My Next Life

feet croppedIn her blog, Gretchen Rubin asks “Have you ever thought that your real life hasn’t begun yet?” This doesn’t describe me. I’ve been living my real life for a LONG time. But I do often wonder when (or whether) my “next life” has begun – you know, that life I’ve been envisioning and anticipating once the kids have all left the nest.

For years we’ve put off a lot of things, planning to do them “someday”. Traveling is definitely on the list. Over the years we’ve taken the kids on lots of family vacations – to Mexico, Canada, Florida, California, and Puerto Rico. Jay took the boys to Costa Rica about six years ago. We never took them to Europe, mostly due to the expense but also because friends/family who’ve taken their kids to Europe, when asked, advised us not to take the kids to Europe.

Anyway, we’ve been waiting for the time when we can travel, just the two of us, without worrying about leaving the kids unattended. And, now that the time is practically here I worry whether we actually will indulge ourselves. After traveling pretty extensively when I was young, I haven’t left the continent since getting married almost 28 years ago. Jay never has! Will we be able a) afford it; and b) arrange and make it happen?

Of course, we don’t have to start with expensive overseas trips. Any kind of travel without the kids is new and exciting and a step in the right direction. I’m pretty confident we’ll manage. In fact, last November, when Rachel was in Florida with her friends, Jay and I went to Newport Beach for a short three day trip. It was easy. It was relaxing. It was a blast!

Baby steps. On the itinerary for this summer is a quick road trip to Pagosa Springs to go inner tubing, then another quick road trip in August to Red River, New Mexico with some friends. And, in September, once Rachel’s actually at college, hopefully a week in Oregon.

It’s been tough keeping certain things on hold for so long. But it would be tragic if we never got around to them.

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