Seriously, it's amazing how quickly I got over Christmas this year. No mourning, just a sincere "Thanks for coming!" and a slamming of the proverbial door. (Or maybe a gentle shutting...there was no anger involved.)
I hope your Christmas (or non-Christmas) was lovely. Ours was lovely. Short, sweet and just the right balance of family time, gifts and merriment...all topped off with a showing of "Sherlock Holmes" on Christmas Day (sans children). All I can say is, I ♥ Robert Downey, Jr. Most importantly, the boys enjoyed lots of love and laughter and the excitement of getting what they wished for.
And now that we've got that pesky annual tradition business out of the way, I can give my full attention to what I've been wishing for: Hawaii.
Oh, Hawaii, in 48 hours I will be in your tan, tropical arms...lay me down in a bed of sand and hook me up to a pina colada I.V. I am ready.
Some of you may recall that we've been planning Hawaii since last year. It was somewhere I'd always wanted to visit, but had never actually put on the travel docket because of all the other places I wanted to go (oh, and because it's very far away and expensive). Then the kids expressed excitement too and the plan was hatched.
Now, when it comes to travel, I tend to take the attitude that you can't put a price on experiences. This often allows me to justify planning trips regardless of my current financial status. It runs counter to my otherwise common sense-driven, responsible approach to life and maybe that's one of the things I love about it.
With kids, I've had to be more realistic about not only what we can afford, but where we can go with the boys or how long we can be gone without them. This has resulted in slightly less actual travel, but more obsessive travel planning (I have a loose outline of trips I am planning through 2015.)
Anyway, the point of all this is to say that before this trip, I don't think I've ever spent a full year planning anything other than my wedding. And maybe my kids.
When we started talking about it at the end of last year, we really couldn't afford it. My freelance business had just fallen off a cliff and I wasn't sure what 2009 would hold. But I knew I wanted it and I knew we'd get it, eventually. So I went back to work and I was able to tell myself and the boys that it was worth it because, in addition to being able to pay our bills, it would eventually allow us to take this trip. And it did. And that gives me a sense of accomplishment and sets a good example for the boys. It even suggests that, perhaps, where travel is concerned, I could learn to delay gratification a bit...maybe...on big trips.
So you see, even though planning dream vacations might not be the most fiscally responsible thing to do given the current state of things, it can teach us valuable life lessons, such as: Don't live to work. Work to travel.
And if all else fails, well, you can't really put a price on experiences, right?