In September of this year, Josh went back to college. He did it once already, over 15 years ago, but he’s giving it another go now that he has a better idea who he is and what he wants his life to be. He’ll be a wonderful physical therapy assistant when he finishes next December. In the meantime, our DINK household has become a SINK: single-income, no kids. It’s interesting, then, that our plumbing waited until this fall to self-destruct. Since September, we have repaired/replaced three faucets and one burst pipe. I’m grateful for a handy husband and YouTube tutorials.
While we live off a single income (earned working for a nonprofit, I might add), finances are tight. I made almost all my Christmas gifts and decorations this year (DIY blog post forthcoming), and Josh and I haven’t gone out to dinner since mid-October. When he was accepted to his program last summer, we sighed and admitted we probably wouldn’t be traveling anywhere farther than central Washington for the next 18 months. But then the travel bug bit (as it does every winter), and we both started itching to feel some sun on our faces.
Travel feels financially irresponsible right now, especially when our plumbing has unexpectedly dipped into our savings. But Josh and I agreed that a small trip to somewhere warm would be the best Christmas gift we could give one another, so two weeks ago I booked round trip tickets to…Las Vegas.
If you don’t know me, then that may not sound weird. If you do know me, then you’re probably shocked. Last place in the world you thought I’d pick for vacation, right? But let me tell you, it’s 66 degrees in Las Vegas, my car rental cost $14/day, and the Red Rock Conservation Area, Death Valley National Park, and Zion National Park are all within a 2.5 hour drive. Do you see now?
I always feel intense excitement and anticipation about travel up until the night before, when excitement morphs into irritable apprehension: The flight will be delayed. The dogs will think we abandoned them. I’ll be constipated. We’re spending money we don’t have. We’ll die in a plane crash/car accident/lightning strike/flash flood/mud slide and it will be terribly inconvenient for everyone.
But that’s the crux of it, really. In the past 14 months, two young vibrant people I loved left this earth early. They had plans for the future, just like me, and they both loved to travel. Their early deaths reminded me that tomorrow is never a guarantee. I have renewed my commitment not to defer living. I will not wait for a more convenient/better financed/less stressful day, and I will certainly not wait for retirement, which may never happen for me. And though timing is perhaps not the best for our bank account, I am grateful to 1.) have a bank account at all, and 2.) have another tomorrow.