Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Day 18 & 19: Do-overs & travel

I'll just say it: I'm in a lazy summer slump right now. It's hot and humid, my kids are picking at each other constantly, and even publishing one little post didn't make it onto my bare minimum to-do list yesterday.

Ah well. We move forward. Here are two topics to consider.

First, for day 18: What if you had the power of do-overs? What decisions would you change from your past? It's a tricky question because of the ripple effect, like when someone in a movie goes back in time to change one little thing, only to realize they've changed a thousand other things as a result.
I often wish I'd started college differently, either gone somewhere else or roomed with my best friend or at least tried harder to make it work at the college I did end up attending freshman year. Instead, I decided pretty early into my first semester that I wasn't happy, and I mentally checked out. I was homesick and annoyed and didn't try very hard to be successful in my classes, because I'd already decided that I would transfer out at the end of the school year. But here comes that ripple effect, because if I had done things differently, I might not have come home and gotten that summer job at the restaurant where I met my future husband. So I guess it was ultimately a good thing that I spent a year being kind of sullen and lazy? Sure, let's go with that.

This weekend I'll be helping out at the wedding reception of my friend's daughter. I'm sure I will come away from that with a long mental list of things I wish I'd done differently at my own wedding.
For those of us doing a small budget, DIY reception in the 1990s, there was no Pinterest, y'all. There was you and your mom with a bolt of tulle fabric and a bunch of folding chairs and a friend with some DJ equipment.

Second, for day 19: What if you could travel anywhere in the world, without regard to cost or vacation days from work or any of those other practical concerns? Where would you go? Would you explore the places you haven't been yet, or go back and revisit favorite spots? Would you hop from place to place or plunk yourself on the beach somewhere and stay put for a month?

Why not make your dream travel list, as extravagant and impractical as possible, and then pick one place that is an actual possibility and start to plan for it? They say that you get almost as much joy anticipating a future event as the event itself, so even if you put it five years in the future, look at all that anticipatory joy you'll get!

I have big plans for a giant family road trip where we hit every National Park in the western United States. Matt and I recently sat down and mapped out a possible route, and it turns out you can't quite fit them all in with the number of vacation days we have available. Three parks isn't as good as fifteen parks, but it's better than no parks, am I right?

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