A couple of weeks ago, I decided to do something I seldom do. I decided to buy two plane tickets to Florida for my daughter and me.
You see, here’s the thing: I hate making big purchases. And even though I preach to my friends about the importance of living in the moment and traveling to see the world, etc., the reality is that I am a single mom living on a teacher’s salary, and any traveling I do must be carefully planned out.
So, I had this “travel money” fund saved up for awhile. At first I was gonna go to Vegas, but that suddenly felt dumb, since I’m not really a Vegas girl. Then, I thought I would go to San Diego by myself on a weekend I didn’t have my daughter, just because I’ve been obsessed with wanting to go there, and I felt like I was getting signs from the universe that I was supposed to go there by myself and explore, and yada yada yada, BUT…anywho, every time I was on the verge of purchasing a plane ticket to go there, I suddenly got interrupted by something–my daughter calling for me, a sudden realization that I needed to make dinner, or just a myriad of random interruptions, and the ticket NEVER got purchased. It was like the universe suddenly said, “No. Not now. San Diego is later.”
And then, one day my daughter came over to me with a piece of red construction paper. On the construction paper she had made a list. It said, “Places with an ocean I want to visit.”
Number one on the list was Florida. Next to Florida were the words, “in October.”
You see, my daughter makes plans to live even when I forget to.
At first, I told her the list was very nice and said something non-commital, like “That’s cool. We shall see what the future holds,” in my mature, parentish voice.
She explained to me that she really just “wanted to see the ocean like we did in Hawaii.”
Time went on, and I subconsciously mulled it over. Aliana put the list away, and we didn’t talk about it.
Until one Saturday when she wasn’t around, I just thought about being in the ocean, and what a wonderful thing it is to breathe in the air from the waves. And I have always felt there was something magical about water, because water washes over you and just makes you feel new.
So, I booked the plane tickets for two and a hotel on the beach. And now we are going. It’s only for three days, but it’s the OCEAN. My daughter and I are going to just BE in the ocean. We want to swim and breathe in the smell of the water and feel the sand under our feet and find rocks and shells and marvel at whatever we find marvelous.
I’m working hard to remember how important it is to live while living within my means. We must live and make plans to live. Do you know how happy I have felt during the last couple of weeks, when I paused from the rapid pace of life to anticipate this trip? Anticipation is half the fun.
I was actually getting giddy over this trip with Aliana to the point that it was annoying her. I would be tucking her in to bed at night, and saying, “Oh my gosh, I’m so excited about Florida!! We’re going to Florida!!” and she would look at me and say, in her I’m-pretending-I’m-a- teenager-for-this-moment-voice, “Yeah mom, I know. You keep saying that all the time.”
The day has come. And I’m so excited about Florida. Like, totally. Like, “Oh my gosh, I’m going to Florida and I’m going to swim in the ocean and frolic in the waves and I can’t believe I just said frolic since I’ve never used that word in my life, but I’m so excited about Florida!”