I haven’t really been working this week. Instead of being hunched over my laptop, I’ve been doing a lot of other things that make me happy. Like visiting my grandmother in Ohio for her 64th birthday. Yes, she’s a young Grama LOL! Me and mom flew out to celebrate our favorite girl and it was a lovely trip. In my first proud travel hacking moment, I was able to find a last minute roundtrip flight on United for only $160 from DC to Cleveland! *dusts shoulders off*
(Turns out all the travel bloggers are right. It pays to sign up for ALL the airline newsletters as they often have great sales or last minute fares!)
We took Grama to Pier W in Lakewood, Ohio for a special birthday brunch buffet! I highly recommend it if you’re ever in the Cleveland area. It’s a fantastic seafood restaurant right on the lake. Man, I still can’t believe it only cost $35 a person for all the amazing food we ate there. AND it included a mimosa!
Me and Grama are both on a pescatarian diet and we LOVED this seafood bouillabaisse. I enjoyed two bowls of it with slices of grilled french bread.
I may have also possibly fallen in love with these waffles.
Mom had to get back home to work with her personal training clients, but I stayed another couple days with Grama eating good food, going to the movies and drinking “pop.” We went to see Dark Shadows and Think Like a Man – both her choices. I remember when I was a kid, it was all about what I wanted to do. Now that I’m grown, it’s all about what Grama wants to do! Turns out I enjoyed both films. They both had plenty of funny moments, though Think Like a Man was pretty predictable, even without all the hype around Steve Harvey’s strangely popular book. To me, it was really just a 2012 version of Two Can Play That Game.
When I visit Grama, I make it a point to prepare at least one healthy meal for her. It’s become our “thing” now, me cooking for her. This time around, it was this awesome spinach salad that I replicated from a dinner I had at the JW Marriott in DC recently. Baby spinach, candied pecans, dried apricots, balsamic vinagarette and crumbled feta (or goat) cheese.
For the entree, I made roasted vegetable spaghetti which is really just zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes and garlic coated in olive oil, roasted for 20 minutes and tossed with whole wheat spaghetti.
As I fixed Grama’s plate for our dinner, I thought of how fortunate I was to be able to have this time with her. I also realized that my trip was not a “vacation,” it was just part of my LIFE. This is my life! I get to decide how I spend my time. I get to determine whether I’ll enjoy it while I still have breath in my body or if I’ll be laying on my deathbed, regretting everything I missed out on.
Are you spending enough time with the people who really matter to you?
If not, it’s time to get out your calendar. Look at the next 7 months of the year. Pencil in all the things you said you wanted to do, all the people you were going to see while you were still tipsy off that New Year’s Eve champagne on January 1, 2012. Block out time to talk to your brother, to finally take that roadtrip to see your favorite cousin. Make a recurring appointment to call your mom every week. Set a lunch date with your sister on Fridays at noon. Go for a walk with your significant other in the morning just to talk and listen to the birds calling your names.
Make time for the people who really matter.
As for me, one of my priorities is to spend as much time with my grandmother as I can before she gets too old to remember anything. We’ve always been close, but time just goes so fast…
Although, if you look at our actions, it’s clear that many of us think we have forever. We make plans for “next year” like it’s guaranteed we’ll be here then. How arrogant of us, to think we have all the time in the world!
I earned less money in my business last year, but right now, I don’t want to think about that. I want to think about what I gained from not working as much, from turning down opportunities I really didn’t want. I gained more time to spend with the people who really matter to me. And time is the most precious resource any of us have.
The only problem is, none of us actually knows how much of it we have left.