When I attended the convention in Salt Lake City, I met deaf people from all over the world, doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, managers, business owners, psychologists, pilots, you name it. They were "like me". I enjoyed meeting many of them and socializing with them while they were here. I also enjoyed the professional sessions at the convention for educators of the deaf, as well seeing all the families that were there, the parents involved with the parent sectors brought their families and their kids bonded while involved in activities created kids to do while their parents were in sessions. I found out that many of the deaf people knew each other because when they were very young, they initially came with their parents and AG Bell was their family vacations every 2 years. As adults, they stayed involved in the "deaf sector" of AG Bell and loved to come and reconnect with everyone. I wanted to become part of this group and go back every two years to reconnect with friends old and new and build relationships. However, finances always seemed to drive me, and I never made it back to another convention.
When I first got the convention information in the mail for this year's conventiion a couple of months ago, I studied it all closely and then realized, my dream was going to be deferred again. No convention in Milwaukee for me. Earlier this week afterI got my IRS stimulus payment and put it in the bank, into the various savings accounts I now have, I found myself going back and re-thinking it again, maybe I could go. I went online and was looking at the cost of everything all together. Then I decided again, "No, this is just too much money!" I'll take too much of this money I'm starting to be able to save." So dream deferred again.
Today I worked my weekend job at the post office. When I'm keying mail, a lot of it is hypnotic and relaxing in a way, and your mind is free to ponder, or meditate, if you will. Most of the people are listening to audiobooks or music while they work, but I was thinking. Once again, the convention popped into my mind. I spent a bit of time meditating, pondering and looking at it from different angles. I really feel like I am supposed to go to this convention. You know how you feel something is just right for you? This is one of those things. I believe in listening to that inner voice. (An example from just two days ago: It was that inner voice that made me come home earlier than I had planned on Thursday, and it was the right thing, as I wouldn't have been home to help with everything when Dalia had her seizure, if I'd followed my original plan to work late.) Inside me, something is telling me I need to go.
I thought about how much money it would take and if I had the money. The truth is, between the various savings accounts I've set up that have grown recently, and including the IRS payment, I do have the money. However, I'd take away all the progress I have been making in saving recently, something I was proud of. Given I've always had difficulties with finances, wasn't it better to keep the money?
Then I thought about the journey of renovating my life. What is my goal in the renovation process? I'm attempting to re-create my life, to take the caterpiller and turn it into a beautiful butterfly. To be the person I've always wanted to be and never thought I could be. There is a journey that I need to go on, a person I'm trying to evolve into. Is it better for this journey to not touch the savings I'm building, or to finally go back to an AG Bell Convention? I analyzed the pros (positives), spent time trying to look at things the cons in different ways. Here are my pros:
- I've always wanted to travel, to see other parts of the country, I actually want to take a road trip and see other parts of the US. I've never taken a road trip, thinking I couldn't because I had no family to do it with, and my friends were married and only taking trips with their family. So I figured I couldn't.
- For 15 years, I've spent a lot of summers hibernating, isn't it time to actually DO some thing besides hibernate because I'm poor? Basically shouldn't I grab the bull by the tail and take a chance, rather than have another summer of life passing me by?
- I need people and connections in my life. They carry me on the journey I need to take. What connections might I make when I'm at the convention? What new friends might I meet that will guide me onwards to the new phase in my life?
- Most importantly, taking this chance, being positive there's a way to do it may be part of "attracting positive things" into my life (see yesterday's post titled Gratitude). How many years have I said, "No, I can't"? Isn't it time to say "Yes, I CAN, then figure out a way to make it happen?"
When I look at the difficulties/cons/negatives, I realize that I CAN work extra shifts this summer to replenish the money I take from what little savings I have. So there's a way around that. At least this year, I actually do have enough savings on hand to do it. The hotels in Milwaukee all appear to be booked for the dates of the convention, but it will be ok to stay further away if I need to travel in each day from whatever suburb I'll end up in. Maybe it will (or won't) be cheaper. I CAN invite all the people that might enjoy going, and see if anyone of my friends or families would like to join me on the road trip. If anyone bites and wants to go, then we can share gas costs and motel costs, if not, I can still do it. I CAN also check out with the rental car companies and see if anyone rents hybrids. If they do, it might be cheaper to rent a car. Even if they don't rent out hybrids, maybe I can rent a car with such good gas mileage, it would save over taking my SUV. So even with gas prices at an all time high, I CAN do it. I CAN check online and look for Motel 6 and other cheap but decent quality hotels I can find along the way and in or around Milwaukee. I CAN send an email to the my boss (he's over volunteers in Utah) for Cochlear Americas and ask if they will sponsor any/all of the registration fee in return for me agreeing to volunteer some time to man the Cochlear booth. If that doesn't work out, I CAN look into seeing if I can get a break on the registration fee by volunteering to help with the convention.
Do you see the direction I'm going in. Instead of looking for all the reasons of why I can't, and dropping the idea as I've always done in the past, I think it's crucial for my own personal growth to actually say I CAN, to be positive and essentially to make it happen. I think that the "new trick this old dog needs to learn" is to say "I CAN" and find a way to make it happen. I'm starting to believe it's an essential part of my journey. I'm going to make this a FUN road trip! I've always wanted to do something like this and never have. At age 50, it's time to quit wishing and as Nike' says, "Just Do It! That's another new trick, "Just do it". No excuses, no negatives, no can'ts. "Just do it"!
I took my first plan of action, submitting paperwork into the post office for a leave of absence that weekend, so I won't have to work. The second thing I did after submitting the paperwork, was email my Cochlear boss about possible sponsorship of my registration fee. I'm crossing my fingers on this one. Even if they won't, I CAN handle the registration fee. Tomorrow or Monday, depending on response about registration, I'll register online and pay. I will also start the research into rental cars and making that reservation. I'm also going to starting studying the route, the things to do in different states, and then based on that, places to stay along the way.
If you're a reader of my blog and you want to come, let me know. I know it's short notice, but anyone is welcome. The convention is something like June 27th through 30th. Depending on if I go alone, or if someone comes with me and what their schedule allows, I'm going to stretch out the road trip and stop and see various sights along the way, and who knows, maybe take a different route and do the same on the way back. I'm open and flexible. If I go alone, I have two weeks I could do it in, leaving anytime after working the Sunday before the convention, and arriving back to work the Saturday after the convention. Of course, if I go alone, unless I get real good deals on gas and motels, the length of the road trip might depend more on how long the money I do have lasts, rather than how much time I have between obligations in Utah. I figure I can bring my Jenny Craig breakfasts and lunch, to stretch out the money some. Life is for living, and I CAN do it!
Gratitude Entry: I'm grateful that I've always been able to get good jobs and keep them. Since I've had to work a 2nd job just to pay bills, I'm so grateful for the post office job. It pays me well, and has always been an easy job to quit when I needed to, and to come back to when I need to. To boot, the pay is much better than many part time jobs. Also, I'm grateful this time around in working at the post office, to have such a perfect schedule. I only have to work two days a week now. No more having to do two jobs in the same day. In addition, I'm grateful to be able to work the hours I do now, during the day, rather than having to wipe my body out physically by upsetting my body clock working late night shifts as I've done so often in the past.