May 31, 2011

Should I Save or Should I Go?

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Piggy Bank with Hammer photo

Did you get The Clash reference? If so, definitely pat yourself on the back! It’s this phrase that zips around my brain far more than I’d really like.

I’m a saver. I was brought up as a saver and it’s how I roll. CycleGuy has left the dark side and after almost 24 years together is a pretty good saving jedi. Except when it comes to experiences. When it comes to things though, it’s taken awhile but they don’t catch his eye as much as they used to.

CycleGuy was raised by the yoda of spendthrifts. Mama-San could probably convince a homeless man to give her a dollar. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mother in law very much. I even like her a lot. But when it comes to the spend – save dichotomy we’re like BP and the Louisiana Gulf Coast. And while I respect her need to spend, I’m not sure if she respects my need to save. To her, I’m more of a hoarder.

So nearly a quarter of a century of togetherness has allowed both CycleGuy and I to gain both the respect and understanding for the other person’s spending habits that are needed to avoid making money a point of contention.With money issues being one of the leading causes of divorce, it’s easy to understand that it takes a lot of work by both people to maintain common ground. I’m determined not to let money be an issue, even when it’s because of my crazy saving habits.

Where am I going with this? Well, it’s about experiences. What if you’re invited to go somewhere that is not an everyday occurrence? What if you had been invited to the inauguration? The royal wedding? Would you go? Think back to high school and how we begged our parents to come up with the money for an out of town trip.

I think of the kids who spend a year fundraising so they can march in the Rose Parade. Pay money, lots of money, to be hot and sweaty. And yet so uplifted. So uplifted that 20 years later they’ll tell anyone and everyone they were in the Rose Parade. Heck, they’ll be 50 years old watching the Rose Parade with their grandkids and telling them about the time they were in the Rose Parade.

Sometimes there is no next time. It’s a now or never option. Kind of like the spring trip to Italy BabyGirl and I will take. There isn’t an option to wait and save and think and ponder and work the numbers. It’s a question of are you in or not. And thanks to CycleGuy’s belief that life is to be experienced, it was a no brainer for him. Me? Well, that’s probably going to be weeks, if not months, of therapy right there!

As I hemmed and hawed over the weekend about a travel opportunity, for CycleGuy there wasn’t even a moment of hesitation. Go! Then there was me and my personal game of 20,000 questions. It’s the reason I never could get a Magic 8 Ball. Because I’d just be shaking that crazy thing until I finally broke it open and got the answer I thought I should get.

Theoretically, I know life is to be lived and experienced. Unfortunately, sometimes I can’t break out of my savings paradigm and throw caution to the wind and just go. In my mind I can do that. And I can encourage other people to take the leap. But when I comes to me, I can find every reason not to do something.

Fortunately, I, too, have learned something in the past 20-plus years with CycleGuy. Life isn’t about being able to tell stories of ‘what if’ or ‘I almost’ or ‘I could have’. Life is about being able to share stories of living, doing and experiencing. No amount of money when I’m 60 will make up for not having said yes when my savings account is telling me no.

This weekend I realized that sometimes Someday is staring me in the face and I’m not wearing my glasses!

Do you ever ponder, weigh, evaluate and think and rethink whether you should do something? How do you feel when you’ve passed on an opportunity but deep down really wanted to say yes?

Photo Credit: Public Domain

Sara

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Carrie May 31, 2011 at 10:40 am

i think cycleguy should go to italy with you :)

i’ve been spending a lot more since the cancer because i got smacked in the face with an i could be out of “someday” moment. i’m still living within my means and my net worth is still increasing but i’m enjoying myself and enjoying living life a whole lot more now.
Carrie recently posted..Seeking Volunteer Work in the Cancer Space

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