I don't think of myself as "old", but I am "older". Well, Einstein, I can say to myself....who isn't? Every day we live, we get one day older and I am now 58 1/2. Don't forget the half.
Everyone has had dreams for their future while they are busy getting through life -- raising kids, working jobs, and taking care of our homes. Some folks get to realize their dreams eventually, and others don't. In some cases, those dreams get altered. That is our situation....altered dreams. That doesn't have to be a negative thing, however, if you approach it in the right frame of mind.
Long ago, in a galaxy far away (Southern California) when we were raising our kids in the 70's and 80's we had more money than time. Bruce and I were working a family business and it kept us busy. Bruce would work 10 hours a day and sometimes 6 days a week. Vacations back then were glamorous, but short. We were fortunate to be able to take our kid's to Hawaii 4 times and stay in nice hotels. We also took them on about 10 cruises to places in the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico and through the Panama Canal. Great fun in 2 weeks or less. Bruce and I would also dream about someday being able to travel to the Orient and Europe.
Reality hit in 1984 when our business began having issues due to our industry suffering major setbacks and disaster. We struggled for a while but began to see it was futile to continue. In late 1986, we gave it up and sold off equipment and the building. That next summer in 1987, still unemployed by choice, we took the 2 kid's on a whirlwind, around the country, trip in a van. We had no RV at that time. With only 2 months of time available, we hit the highlights and made a grand circle from Cypress, California to Florida and to Maine and across the northern part of the country to Mt. Rushmore and Yellowstone before going back home. With a 15-yr. old and a 12-yr. old, we knew we needed to see places that would be of historic interest plus pure entertainment. So, we included Disney World and 4 other amusement parks scattered throughout the 2 month period. It was on that trip that we knew for sure we wanted to avoid motels and restaurants and get an RV.
As things turned out, Bruce never went back to work. We did get an RV and took short vacations until the kid's finished high school. I worked for 5 years as an Instructional Aide at a school from 1988 to 1993. In 1990 we had begun looking after our 3 remaining parents, also, because we had the time to devote to that.
Since we were no longer employed in any way, and not planning to be, we knew our dreams had to be altered. There was never going to be enough money to take frequent vacations abroad....or any, actually. So, we had to ask ourselves, "Is that OK?" On the surface, we could pop off an easy answer of "yes". But in digging down into our inner selves we had to be sure that we were OK with that. The answer is a resounding "YES".
In the USA Today I saw this "Snapshot" graph that showed the "World's most expensive cities for foreigners". Looking it over, I knew that we'd never see Osaka, Moscow, or Hong Kong. Or Rome, Paris and London for that matter.
Until next time.....so long for now!