Tuesday, November 2, 2010

As Our Vacation Winds Down: An Update

We have less than a week to go before the end of our vacation and we end up back in cold, rainy Washington. Here's what's happening of late (some money lessons included):
  • I have been pondering the idea of what I will do with my job (or what it will do with me) when I get back next week. I have decided that I will terminate my contract with the business that I work for, therefore ending my eight year term with them. I love the work but with all kinds of upheaval going on and with the person I used to report to being replaced with two people that I literally can't stand being in the same room with, I think this is best for all. My business mentor/really good friend agrees whole heartedly with me, saying that the environment is so toxic there she can't believe I would even consider staying. Hubby was less enthusiastic but supportive nonetheless, and my conscience seems to think this is the best course of action for me even though it seems pretty crazy to leave a job, any job, during one of the worst times for unemployment in recent history. I am hoping that the universe will consider my actions brave and present me with some wonderful opportunities.

  • Real life intervened in our pretty much idyllic vacation a couple of days ago when my SIL's receptionist had a severe aneurysm and nearly died. She is still in a coma in the hospital and while I didn't know her very well, she seemed very nice (and very young and healthy at about 45 years old!) so it was really a shock for everyone. Lots of money lessons came to mind including how her family will be able to make due without her income, how her family has so many additional expenses (hotel by the hospital, gas to get back and forth from home to the hospital a couple hours away, food, etc) that they weren't expecting, who will take care of her four children, whether or not she has health/disability insurance, etc. You never really think about these things until a big, tragic event suddenly happens and people are left to sort out the details. I guess I should really start planning what I/the hubby would do if such a thing happened to one of us.

  • Our expenses have gone up. The first part of our vacation was spent vegging out at one SIL's home. We didn't do much and we had few expenses as the SIL treated us to nearly everything (dinners out, shopping, etc). The next part of our vacation took place on a cruise ship so all expenses (lodging, food, entertainment, etc) were paid in advance with the cost of the cruise. During the actual cruise we may have spent $75 total. Now that we are in New England with more than 50 family members and friends, our costs have risen because people take turn treating each other to meals out, we pay for gas to get around the city and go to other states to do tourist stuff, we have lots of nieces and nephews around so we tend to treat them (like skating a few days ago), we are doing some cooking at home but buying food, especially meat, in bulk can get spendy...you get the idea.

  • We've had an interesting insight into how "the rich" live. We, like most of the family, do OK but some of the family that have come in from LA, Manila, and Hong Kong are decided wealthy. And it is interesting to watch how they do things. One cousin was talking to a friend and told him that he should come over for dinner with the family. So the guy did. He showed up about five hours later, after having hopped on a plane and flown in from Chicago. Now when I make dinner reservations, they usually include a short drive to the nearest city, not a plane ride half way across the country at a moment's notice. Another cousin literally doesn't know how to use a vacuum cleaner or wash dishes. She has a full staff that does every thing for her--her maids even wrapped a huge suitcase of gifts that she doled out to everyone and packed her suitcases! She is very nice but a bit odd. She avoids light in general, especially the sun but even direct light from light fixtures lest her porcelain skin get any sort of tan. She is very charming and we find her eccentric and amusing.

  • I have decided that this is how I want to live. Much more travel, much less worry about mundane stuff like home repairs, who's doing what at work, what TV shows are going to be on, etc. Some people crave stability and a home. I have had that and it seems like I get so caught up in "normal" stuff that I miss life. I like a life that includes meeting new and interesting people, living on the spur of the moment (the family saying is that if you don't like the day's plans, just wait a few minutes because they will change), and enjoying new experiences (we've had so many over the last month that I've lost count!).

Now, the challenges are many. How do we disconnect from the life we have had for 20 years? How do I cut loose from a job that provides a good income (I guess I will see in a week or so) as well as from my many community obligations? How do we generate an income and where will we live? Will we miss having a stable but boring existence? Can we travel yet settle down for a few months at a time so we can have the best of both worlds? I guess these things remain to be seen.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you sound like you're pretty much in the same space I was a couple months ago. I'm sure your change will be positive and at least you have a supportive husband.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the employment opportunities; there are still jobs if you are willing to accept one that is "beneath" your usual standard. The problem with the rate of unemployment for some (not all) is that we have become so spoiled that we think we "deserve" a job of a certain stature and refuse to take what is available to pay the bills. If you are not prideful (as I am not), I think you will find you have nothing to worry about in terms of bringing in enough income to pay your essential bills.

    You vacation sounds like it was great fun! Sorry to hear about SIL's receptionist. That is so sad...it really makes us realize how precious and uncertain life is.