I’m feeling a bit anxious. We’ve just booked a 3 week holiday in the States for next summer, which is expensive enough anyway but with sterling as it is at the moment (picture from 123RF.com) seems a scary thing to be doing.
It is as if we have taken heed of my last blog (Just Choose Please!: 21st October) and stepped up and got on with it! We have been planning this ‘post the kids’ exams’ trip for ages, so it hasn’t been a quick decision (so we are safe from Sophocles’ prediction that quick decisions are unsafe ones). I think we are in line with Roy E Disney’s thought that
when your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier
So what are the clear Maddox values here? There are two: it is not money but what you do with it that is valuable, and that there is nothing more valuable than family time and creating memories together.
These may have been fuelled by my brush with cancer and awareness of those who have not been as lucky as me. Or by the fact that our children are actually young people with lives and ambitions of their own who will, in not too many years, be holidaying with their own families and definitely not with their parents! Or by my awareness of writers like Bronnie Ware, who has worked in palliative care for many years and created a list of dying regrets, based on the thoughts of those whom she has supported in their last days. The top 5 are:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me
I wish I didn’t work so hard
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
I wish I had stayed in touch with friends
I wish I had let myself be happier
And what’s the alternative? Wait for sterling to get stronger? That could be a long wait, and the moment will have passed.
I know I am very fortunate to have money to spend on a holiday like this, and that there will be moments when I feel anxious as the £ falls further (which I suspect it will). But we all face this dilemma often, not just about money but about how we ‘spend’ all the resources in our lives: time, relationships, energy, commitment, courage, happiness, truthfulness, love….how we choose to spend our lives themselves.
To paraphrase Jon Kabat-Zin, this present moment is all we’ve got to work with. We can choose to risk the anxiety, get on with it and enjoy the experience.
Thank you for reading this Choose You blog. Would love to hear your thoughts so do leave comments in the box below.