Oh sure...like a duck, things may seem placid, and maybe even a little serine above water.
Below the surface, I'm swimming like mad!
Well, I'm a firm believer in assessing the current situation before launching a new plan. Sounds reasonable enough, right?
Then I said it out loud.
This round the world dream I've been harboring for a while now...the words escaped my mouth, I've launched it into cyberspace, and now I need a plan.
But when I put pen to paper and started to asses my current state...things started to get a little shaky.
Quite laughable, really.
I can hear the financial planners of the world collectively frowning and with a loss for words...simply utter, "Tsk, tsk, tsk."
The ghost of my mother...who, I might add, is still alive...in that gentle, yet disapproving voice nudges me, "Oh honey, be reasonable."
Good ole' Mom.
She's the first person to say it's impossible.
It can't be done.
And consequently, now she's the last one to hear about my plans.
In fact, she makes a mean cocktail that'll bring you to your knees (Careful here, it sneaks up on you):
One part legacy of fear (aged 60 years)
Mixed with a dash of morbid curiocity
Garnish with a twist of my father's reproach
Suddenly, Mom's nagging voice is in my head again, "And how do you really think you're going to make that happen?"
Short answer? I have no idea.
You see....here's the deal. For the past year, I've been living the dream life. Truly. If I told you everything, you'd never believe me.
For the experience of a lifetime? I happily paid my admission.
But to put it mildly, let's just say....it wasn't exactly a lucrative year. (Insert laughter here)
I was okay with that...until I decided to get greedy and ask for an even better year...sometime in the not-too-distant future.
So call me greedy.
I figure you've got one shot in this world, and I'm going for it. Besides, I've already reconciled with the fact that I'll never be rich.
But when the reality check set in and I looked at the damage from the past year...the mounting credit card debt, student loans, and a few other miscellaneous details beginning with dollar signs...it all looks quite daunting.
Said reality check was further enlightened when a friend of mine asked innocently, "So, how much do you think you'll spend on your trip?"
Um. I don't know.
Never mind that the person asking...was someone I've dined lavishly with over the past year. And that's the same friend who spends more on his discretionary lifestyle than I earned the two previous years combined.
Yes, I've been playing with the high rollers.
And moderation is in order here.
But when I finally embark on this journey, do I really want to live so lean...that I never eat at a fabulous restaurant? Not really.
So, you see, the reality check hit home.
At this moment, I really want to be like Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind.
She's a fallen from grace Southern Belle...out standing in a barren field under the hot sun. Fully aware that she has no real prospects...other than certain and daunting challenges ahead. In the depth of her family's despair, everyone turns to her for an answer, "But Scarlett...what are we going to do?"
Exhausted, she replies, "I'll think about that tomorrow."
And that's exactly what I'm going to do.
I'll think about it tomorrow.