If all good things must come to an end, then it had to happen sooner or later. After 7 years and nearly 400 tips, DIY projects, yarns, and wordy expressions of opinion, we have decided to end our Monday posts and shut down the website. We will still be sharing tips and great information on our facebook page, and pictures of both the practical and eye candy variety on Instagram. So as we and technology move along, please move with us and like and follow us at either or both of those locations. And as always, feel free to swing by and say hi when you share an anchorage with Eurisko. Thanks for all the support. See you out there.
The other day I was chatting with a friend about work (she works two jobs), family (they have a couple of kids), relationships (they don't see a lot of each other because they both work so hard), and bills (who doesn't have those to worry about?). The conversation drifted to cooking and the obvious differences in our lives. We cook and bake a lot; they go out to eat more than she'd probably prefer. But it was one rationalization that she said that brought all conversation to a halt and sent us both off into our own worlds as we contemplated the implications of it. "But you know, we have more money than time."
Now, they are not what you'd call "well off." They don't have 6-figure jobs, and they don't live in a mansion. But what they do have is a nice place to live, and reliable vehicles that take them away from their nice place to live to jobs where they work enough hours and get paid enough to qualify for "more money than time." And the truth of her statement is undeniable. We rarely have a chance to catch up with each other (unless I stop by her work to say hello), she admits it's been weeks since she's been to the beach, and she and her husband must cherish the one day every other week that they both have off, because that's the most time they get to spend together.
The comparison of her statement to a Henry David Thoreau quote we keep on our fridge was glaring. "I make myself rich by making my wants few." The other day I actually counted how many hours a week we work (for money) and it is embarrassingly low. Yet I feel like we live like royalty. We eat well, travel often, and rarely deny ourselves anything we truly want. We aren't living off a nest egg (we set off sailing $60,000 in debt and are now debt free), and we certainly aren't working high paying jobs when we do work. We just don't HAVE to work in order to have the money to live like we do.
That's not to say that we sit around on deck watching the world go by all day. We work plenty, but most of it is from home, for ourselves, making our wants few. Or actually, making our consumerist habits few; we WANT plenty. But we have found that with a little time, we can make rather than buy many of the things we want. Which means we basically spend time to not have to spend money. So the time we would be spending at work in order to make money to buy the things we want, we spend instead at home, hanging out with each other, making the products that we can. Because of that, we have more time than money.
Here are a few examples. We eat well. We try to avoid processed food when possible, we certainly don't eat HFCS, thickeners, fillers, or artificial anything we can avoid. Those of you who try this understand how difficult it is. What it basically means is that you have to pay a LOT more for products that you do buy. Yes, you can still get cheap cookies for $1 a bag. But have you read those ingredients? And organic anything is usually not in our budget, especially on an island where prices are already outrageous. So we make much of our own food. For breakfast, Dave makes yogurt about once a week, granola for in our yogurt every 10 days or so, grows wheat sprouts to sprinkle on it, and I make the occasional treat of pancakes, sticky buns, or muffins. Even with the price of organic ingredients, all of these items are about a tenth of the price of buying them pre-made.
We bake our own bread, about a loaf a day of some sort. Boule for sandwich bread, baguette for eating with salads and pasta dishes. Flour, yeast, salt, water. Simple. We make our own tortillas every time we have Mexican of some sort. (Flour, salt, shortening. 5 minutes to mix, about 10 minutes to cook. Less time than it would take to work at a job to pay for store bought tortillas that contain ingredients we aren't willing to eat.) We make our own pita bread when he makes falafel (No, not out of a box: from dry chick peas he has soaked, cooked, seasoned, and then fried.). We drain his yogurt to make cream that we use as a sour cream substitute. We use it in sauces for the falafel and stuffed roti, too. We make roti about once a week to stuff with Indian-seasoned veggies. For dinner last week, we needed ricotta, but didn't want to go to the store. So he made some out of his homemade yogurt. Or at least a perfectly suitable substitute.
When we want pizza we don't pick up the phone, we make a crust (water, flour, salt, yeast) and a sauce (fresh tomatoes, herbs, and garlic), grate some cheese (which we do still buy) and top it with some fresh kale, which crisps up beautifully in the oven. From "Hey, let's have pizza for lunch" to on the table is just over a half hour. It will be a sad day indeed when we don't have 30 minutes to hang out in the galley together to make pizza, chatting, enjoying each other's company, sharing dreams and laughs. I would gladly exchange a "real" job and Pizza Hut for these times together. One of the boys asked us one time, over a decade ago, while we were sailing around the Caribbean among mega-yachts and charter boats, "Are we poor?" I smiled and said, "It depends on what you're counting. No, kiddo, I'd say we're probably the richest people in this anchorage." Because we have more time to enjoy life, than money to try to buy happiness.
Connie McBride's work has been published in Good Old Boat, Sail Magazine, Small Craft Advisor, Cruising World, All at Sea, and Blue Water Sailing. As a full-time liveaboard cruiser for over 15 years, she has written several books and in her spare time, well, who has spare time?
It's here! My latest book, Years of Ideas from a Simple Sailor is now available on Amazon.
Did you find something of interest? Consider donating $1.