Should I Save or Should I Go?

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


American Idol and Pursuing Your Dreams


I’m not a singer, although I’m excited to finally be doing something┬ákaraoke┬árelated. I’ll tell you about that another day. I’ve jokingly mentioned on The Twitters that if American Idol auditions were held in my car I’d totally win because my singing is The Awesome. But only in my car. When I am alone. Somehow, it seems that when others are around I’m unable to carry a tune very well. It might be some planetary alignment thing with other people’s auras or something.

But let me just say, I’m not an American Idol watcher. My friend K sucked me into watching (or, in her words, convinced me to watch with her) the season that Fantasia won. We watched from the very first audition show to the finals. I even voted once or twice. I won’t say I was invested in the show but I watched and knew their names.

It was the only season I’ve ever watched. Part of the reason is that I hate how the show turns what should be a 1 hour show into 43 hours long. The drama, the angst, the tension, the editing for ratings. I couldn’t take it another season. But I did read updates so I could talk to K about it sometimes.

The thing is though, for some of these kids this is their someday. Their someday I’m gonna make it big. Their someday I’m going to be on TV. Their someday I’m going to become a star.

And they’ve been working on it, some for a very long time. Honing their craft is what it’s called in the industry. Working their tush off is what I’d call it.

I’ve been watching a bit of American Idol this year, thanks to K. I won’t be sucked in. (At least that’s what I’m telling myself). But I’m intrigued about what drives these contestants. Other than the promise of a recording deal if they win.

They all want this so bad. Singing is important to them. They’re doing all they can to make this dream come true. And I admire them for that. I admire them for getting up in front of a national audience of millions of people because they have a dream to make it as a singer. Knowing full well that they could be rejected. That the odds of them being rejected are very high. Very very high.

But they soldier on. They inspire others to go out and try. They are role modes to young kids who want to try and be a star. These young people are not waiting around. They’re grabbing the bull by the horns, reaching for the brass ring.

I know there are a lot of reality shows that allow people to put themselves out there. For whatever reason. I hope that the kids on Idol know that they inspire others to take risks, take chances and never give up on their dreams.

Are you being sucked into (I mean, excitedly) watching American Idol? Maybe some other reality show? But here’s the big question, would you want to be on one?