Okay, at a certain point I have to learn to take responsibility for my choices and actions, and stop blaming Mark Twain. But dang, if this quote of his still speaks so strongly to my soul.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain
I’ve been ridiculously well-traveled recently (with Greece last Fall, and then the amazing Indonesia trip in January). So the travel budget is well and truly depleted. Yet the urging for more travel adventures is something powerful. (Especially when everything at home seems to be ON FIRE! Actually, right now things seem comparatively calm, but, to torture the metaphor, there’ve been a lot of “brush fires” cropping up in places both expected and unexpected for the last year. And so having these chances for adventure, escape, distraction, experiencing new things, celebrating joy and friendship, to unplug and recharge (*insert more high-faluting words here)…anyway, it’s been a really wonderful way I’ve been staying sane. And having that subscription to Scott’s Cheap Flights email alerts has been a sweet sweet torture. Seeing amazing international deals daily. I previously knew nothing about the Cook Islands, but after a special $600 flight deal out of LAX, I started researching. And found the most charming tourism video ever! And now I totally want to go!!!!!!!!!! This video is seriously one of the best ways to spend 12 minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXCCzw5bn20
In any case, this March I was approached by a dear pal. “I’m going to be in Paris for two weeks in June, and my hotel rooms have two twin beds in them, so if you can get yourself there, you’ll have a free place to stay.” Ack! TEMPTATION! I’d only been back a few months from Indonesia. But, but, I wanted to. “Our plan is to eat well and walk around looking at beautiful things.” I mean, that sounds perfect! But I also knew there was no way I could be gone from work for another two weeks. It’s just too hard. But…maybe….maybe I could go for a shorter time frame. After guaranteeing that my assistant would be available those days to cover the office, I found myself booking a flight for 5 amazing Parisian nights! Bonus is that Melissa and I will be next to each other on the return flight home. Yay.
And let me tell you, when those metaphorical brush fires kept cropping up, and my emotional (and physical) batteries were being drained, it was amazingly restorative to know that I was going to get to RUN AWAY FROM IT ALL in June. Huzzah! Now, there have been a shit ton of hiccups along the way, darn it. (Man plans and The Gods laugh, and all that). My assistant’s daughter was due to give birth during my absence. Okay, so we make contingencies for the office being un-staffed for up to 48 hours. I’ve also been a caretaker for family members’ medical issues. And things have been quite good/calm on that front. So of COURSE there are going to be flare ups and sudden complications and hardships in the week leading up to this trip. Argh! And then my amazing assistant had to take a leave of absence starting mid-May, dealing with her own family medical issues. Crap. Double Crap. Triple Crap. And yet, it will all work out somehow. Work will manage, somehow, for that week. (It’s one of my favorite things about working for a small family company…everyone rallies around, wears many “hats,” and helps out where needed). But darn it, when I’d made these plans, I’d made it so there would be hardly a blip or inconvenience around. And now it’s going to be a week FULL of inconvenience and delay. (Also NOT looking forward to landing 11pm and having to be at work at 8am the next day to process payroll while jetlagged and sleep-deprived). Never the less, she persisted! Empowering roar. Here: Please enjoy this empowering cow meme!
And so, it will be amazing. Even if the timing is imperfect. I mean, life is imperfect. That’s one of the things that lets us know we’re alive. (or something). The timing of this has never been ideal (as it is the Seattle International Film Festival, and I’m always very involved/busy during that. Plus HANNAH GADSBY is coming to Seattle, and I’m not missing her show…not even for Paris). And so it’ll be a weekend crammed full of SIFF galas and comedy shows, and then I still have to do laundry and pack. But it’ll be fine. IT WILL BE FINE! Honestly. Which is why I’ve agreed to an impromptu cousins’ dinner/gathering on Friday (which was my one “day without plans” before I leave). Because it’s not like I’d actually get my packing done in advance. That’s purely aspirational these days, if past evidence is anything to go by. And because all those metaphorical life and work and medical and family “brush fires” have really driven home the importance of community. And I’d much rather see those faces and laugh with those people then listen to podcasts while cleaning and packing at home. Life is short. And see that Mark Twain quote about regrets again! That applies to small everyday life decisions as much (or more than) epic grand adventures. We have to feed our souls. Nourish our communities. Take care of ourselves and each other. Much love to you all.