Funny, isn’t it, how something really spectacular — a vacation, or a great meal, or even just a fleeting feeling — can hang so heavily over the rest of your life? Nothing else will quite measure up to that moment of wondrousness, and it would be easy to spend the rest of one’s life searching for that elusive something that would match or exceed that one golden moment.
That’s the trap. When Shakyamuni Buddha postulated that life is suffering (dukkha), he also explained that part of this suffering is being stuck on the happy moments that fail to last. It’s not healthy to keep chasing after the next big thing.
That doesn’t stop us from trying, though. It doesn’t stop me from going to Red Lobster and ordering some expensive lobster tail, knowing full well that it won’t hold a candle to the whole steamed and stuffed lobster I had in Boston during our honeymoon in 2003. It doesn’t stop me from looking fondly at the memorabilia I bought and the photos I took during our week in Tokyo last year (note to self: still need to finish blogging that trip).
And it doesn’t stop us from planning new vacations with our tax return money.
Let’s segue now, shall we, from the realm of the spiritual to the realm of the worldly, and talk about things like TurboTax and NWAWorldVacations…
…and the isles of Hawaii.
Yes, I said Hawaii.
No, we’re not high rollers. By booking our hotel and flight through Northwest Airlines, we got an awesome deal, just like we did with our Japan trip. Except, this time, we also had an unexpected windfall with our tax return, so travel and lodging is just about covered with that alone. When you consider that we’ll be getting a stimulus check from the government, too, that will offset the rest of the hotel and airfare, so only food and fun will have to come from our savings (i.e. my severance pay from last year).
The plan was originally to be vacationing someplace warm for our fifth wedding anniversary (May 24th), but it wasn’t in the cards (read: Aaron couldn’t get those weeks of vacation from work). Instead, we’re going earlier in May.
And I’m seriously considering signing up for Twitter, so I can update everyone online with the joys of the Pacific, via my cell phone.