“To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Over the course of the last 5 months, my husband and I have gone from what was a deep sense of unease with his unemployment, to at least a relative sense that no matter what happens, we're okay.
While we still haven't sorted out all the details we need to, we think that we've reached a place where we can afford our life - minus some of the previously enjoyed luxuries, adding in some new and equally enjoyable things - for the long haul. And by afford, I mean that we can still save for retirement, put a little in the bank, and maybe take the occasional vacation. We just need to stay on careful track. Which is okay, neither of us really minds short term constraints for long term gain.
So we're lucky. And I never forget it. Except those occasional times when trading short term constraints for long term gains gets annoying and frustrating, and I want to skip town for a weekend. Or something.
It's very easy to go off course, and start thinking 'well, maybe we could just..." And all of a sudden, I find myself pricing out a trip or something like that.
It's not that I'm into self-sabotage. It's that I get bored or tired or cranky, or some combination thereof, and I want a change. Preferably one that involves a jacuzzi tub in some hotel or bed and breakfast.
It's not like I'll never have that, either. It's just that I get tired of waiting and planning for it. I call these moments having 'iwantsies'. Whether it's a weekend in the mountains, taking my daughter to a show she almost certainly isn't yet capable of sitting through, or replacing my entire wardrobe, the iwantsies are awfully inconvenient. They take up time, energy, and focus me on what I don't have instead of what I do.
Which is the thing I find especially annoying, since I'm working hard to never forget how lucky I am.
It most recently popped up around New Years Eve. In the BAOA era (before the adorable one arrived) we used to party with friends. Last year, we got chinese take out and were in bed by 10ish. This year, I started fantasizing about a luxury resort in the mountains, relaxing in front of a fire after a day in the snow and a 5-star dinner.
Then reality intervened. First, every hotel in the universe jacks up their prices for NYE. If we want to continue along the comfortable path, a $1200 weekend is not in the cards (and that was a cheap quote). Then there's the fact that the adorable one crashes at 7:30, tying one or both of us to said hotel room. 5-star dinners? With a toddler? Are you nuts?
Right then. But then I thought maybe we could go for just one night to a Christmas-themed park in the same mountains. Cheaper stay, lots of fun. Right?
Well, except that we really want to get the adorable one a kitten for Christmas. Leaving a kitten 2 days after getting it is just irresponsible. Oh, we could put it off. Getting the kitten, I mean - it could wait until January. But she loves 'Eeows', and we've been planning it, you see.
The reality is we could go if it really was important to us. But instead, I'm going to take the week between Christmas and New Year's off. We'll stay home, all of us, including the aforementioned future member of our family, the Eeow.
And on NYE, we'll sit in front of the fire made in our very own woodstove in the family room, or if we decide to be really wild and crazy, in the fireplace in the living room, and drink wine. And have a nice dinner, maybe of takeout, maybe not, depending on our lazy factor.
No packing, no stressing, no big expensive getaway. That's later. And what will we get in return? The knowledge that when we do go away later on, there's no guilt. No blowing the budget. That we're on course.
That is, unless I give in to temptation....