Hope Floats: Or What Happens When You Give Up Your Apartment For a Boat

Hope Floats: Or What Happens When You Give Up Your Apartment For a Boat

Maxwell Ryan
Jun 8, 2004

This must be the pinnacle of blogging, taking a bad picture of a good picture and writing an article about an article. But when you read Jennie Green's article in Real Simple about deciding with her husband to make the best of a bad situation and follow a dream by buying a sailboat and raising their daughter on the Hudson, you will get misty eyed. As she writes,

Three years ago, when my husband, Michael, was gainfully employed as the technology director for a multimedia corporation, my biggest dilemma was which private school to choose for our daughter, Isabelle, then four. I would never have considered trading in our 1,400 square-foot garden duplex in Brooklyn Heights for 150 square feet of interior living space in New York Harbor.

Before the boat I was on a trajectory toward happiness and stability for the first time in my adult life. After struggling for years with anxiety and depression caused mostly by a perpetual lack of resources, I had finally cultivated a lifestyle that suited me, in an environment that suited me, around people whose company I enjoyed.

You can imagine what happens next. The nineties end with a bust, Michael loses his job, their rent increases by $600 a month, and they are faced with downsizing their whole life. Instead of eating dirt, they go buy a boat and become pioneers with sunrises and seagulls over the Statue of Liberty each morning. It is not heaven (it's HARD at times) but you feel the joy and freedom in her writing. As Jennie Green concludes, Years ago, Michael and I talked about circumnavigating the globe. Suddenly we had a boat, a fearless six-year-old, and a nerve to do it. To be here and healthy, able and curious, suddenly stuck me as a vast offering - a gift that inspired me to take action.

If you have ever groused about the difficulties of the city, go read this. Unfortunately, Real Simple doesn't understand the internet yet, so you can't read it online, but it is on sale around town (it is the issue with the white front porch and colored pillows). MGR

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