Alex picked me up for lunch today with a gleam in his eye and an extra bounce in his car-dancing moves (thank you, 50-cent, for giving the man something to move to--the world would be a less entertaining place without Alex's groove!). It appears that Alex's bosses have finally agreed to give him what he was been after as long as I've known him--a trip to China! He'll spend the next three weeks setting up interviews and picking up essential phrases ("too expensive!" "bathroom?" "Do you have any triple-chocolate ice cream?") and then it's off to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Beijing for two weeks of fantabulous adventures (mixed in with a little work to keep the bosses happy).
What does this have to do with me, aside from me needing a little extra love and attention while the hubster is gone for two weeks? We're actually considering . . . (wait for it) . . . me going along!
With all that's happened financially in the last six months, a spur-of-the-moment trip to China hardly seems like the responsible, or even sane, thing to do. We've already ear-marked the extra freelance money and our yet-to-arrive rebate check for paying down medical bills. The smart thing would be for us to celebrate this amazing opportunity for him to finally go to China and make sure that we've worked out the time difference so that he can recount all his adventures to me while I listen whilst massaging my sore calves and quads. Sore because I'm training. For that little race in California. That I shouldn't be missing practices for. In fact, him going alone would be like them PAYING us while he's away b/c I wouldn't spend any money without him apart from what it takes for the gas to get to and from work.
And yet still, here we are, actually figuring out the logistics of the 30-hour flights, the 3-4 day stay (is it still worth it if total travel time is roughly equivalent to total time spent at the destination?), the hotels, the sightseeing goals. I know it's not the responsible thing to do. I can hear my dad's financially sound chastisements already. And he's right. We have other responsibilities right now. Life isn't all about what's "fun." We aren't playing our hand the safest way right now. We're not really hedging our bets. (Okay, enough poker metaphors.)
When it comes down to it, and I think about 5, 10, 25, 50 years from now, or even 2 years from now when we'll (hopefully) be knee deep in diapers and tears (from the baby and us...the tears, that is, not the diapers) and a little extra money in the bank or our pockets would come in MIGHTY nice, I know deep down that we won't be sitting around thinking that we would have traded the trip for an extra $1,000. Because really, you'll never have enough money, and you'll always have enough money.
If you're still not convinced, maybe your all-American deep-rooted respect for the sagacity of Mark Twain will move you to agree with me:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do. So throw off the bowliness. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
It's not a done deal yet, but it's looking good enough for us to get visas (the travel documents, not the plastic-rectangles-of-terror).