They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
It’s been several days since I posted, for a few reasons. While I was on vacation in St. Kitts, I spent time recharging and rethinking things. I had plenty of time to reflect on my life – while horseback riding in the rainforest, while relaxing in the spa, while floating in the waves of the Caribbean. Lots of time to think. Since then, I’ve been on a quest to reorient my life in a way that will help me achieve my goals.
- Europe Trip:
Now that I’ve returned from my Caribbean trip, it’s time to continue planning the Europe trip for next year. But now, instead of a mother/daughter trip, my brother might want to come along too. I’m a little torn about this – I was really looking forward to having a mother/daughter adventure, but I do get along fairly well with my brother, and he has never been to Europe either. I would be upset if he excluded me from a father/son trip to Europe since I have never crossed the pond, so the plans for this trip might need to be altered. He’s not sure if he can get the time off of work during the busy season though, so this is still up in the air (which makes planning the trip more difficult).
- Fitness: Ever since I got back from St. Kitts, I’ve been thinking about my fitness level. One of things I would have enjoyed doing was hiking to the summit of the 3,000 foot volcano on the island of St. Kitts. But given my current level of fitness, it would have been a struggle to hike for 4+ hours in the heat and humidity. I do not want to be limited in my activities by my physical abilities. One of the places on my “bucket list” is Machu Picchu – there is no way I would be able to comfortably hike that mountain right now. I would survive it, but barely.
My fitness level needs to improve before I can consider doing any of those things. Earlier this year, I was in a great fitness groove – going to a “boot camp”, frequenting the gym, eating well, all that good stuff. But after I broke my foot this year, things went downhill and I’ve struggled to get back on track. So I made some major changes – I switched gyms last week to one that is more convenient to my daily commute; I have been waking up at 5am to hit the gym and shower before work; my husband and I have cut back dramatically on the empty calories we used to get from drinking beer.
This is a major effort, and I want to make sure it succeeds. So most of the time I had been devoting to writing for my blog has been channeled into working out or going to bed early so I can wake up at 5am. I need a few weeks to set a good habit before I can take it a little easier on myself, so posting will be a little sporadic for the next two weeks.
- Career Advancement:
In addition to the changes in fitness, and my love of travelling, things have been crazy at work. This is an excellent problem to have, because it means my boss is giving me much more responsibility and an increased workload. I need to be able to handle it if I ever want to be in his position as a project manager (which I do – I’ve been working toward that for nearly a decade now if you include college and internships). I also have a huge deadline coming up to apply to take the PE test (Professional Engineer’s test, a massive 8 hour licensing exam). Much of my free time is taken up with the massive application package or studying for the exam in April.
- Life Plans:
Beyond work, my husband and I have decided to become “old people” as he likes to call it. By that, we mean more mature and settled. We have a lot of friends our age (mid- to late-20s) who are still living the live we lived in college. They go to work every day, but most are still single and spend the evenings/weekends partying or something similar. One friend in particular is around 30 (my husband will be 30 in less than 30 months) and still acts like he is 22. We aren’t trying to pass judgement on that, as it is a fun lifestyle and he seems to enjoy it. But it isn’t really working for us anymore.Since we were dating, and since we got married, I held the firm opinion that we would wait to start having kids until I was around 30 years old, but that we wouldn’t wait much longer past that. I wanted to have time to advance my career and pay down my student loans, so that when I have to take some time off of work or spend money on daycare and education, we would be in a better place. We didn’t want to wait too long, though, because the risks get greater with age. While I still have a good amount of time (I’ve got 3 1/2 years until I turn 30), something that monumentous requires a good deal of planning.
I want to be fit and healthy when it’s time to have kids (See Item #1 on this list). We want to pay down most of our student loans (combined we have around $120k remaining). We possibly want to buy a house – we tried to earlier this year but the deal didn’t happen, so we’re reconsidering if we want to jump in again. We want to modify as many of our bad habits as possible so we don’t pass on habits like addiciton or poor fitness. My husband is reconsidering his career path, because he definitely won’t want to be doing his current strenuous job when he is 40.
Lots of things are going on in my life, and I’m glad I had the chance to reflect on them while in St. Kitts. I felt more mentally recharged after I got back then I have in years. It was great – that’s the whole point of a vacation!
Do you use your vacations as a time to relax and reorient yourself, or do you use them as a way to energize and double down on your current path?