Sunday, November 2, 2008

To Flu Or Not To Flu

We haven't been on top of our flu shots as we have in the past, and with our big plane trip coming up, I can't help but think it might not be a bad idea. Of course, the time is past where we can schedule a visit with our doc, but as luck would have it, DHMC is offering shots today for kids and adults. I couldn't believe it when I saw it, and am grateful for the stroke of good fortune. You have to celebrate those sort of things, because they don't come around too often.

I hate to be a fear monger, but the flu really scares me. Maybe some people should spend less time so intimately with birds, it seems like it would serve their own best interest.

It's three days and counting until our Big Trip, and yesterday Ruth and I talked at length about the value of travel and why we choose to partake in it rather than buying lots of stuff, i.e., cars and toys. The reality is, we love to travel and see new places, but it's an incredible experience for both parents and kids. Let's face it, life is hard, it's so easy to get sucked into our routines and to forget about engaging our minds and, as corny as it sounds, our souls in the everyday happenings in our lives. I fall into it all the time, we are so busy, so tired, and so stressed out that we've lost sight of the important things in life. We take them for granted because we're so worried about the quotidian things, and rightly so.

But if there's one thing I've found, it's that things are never as bad as they seem, or should I say, as bad as we make them out to be. And the only way to get a grip on life is to start breaking away from your routines, take some chances, realize the risks are not life threatening, and start thinking about it some more.

It's hard to really convey in words, but suffice it to say that travel forces you to think more about life, because it is hard. Much harder than getting off the couch and out the front door. It is this process of forcing you to deal with things that you'd otherwise avoid all together that really makes one grow. Take language. How many of us put much thought into speaking? When you travel, you have to think about every word, and let me tell you, it's exhausting, but at the end of the day, you realize you can do it, or at least try, and suddenly you have a new appreciation and understanding of something you give literally no thought to each and every day.

And that's just one small thing. Either way, our kids love to travel, they look forward to it, it's such an adventure for them. I hate to admit it, but I approach each trip with trepidation, and if not for my family, I literally wouldn't go anywhere, but it's so much fun and such a great experience.

Keep in mind, I've never gone on a trip where things didn't get difficult or go wrong. It's just part of the journey, and since we opt to avoid pre-fab trips like cruises or resorts, it does get a little more tricky, but that's part of the process the we choose. We want a more genuine experience. Fancy hotels can be nice, but when you really get down to it, when you stay at places like that, it really becomes a generic experience that you could emulate anywhere, even in your own home town. You have to sweat a little to get the true experience.

One thing I find a little awkward is talking about our trips to some of our friends who don't travel. In fact, many of our friends have never left this country, and I hesitate to reveal that we're going off to Europe, again. Not that they care, they're all busy people with rich lives, but it is sort of funny. We live a frugal life, constantly challenged with only one car while borrowing expensive equipment that we don't actually own.

Let's face it, we do things the hard way, but that's our choice so we can actually live the life of our choosing. We could both work full time jobs and have lots of nice stuff, but we'd have to farm our kids out to daycare and then send them off to school, and that's just not why we became parents. In the end, I know nobody cares how we live our lives, but I know people gossip and wonder, only because I do it myself.

Whatever. To each his own. Three days and counting, I feel the stress building, though I feel much better after talking to Ruth about it. Sometimes you need to be reminded of why certain things in life are important to you.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

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