalista was bril, my mum also used to “turn our flannelette sheets” outside to inside, and yes I used to try sleep either side of the seam; uncomfortable but fond memories – thank you. Wishing Chris a long, happy and healthy retirement. Regards………….Audrey x

    1. Hi Audrey. Thanks so much, I really appreciate your support … writing is a very solitary pastime so knowing that someone is actually reading and enjoying it means a lot. Hope you’re keeping well. Xx

  6. Brian Colmer says:

    Hi Skate, I have read two at once this time. Somehow I missed your jelly bean blog, but I have heard the story before, so I knew the end before I got there. I know I have said this before, but I do not regret a single day of my life. I think I have lived my life to the full. It does not necessarily include ‘throwing off the bowlines’, as much as ‘doing it now’, but I’m happy. I must say, retirement is less than it is cracked up to be. I enjoyed all of two months, and then went back to work, albeit in a 4th career, but hey, I laugh, I cry, I joke, I read your blog in the bosses time, and occasionally do what I am paid for. I have been on the Collagen Proactive for two months now and the aching joints that are part of most peoples retirement are a thing of the past, my joints, cartilage and muscles are starting to feel more able.
    I would recommend Collagen proactive to everyone.

    You’ll be doing your friends a favour if you steer them to it and http://www.proactivesa.co.za

    Love ya ! Big brother

    1. Hi Brian. I’ll be very interested in a few months to see if Chris agrees with your assessment that “retirement is less than it’s cracked up to be”.Somehow I doubt it 🙂

  7. I was given a present from one of my final year of high school teachers with this quote written on it. Still one that I remember fondly. Absolutely love the jelly bean analogy. Vert ‘sweet’ of you!! Hope your hubby is enjoying his retirement and more travels are on the agenda! Have you ever travelled to the Maldives? I lived there all last year and loved it so much I’m going back this year! You should definitely think about planning a visit. Nice to connect x

    1. Thanks so much for dropping by and taking the time to comment. 🙂
      Retirement is great and we’ve just returned from a wonderful couple of weeks in Thailand.
      No, we haven’t been to the Maldives yet but it’s definitely on the list! Thanks for the recommendation.

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