Ever since the recession began, you’ve heard the word “staycation” all over the media. I actually don’t like that word at all. Who wants to be reminded that they are “staying” rather than “going?” But of course I understand the media needs a catchy word. Staying local and appreciating what you do have in your area is something that we all should be trying to do more of.
I usually work over the holidays (bring on the overtime!) so the Labor Day weekend was just another regular work week for me. We’re lucky to live in an area full of parks and hiking trails. That Saturday we drove about 10 minutes to Lake Chabot. Now used primarily for recreational activities, the 315-acre lake was originally built to provide water for the East Bay. On any given day you’ll find people fishing and boating on the lake. There are multiple trails with different degrees of difficulty for those wanting to bicycle, hike, or merely take a leisurely stroll. The park was especially full that weekend with families barbecuing, playing volleyball, tag football, and catch. When Hubby and I hiked up to the Northwest side of the park, there were some people camping on the campground grounds.
As Hubby and I are trying to save as much money as we can, we tend to fill up our weekends with trips to the local parks. Of course I would love to just fly off to Italy right now but I have to remind myself how lucky I am to be able to be sitting on the grass, happy and healthy. I was hit with the hard realization that you really don’t value what you have until you’re facing its loss. Earlier this week my father got very ill, was admitted to the ER, and has been in the ICU ever since. My dad was going to hold out just two more years until he was 62 to retire. He knew he couldn’t last until 66. Facing death right now, he gathered us around his bed to apologize for not giving us much of an inheritance (which of course doesn’t matter one bit to us) but that at least he was able to bring us to this country for a better life. He is lamenting that all he wanted after a hard life’s work was just a few years of retirement, to perhaps go on a trip and just enjoy life.
Don’t think that you’ll have time later to do what you want to do now. Time is a gift that some people are robbed of way too soon.