Life Lessons

18 06 2015

On Monday afternoon, I posted a link to this article, which proceeded to ignite my Facebook wall in a debate about the American work week and whether or not it’s realistic to follow your dreams and do what you love, when doing what you love is something “non-traditional” or “blue collar.”


My last “non-traditional” job- somedays, particularly this time of year, I really miss it.

I didn’t mean to ruffle any feathers, and the response was totally unexpected. The piece was a feel-good article that resonated with me because of recent conversations with my wonderful boyfriend Bill. Who, by the way HAS followed his dreams, is doing what he loves, and is not confined by the bounds of a 40-hour work week. Oh, and did I mention that his work has taken him to 70 countries and all 50 states (some many times) before he’s 40?

sword swallow

(it helps when you have a really unique skill)

Now, neither of us are making the big bucks, but we make enough. Heck, we could probably survive on less. We’re making changes in our lives so that we can have more/do more, without actually making more money. It’s pretty simple actually. Make some cut backs where you can. Do I really need that $4 latte? No, my french press and frother do just fine. Oh, and that $3 bottle of Kombucha? No sir, let’s make our own! (Experiment in progress, will let you know how it turns out). Leave a room? Turn off the lights. And making dinner at home is MUCH more cost effective than eating out! Sure, it takes some time, but if you plan ahead, it isn’t so bad! And, if you don’t sit in front of the boob tube, you might actually find out you enjoy cooking!

making pizza

I get it, kids complicate things and so do loans, among other things. But I guess what it comes down to for me, is that article reminded me of some life lessons that I’ve recently started to take to heart, which I feel compelled to share.

The first is that we don’t need as much stuff as we think we do. I’ve recently downsized my closet and donated a bunch of other stuff, that at this point, I couldn’t even tell you what it was, because you know what? I don’t miss it. And, if there was something I actually needed, I could go across the street the the thrift shop where I could likely find the thing I was looking for at a quarter the price. (The horror! Buying something used?!! 😉 )

donated clothes

Life isn’t about stuff. I’m sure you read that article that says happy people spend money one experiences not things. I totally agree. The money we spent on our recent trip to the Smokies was way better than a shiny piece of jewelry or a new jacket. And better yet? It probably definitely cost less! People are always worried about maintaining the lifestyle they have, which often includes far too many material possessions than one can keep track of. And for what? So you can have the nicer car than your neighbor? That will really make a difference when you’re on your death bed.

smoky mountains

The second lesson is that life is short. We only have so much time on this earth, and we live in a pretty amazing place. I don’t want to leave this world without going on some incredible adventures, seeing some amazing places, and above all doing what makes me happy. Sure, I’m lucky that I have a darn good job that I like, with benefits and all that jazz. I can take vacations and slowly chip away at my bucket list.

But, I want to do more, see more. (I’ve totally got my eye on an Around the World trip after meeting Jennifer a few months ago in Chicago.) And just to clarify- it’s not all about being on permanent vacation- there is work to be done everywhere, things that are worthwhile and meaningful.

I don’t have the answer, and at this point, I’m just rambling.

What I do know is that time is a resource we can’t get back, so we must spend it wisely.

Fly Boarding for 30!

31 01 2013

Howdy ho! So I know I’ve been a little delinquent on posting the past week or so, but boy, do I have a post that will make up for it!

My birthday was on Tuesday and I knew I wanted to celebrate the weekend before since Bill would be home instead of traveling. My birthday weekend was paired with a visit from Bill’s best friend from California, so we wanted to do something to celebrate my birthday and his visit. We wanted to do something big. So, we made plans to go Fly Boarding!

fly boarding

(Photo courtesy of Shawn Mullins Photography)

What is Fly Boarding?

The Flyboard® is a watersports apparatus which allows propulsion underwater and in the air. The board is connected to a jet ski, by a hose, and is propelled by the water from the jet ski intake. The nozzles under your feet put out 90% of the propulsion and allows movement by tilting your feet and tilting the Flyboard®. The nozzles on the hands put out 10% of the propulsion and are used to help stabilization much the same way as ski poles.

On Sunday, Bill, his friend Byron, Jonathan (the other half of Rootberry), Jonathan’s wife Cheri, and I headed over to Merritt Island, FL to Jump Right In Fly Boardingso we could experience the newest craze in water sports.


We arrived a little before our scheduled 2:00 flight time to the address on the website, which turned out to be a cute waterside bar and grill, The Island. We weren’t quite sure we were in the right spot until we looked out on the water and saw a man flying in the air, with water shooting from his feet! We walked through the casual restaurant to the back, where we were greeted by Stephanie, who walked us through the basics and showed us where to sign our lives away on the waiver. Soon after, we met Jay, the business owner and man who’d be directing our flights and powering the jet ski.


(Photo courtesy of Shawn Mullins Photography)

Jay was so excited for us to try Fly Boarding, and his excitement was contagious. He gave us a few more tips and tricks before it was time to roll. It was decided that I would go first, so I got on my gear and headed into the water. I opted to wear my wetsuit because the water was probably in the low 60s. Jay had a few wetsuits for guests to borrow as well.

The boots were tightened on my feet and then I was instructed to roll over onto my stomach so that I could start. Holy moley. This was the hardest/most exhausting part for me! The board weighs about 100lbs and I had the two tubes strapped to my arms. Rolling over was tough!


(Photo courtesy of Shawn Mullins Photography)

I was STRUGGLING! Finally I figured out that the secret (for me) was to curl up in a ball and fall forward, instead of rolling over on my side to get to my stomach. Phew. Once that was out of the way, I could get on with the show.

When you first start, the jets start propelling your forward on your belly, through the water. Then, when there’s enough power, you thrust your hips forward and then stand up. It sounds a lot easier than it actually is. It took me a few times before I was able to get the hang of it and get out of the water.

When you’re actually up in the air, you’ve got to find your center of gravity, by putting your weight a little forward, on the balls of your feet. Once you’re stable, you control the direction of the board with your feet. A little movement goes a long way, which I learned pretty early on.


(Photo courtesy of Shawn Mullins Photography)

Too much movement and you fall into the water. This happened to me a lot.

Check out some of my outtakes on Jonathan’s YouTube Channel:

I finally started to get the hang of it and was beginning to get comfortable on the board, when Jay told me that he could take me twice as high as I was currently flying. I said, “Let’s do it,” and Jay turned on the power. Up, up, up I went, and I screamed like a little girl!


(Photo courtesy of Shawn Mullins Photography)

Here’s the video:

When we were all done, Bill was saying how once you were up in the air, all you were doing was standing. That thought never crossed my mind. The only thing I was thinking about was OHMYGOSH I’m SO HIGH IN THE AIR! OMG OMG OMG! Despite my fears, I had a huge smile on my face the entire time. What an experience!


(Photo courtesy of Shawn Mullins Photography)

This was probably one of the most fun activities I have ever done. When I tell you this is something you MUST try, I am not kidding! Find a place that has Flyboards near you, or come down to Merritt Island and fly with Jump Right In! Jay was so friendly, and he really took the time to make sure you were having a great time. Head over to Facebook and “like” his page to stay in the loop with Jump Right In happenings.

We were lucky enough to have scored the Living Social deal, so one approximately 30 minute ride was about $90. Normally, it’s a bit pricier than that, but if you give Jay a call, I’m pretty sure he’d still honor that price.

I can certainly say that I brought in the new decade with a bang splash! What other fun adventures will 30 bring?