Sometimes things that could be so simple turn into such dramatic and stressful events.
Why is that?
A month and a half ago, I asked my boss, in a nonchalant manner, "So, what are the chances of me not working the day after X-mas." He practically laughed me out of the room. "Don't even ask that. There is just no way." he said.
You may be wondering why do I want the day after X-mas off? After all, it's not even my holiday. Well, my extended family generally has a "Holiday Party" every year in Columbia at my cousins house. I have fond memories of this party growing up but the memories taper off as the years went by. Not because the parties stopped but because I stopped going. Last year I was working at Kohl's and couldn't get the day off, the year before I was coming to St. Louis soon after when my bro and sis-in-law would be there. The year before that I was in New York, the year before that in Israel, the year before that New York, the 2 years before that in Israel. So it's been at least 7 years since I have gone to this party. And while I am not terribly close with my extended family, I really do miss them. I think slowly I have been drifting away from my family - and not neccesarily looking back..... But I am not happy about that. I don't know if my change in attitude is because now I have a son and I would like him to know my family too. Or if it was a real eye-opener when I hardly heard from anyone after he was born. You may say well that's really obnoxious of your family but when was the last time I called any of them??? And no, I didn't send out Announcements when Jonah was born so maybe they didn't even know for awhile.
My brother from Seattle is going to be at the party. My cousin from Paris will be there. My cousin who is fighting cancer will be there. Family from Oregon, California, Nashville, Florida, St. Louis, and elsewhere will ALL be there!
Whatever the case may be, it's time for me to reconnect with my family. And it looked like it was going to have to wait this year. Because according to Kohl's, there was NO way that I would get that day off. SO - I did not purchase the $80 tickets that they had on special......
Today I walk into work and check the schedule book - lo and behold, guess who is not working the day after X-mas! Yup, it's me. ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had just checked ticket prices yesterday - I don't know why. I suppose I was still hoping. Thinking maybe there was some early early morning flight on Monday or late late Sunday night flight that I could catch. Or maybe I wouldn't be scheduled until Monday afternoon. The tickets were $189. So, the price had already jumped up $109!!
I got home from work and jumped on the computer. Cheapest tickets I could find $233!! GULP. That would get me in Saturday night and back out on Monday night. And it's just me and Jonah. No way could we afford $466!! I went back and forth and up and down. Thought about flying, driving, trains, busses. Take a trip to Chicago with Shauli for the weekend and then head down to St. Louis - fly back from there. Go with Shauli the entire trip but that meant an 11 hour car ride on Monday with my 15 month old in the back seat. Yikes.
I talked to my mom who talked with my step-dad and that whole conversation because one big drama!!! I talked to my friend who was also going to St.Louis that weekend to see if I could convince her to drive there with me.
I was at the computer and on the phone for HOURS. Brought to tears at one point.
Gosh, how I hate MONEY and the stress it causes.
Bottom line. For a month now I had been saying, the only think stopping me from going to the party is the fact that I have to work on Monday. POOF - I didn't have to work Monday but it would cost me $150 more. We certainly don't have $150 to just throw around. So then I thought of taking it out of my savings. Should I? Shouldn't I? Am I crazy?
After a LOT of discussion and a LOT of thinking I decided to go for it. I knew if I didn't, I would regret it. I had learned this lesson once before with my friend's second wedding. I decided not to go for various reasons and really regretted that decision. But it was too late. I did not want to make that mistake again. Look back on it and think WHY didn't I go? Why did I let something like MONEY get in the way of FAMILY? Why did I let another year go by slipping further away from my family? It's just not worth it.
So I bought the ticket. And Jonah and I are flying out Saturday night, coming back Monday night. The money issue will work out. My mom and step-dad are helping out with part of it and I talked with my step-dad and we cleared the air so there aren't any bad feelings between us. PHEW!
Granted, it won't be the easiest trip I have taken. Just me and Jonah, weird flight times, holiday party, no kosher food, etc etc. But I know that it will be worth it. I am already SOO happy to be going. I made the RIGHT decision.
But do you realize how much simpler life would have been if I had just made those tickets a month and a half ago???? If Kohl's had even hinted that maybe I could get the day off. WOW, would we have avoided a lot of drama!
Oh well. Such is life.