Tuesday, July 27, 2010

THE JOY FACTOR


"Always leave enough time in your life to do something that makes you happy, satisfied, even joyous. That has more of an effect on economic well-being than any other single factor."
~Paul Hawken (writer and activist for environmental and social justice)

I needed to read the above quote today.

It's been a while since I've blogged about mine and Ed's economic status -- I suppose I wanted to wait until I had reached my personal goal of a satisfactory bank account savings to say: "Look how far we've come from last year!!!"

However, as we all know, shit happens -- to put it in my usual delicacy. Things come up (car needs, college books/fees, illnesses, etc.) and we find that we are never quite where we thought we should be.

Mini-vacations are planned such as mine and Ed's over-nighter to Catalina Island tomorrow for his 48th birthday, which is actually tomorrow.















Ed has always wanted to go to Catalina so when I first began inquiring about hotel costs, getting to the island and back, activities, etc., I kept in mind that it is indeed the peak of the season there (*see also price gauging) so the best way would be to visit during the week instead of the weekend to save on what will already be a spendy venture.

In light of this, I only planned two activities: the night boat trip to see the flying fish and the glass bottom boat.

From there I saved X amount of money (plus $5.00 for motion sickness pills -- it had to be done. $5.00 well spent) for any further activities as everything there is ridiculously expensive: $40.00 an hour to rent a golf cart for self-guided island tour, $100.00 an hour to rent a jet-ski, $100.00 to do the zipline, Para-sailing and snorkeling prices vary...so we'll likely do the most economical considering we're only there for one day.

Add what I paid for the hotel, the boat there and back, the two planned activities, the money saved for extra activities, food and souvenirs and we're looking at a $600.00 to $700.00 trip for everything just for two people overnight.

It's been four years since Ed and I have been away anywhere so I now wonder: How in the hell do people do this? How do people go to Hawaii and Vegas every summer? I actually know people who do...

I admit now with all my anxieties about money worries, that I wonder if I made the right decision here in planning what I thought was a nice surprise and much needed & deserved get-away.

CON: Wouldn't that money be better served in the bank collecting interest?

PRO: Ed said it best: "What the hell do I work so hard for six days a week if we can't enjoy some of my earnings?"

CON: MONEY!!!! ANXIETIES!!!!

PRO: Agreeing with Ed.

I've been having MUCH trouble getting geared up for this. Oh, I've been telling people how I "can't wait" and "Yes, we are soo excited!" and I have been counting down the days on Twitter and even painted my toe nails a Caribbean blue for the occasion.

But in reality, I'm a wreck over the expense and have come so close to calling the whole thing off.

I had to cancel my therapist appointment on Friday when I got Bronchitis (which I'm still battling), couple that with an unexpected visit from "Aunt Flo" yesterday (welcome to peri-menopause. Sorry...TMI?) -- all of this seemed to be a sign pointing that we really shouldn't be going.

So, today while I'm supposed to be getting some last minute things ready and getting prepared to pack, I've been procrastinating and it seems so clear why.

It all comes down to my anxiety disorder where nothing is as it seems. I know logically that I'm being irrational, but I CANNOT get past the fact that I have to pack, drive an hour and a half to the port ($28.00 to leave our car overnight! Yikes!), pay $133.00 for Ed and I to get to the island and back, pay $123.00 for the hotel PLUS activities, food, etc.

However, while the monkey on my back pulls the strings one way, my progress is pulling them another: my ability to know that my irrational fears are trying to take over.

And while they're still present (and perhaps always will be), I am nonetheless going to go and do this thing. This thing that my hardworking husband desperately needs and deserves -- and perhaps I do, too.

So, dear neurosis, you will simply have to try and be patient until my next therapy appointment. Until then, I'm on vacation. Don't bother me.

4 comments:

Steven Anthony said...

Give yourself a pat on the back friend...if this had been a yr ago your feas would have won....

go, enjoy, breath...relax. Tell Ed happy bday from the nutter in mich;)

big hugs...bravo friend, keep it up ;)

Meeko Fabulous said...

Girl . . . You're gonna go and enjoy yourself and you're gonna have a blast! Give Ed my best! :)

Jaynie Martin said...

Hi Jo
I know the trauma of finances been there myself worn the tee shirt etc. but we only have this one life to enjoy and we need to enjoy the few moments we can ... you will get by... sadly crap will keep happening, the good things dont seem to happen quite so often nor quite so easily so enjoy the holiday .... so what about the cost ENJOY and have a lovely time .... worry another time xxxxxx

Muffie said...

Years ao, I remember going through the same dilemma. We inherited a good bit of money, and we debated over using it to pay bills or to take a nice vacation. We opted for the latter and have wonderful memories of it. If we had paid bills, those memories wouldn't exist. Go for it and enjoy!
Peace,
Muff