Thursday, February 12, 2009

Isn't this supposed to be RELAXING?

Each year, III and I go on vacation during the middle of February. I have a week break from school, and since for most of my other vacations we are visiting family, we try to take advantage of the February break to take a trip, just the two of us. I love "Vacation III" as I call him. When he is away from home he can really relax. His work phone isn't ringing, his blackberry isn't beeping... he is really off duty and is like a different person. Living in an area where February weather can be frigid, we also like to go south and try to be somewhere warm.

This year we're headed to Florida. Unfortunately, Florida has had a cold snap of its own. Last week I heard it was in the FIFTIES. Of course, that still means no snow or ice, which is an improvement on where we are now, but I was hoping for beach weather. This week seems to be better- mid to high 70s which works for me at the beach. But, so far next week they are predicting in the 60s. High enough to spend time outside but possibly not beach weather...

I find it ironic that we plan a vacation to be able to really relax, but leading up to the vacation stresses me out. I have SO MUCH TO DO in the next two days. Some of it is vacation (and vanity) related (manicure, pedicure, bikini wax), some are vacation logistics (laundry, packing, making the list for the dog sitter), and some aren't related to vacation at all but need to be done before we leave for a week (B-dog's lymphoma treatment, straightening up the house). I'm way behind on grading papers and that's probably not going to get done (as I sit here typing on my blog instead of grading quizzes- have I yet mentioned I'm a master procrastinator? It's one of my major faults.)

I'm also stressed about the money that will be spent this week. We planned the vacation back in August, and it really benefits our relationship to take this time away together. But B-dogs vet bills are now up to about $3500. I just overdrew our checking account, raking in $200 in bank fees. The most frustrating part of that is that we HAD the money- we had $4000 in our savings account and two days after the overdraw we had over $2000 in our checking as well... it was just poor planning on my part, which makes me crazy. Dealing with the finances was much easier when I was the only one doing the spending!!! Now that there are two busy adults it's so much harder to keep track. My finances have always been a big deal and my ability to balance them has always been a sense of pride. It pisses me off when I mess up like this.

So our vacation will just add more money we will need to pay. Flights are already paid for, but we will have the hotel, the rental car, and any food to pay for after the vacation.

I shouldn't complain because there are people who literally don't have the money, and we actually have a chunk of savings that is our "don't touch" money. We'll probably have to touch it this month. But I am fully aware that there are people who can't pay their mortgages and utility bills- vacation isn't even an option for them. My complaint isn't really about spending the money, it's about how stressful it makes me feel. I can't imagine the level of stress if we were really struggling with money.

I do understand the struggling with money, though. My stress and anxiety comes from experiencing that myself for many years. When I was growing up, my dad didn't like his job and wasn't very good at it. He didn't make much of a yearly salary, and my mom worked in a pre-school, which is a very limited salary as well. We were always worried about money. Once I left to go to college at 18, I was basically on my own financially. I had scholarships and loans, but i got very little money from my parents. I had 3 jobs my senior year of college. I was that ramen-noodle-eating young professional my first year of teaching, living with 4 other women in a crappy falling down victorian house for $400 a month (which, in the area where I live is cheap!). I worked several jobs for years and years to save money, first to pay off my credit card debt (which came only from my post college set up- buying a bed, etc after moving out of the dorms), putting money towards my student loans, paying living expenses, all while trying to save money to put a downpayment on a condo.

So even though we are comfortable and don't have to worry about where money for the mortgage, groceries, medications, etc are coming from, there is still this trigger in my head that sees "OVERDRAFT NOTICE" and panics.

So anyway, this post has become really long, but the point is my vacation is stressing me out. Hopefully, the actual week that we are on vacation will be the relaxing time together than we have planned. I'm just hoping I won't lose my mind before we get there!!!!

1 comment:

marc aurel said...

I hope you get your place in the sun. What I think is best about do nothing holidays is when you are so relaxed as to be completely bored. Then you emrge from a kind of sluggish sleepiness with the thought that after all it might be nice to get back to work.