I’m chuckling because we had a Message overnight from our daughter who has been trying to plan a date to visit us this winter and has been having a dickens of a time. I know she and I share some genetic traits but I wonder if, “I was ever that way?”
She’s been with her company long enough to have generous vacation benefits. However her hubby isn’t one for vacations; he feels the need to work and sitting around doing “nothing” (at least as he sees it) isn’t for him; the result is that she gets more vacation to plan for solo time or solo trips than for joint ones. And with a management position she really needs to get away from time to time — just to maintain a sense of balance.
Two years ago when she visited she Amtrak’ed it down to San Antonio where we spent some time, then visited us in Los Fresnos, and then we took her to Galveston where she spent some time with her cousin — and flew home from Houston. It was a lot of miles in a short time, but ever so much fun.
This year she’d like to visit a friend in Austin before spending time with us, and maybe see her cousin again. But the cousin is a sailing man. He’s about to take a gig as a relief captain aboard the largest freight carrier he’s ever captained and there have been a few scheduling glitches — each one of which has thrown her attempts to make plans and buy tickets up into the air. I keep telling her that after having had a dad who was a long distance trucker for a few years she should just look at big ships as being about as reliable as trucks when it comes to making future plans — somehow, though, she fails to see the humor in that statement.
All of which makes me wonder how much like her I was when I was in mid career? I really don’t know / or can’t remember / or perhaps choose not to remember!
For one thing Peggy and I have always done everything together, aside from business. I traveled a lot through my work life — truckers don’t get to stay home (though I only did that for a few years)! I had representation jobs where I had to travel. For a good numbers of years I covered the northern 2/3 of Wisconsin for the Detroit Diesel distributor calling on governmental units, and school bus operators, trucking companies and truck dealers. I’d leave on Monday, get home on Friday and wonder where my life went. But when I was OFF — I WAS OFF!
Over the years we have had difficulties planning various trips. I think we made plans four separate years to vacation in Florida and each year just as the departure date was approaching something happened forcing us to cancel.
On the other side of the coin we have made spontaneous trips to Guadeloupe with nothing more than a single phone call for a departure later that week and to France with no idea where we were going or how we were getting there. Both of which turned out to be fantastic experiences.
Life changes, and an individual’s situation can be so varied that giving other people travel planning advice always seems to be idiotic. But that doesn’t mean we don’t sympathize. Trips can be expensive. Heck — they are ALWAYS expensive! And if you are on limited vacation time the expensive part may not be the $$$$$ it may be the rarity of time!
I do remember taking (and the planning of) trips where we tried to get in as much as we could. Now — at this time in life — those are not the trips I remember most. But I do remember the feeling of urgency to see things while I had the opportunity. I’m sure that is part of what Kathryn is picking up on. Is there a way to sidestep that feeling? I doubt it. Life is precious. Time is precious. And when you’re still working it can seem as if there isn’t enough of either.
And then along comes retirement…
In a little over five short years I seem to have been able to put much of the rat-race that had been life for so long quite out of my mind. I teased Peggy terribly some months after her retirement about some computer thing from her former job that she couldn’t remember. That wasn’t very nice of me, but it struck me how quickly a person who never liked computers could put everything she learned about them out of her mind. But the truth is — I’ve been doing the very same thing — just about other topics. We may not talk about it very much but there really are rather large cycles of life through which most of us travel — we just don’t realize we are on any lifelong journey of discovery.
I look back at how much I have changed. I used to be a lot more impulsive and a lot less patient. I was dictatorial and adamant about… well… a lot. There are times I wonder how Peggy ever put up with me all these years; and then I realize that she too has changed immensely. Most of the time I don’t think we realize how much change there has been. And certainly if we were able to be young and look “back” on our life as older adults some of us would be aghast that we ever could turn into what we have become. Yet — I’m much happier with myself now than I was when I was young. So, who cares about the wisdom of youth — age really does have some advantages: aches and pains and all.
I’m sure we’ll see Kathryn some time this winter. Eventually she’ll suss out the best of her several options and buy tickets. We’ll have a wonderful time with her for as long as we get to spend together.
The time will go by to quickly. We’ll make more wonderful memories. But for her it will be different. She’s still in the middle of that maelstrom called life and her time to see things from a different point of view is coming. Much sooner than she anticipates — I’m sure.
Yup — after the busy pace of summer, and the countless knockings on our coach door — I don’t mind at all the fact that life has slowed down. It feels funny to have someone keeping us updated on ever changing plans because even though our own plans periodically change — maybe just as many times as her’s — it seems as if our changes aren’t quite as rapid or quite as extreme. But then that’s all perception and there have been plenty of times when she has said to us: “You changed your plan AGAIN?”
I guess I was like that. Or I still am. Either way…. there’s something to genetics and it’s worth a laugh when I can see myself in my child, or my child can see herself in me.
Thanks for stopping by, I’ll be here again tomorrow. Why not stop by and say HI!