Clearing out my closet – in more ways that one!
From the overwhelming amount of tasks that need to be performed before I sell up and sail away, I have a few that stand out as major stressors. The ones that are currently niggling me are: getting my British passport (taking the ‘Life in the UK Test,’ filling out a huge form and paying loads of money), sorting out my taxes that are due in January, and clearing out my closet.
Although I’ve lived in the UK for over 15 years I never felt the need to become a British citizen – my passport has a stamp that allows me to work, and come and go as I please. However, when flying and sailing around the EU using an American passport could cause visa fees, more paperwork, and more headaches. Getting my British passport will simply make things easier. Furthermore, when I travel in and out of the UK I can finally get in the fast lane through border patrol! Woooo-hoooo.
And my taxes are always an annoyance.
Throughout the year I stuff receipts into a big box and then feel horrified when I have to go through all of them and figure out my expenses for the year. I have a very substantial tax liability this year – I sold 60% of my shares in my company 2 years ago so now I have to pay the government my tax. Luckily, I received entrepreneurs relief so the tax is 10% rather than anything higher. I need to get my taxes done now so that I know how much money will be leftover for the rest of the trip.
Then comes my closet – the largest stressor of them all. I must have over 150 pairs of shoes alone! Before I sell up and sail away I must do something with them! Yikes.
Face your stressors right in the eye and tackle them first!
Many people put things off or procrastinate when it comes to doing things they don’t like. I suppose it can be said that I’ve procrastinated for 15 years to get my British passport but I like to think I simply didn’t need it. As for my taxes, if my life was carrying on as normal I’d wait until the very last week to send them over to my accountant.
The closet?! Well… that’s just a beast that I pretend doesn’t exist
That being said, our plans to sell up and sail have forced me to reprioritize everything in my life and I mean everything. I’m having to do things that I really don’t want to do.
In a strange way, it feels liberating. Rather than having something haunting me over my shoulder I’m looking right into my stressors eyes and saying ‘let’s get you sorted.’ Instead of living my normal routine that consists of routine reminders of stressors I’m actually having to deal with them rather than live with them.
It’s not just my closet I’m clearing out before I sell up and sail away- it’s my whole life!
Changing lifestyles can have many benefits like helping you to re-invent yourself, giving you a new lease of life, and helping you to get out of a rut. It can also change your perception of so many things at once.
For example, I now perceive my stressors as something to take care of rather than something to ignore. Aside from my passport, taxes, and closet another stressor has been my health and eating habits. I was too afraid to find out how unhealthy I was, but now I’ve laid my cards on the table, discovered what’s wrong with me, and am taking massive action to get myself in a much better state. (Side note: if you’re living on processed food – stop now! It will eventually create chronic issues). Read Chapter 2: 2. Oh crap – Are we healthy enough to sail around the world?
My life of processed food, restaurants, fast food, late nights and exorbitant wine consumption has finally caught up with me. Not a pretty sight but now that I’ve been forced to look at my lifestyle through different eyes, I have put several corrective measures in place. For example, after seeking the advice of a nutritionist, I’ve eliminated gluten and all the foods I’m intolerant to. I’ve started taking various supplements to repair my body and I’m eating a wholesome diet of loads of veggies with a bit of meat. Furthermore, I’ve cut the wine down massively – I’m only drinking when I go out with friends whereas before I was drinking 1 – 3 glasses of wine every night.
Switching lifestyles is helping me to clear out my closet in more ways than one. The process has forced me to look at my life, with all it’s stuff, with different eyes. Things that continuously haunted me are finally being dealt with.
I wonder what else I’m going to find in my closet?
Next Chapter: 5. Getting the boat of our dreams – will we or won’t we?
Or…if you’d like to carry on reading all about our journey from selling up and sailing away, you can purchase my book, ‘Changing Lifestyles – Trading the Rat Race in For A Sail Around The World,’