- DD1 = Dear first daughter
- DD2 = Dear second daughter
- DD3 = Dear third daughter
- DH = Dear husband
Don’t they look happy up there? They are DD1 and DD3. It’s been a time of relative extravagance around here, and it’s been lovely.
Travel (and dreams . . . )
Shortly after last Christmas, DH and I realized that it would be best to cancel our planned trip to Orlando with our three daughters this year. We were going to piggy-back a family vacation onto DH’s annual business trip in July, but with the plummeting Canadian dollar, it just wasn’t turning out to be a good idea. Consolation prize? We gave each daughter a round-trip flight:
- DD2 flew to Alberta to compete in Nationals/Olympic trials for track & field. (Unfortunately, she pulled her hamstring.) While DD2 wasn’t a contender for the Olympics, it was wonderful for her to meet and compete against Olympians and to get a taste of her dream for greater excellence in her sport.
- DD3 flew to British Columbia for two weeks to visit with DD1 (who has lived there for 5 years going to school and working). In the photo above, DD1 and DD3 are on a ferry on their way to Salt Spring Island. I LOVE it that they’re getting this time together. And I’m thrilled for DD3, taking her first big trip on her own. Although we provided the flight, she’s paying for everything else with money she has earned and saved. A little while ago, she filled me in on her ever-changing plans for her future: “Mom, I think what I’ll do for a few years is work to save money to travel, and then travel, and then work to save for more travel . . .” Now, she’s getting a little taste of that dream.
- DD1 will fly home in August for a week. DD1 recently made the decision to go back to school, and she’ll be starting law school in September. Her trip home will be like a bookmark between the end of one chapter of her life and the start of the next.
DH and I didn’t fly anywhere, but with our nest empty, we did take a road trip to visit DH’s brother and sister-in-law in a city 7 hours away. While there, we visited a theatre town called Stratford (also famous for being the birthplace of Justin Bieber), where we watched Shakespeare in Love. We have only seen two plays in our 4 years of debt-reduction. It was so nice to just sink into the wining and dining my brother- and sister-in-law treated us to, and to take in such a fun and wonderfully staged performance. Some day, I dreamed, there’ll be a whole lot more of this . . .
The guitar (and more dreams)
DH’s brother is a collector of guitars, and one day while we were going for a walk, we went into a music store. DH and his brother went to the acoustic guitar section and started sampling. They were having a brother-bonding time of it, and I wandered around the store to try out some digital pianos. When I came back, my brother-in-law’s eyes were shining, and DH looked overcome with emotion. “That,” said DH’s brother, “is a picture of a man falling in love with a guitar.” He had an empathy for DH in that moment to which I just couldn’t relate.
Apparently, DH had found the one. A Taylor 810CE to be exact. About $5,000 worth of guitar. And DH has a plan to save for it – all according to budget (of course!). DH is much better with his discretionary money than I am, and now he’s got a goal for it. Within a year, he hopes to bring his new love home. Since we returned from our trip, he’s been practicing with new purpose. He wants to be worthy of his dream guitar.
“Can you imagine . . .”
J. Money recently wrote a post over at Budgets are Sexy about our ability to dream: “Can you imagine . . .” Responding to the incredible imagination of his 4-year-old son, Jay said, “The truth is though, this dreaming is SO GOOD for us – especially as we get older . . .”
We’ve taken a brief step out of full-on frugal mode around here – to travel, visit, indulge, and dream. And I think it’s been good for all long-term goals involved. I CAN imagine how life will be once we’re debt-free. And I’m looking forward to it. At least as much as DD3 is looking forward to her years of travel . . . and DD2 is looking forward to competing internationally . . . and DD1 is looking forward to a change of direction and a new start . . . and DH is looking forward to that guitar. And just as DH is practicing more diligently, I’m ready to frugal down again – with a determination that only comes when you’ve tasted what it is you’re after.
Do you think it’s a good idea to “step out of frugal mode” on occasion? Do dreams always have a positive impact? Or can they be a negative force? Your comments are welcome.