I recently had the opportunity to spend five days on a California respite. I have a life-long friend that made it all happen, for my son and me. My Facebook friends were inundated with our daily itinerary. It was a quickly arranged visit so we didn’t plan any major sight-seeing adventures, Hollywood style, but we did plenty.
It may not be much to other people but for us it was a wonderful novelty. The choice to be in a one-income earning family over the years (plus the reality of being a little wild & loose on budgeting) has precluded a lot of travel and vacationing opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, we did plenty, just not the higher end trips.
You know what? As I whole-heartedly enjoyed our stay, I never once had a feeling of regret for not choosing a different lifestyle than I did. I AM thankful for the opportunity for myself and my youngest son. For one, he is of the age that fame and fortune has a beautiful veneer, but he got to see that the “other-half,” are human beings just like us. He got to see the television industry as just that, an industry. He got fried by the sun on the west coast beach just like he has gotten every other year on an east coast beach. He was exposed to some excellent dinner fare and some very interesting entertainment.
But my favorite parts of our trip were all oriented on connection and I believe they will be his fondest memories as well. We got to spend time with friends, in their house, making dinner together, walking their dogs together, and taking turns at the daily necessities of life. We walked and jumped and colored and laughed with a little girl who will most likely remember that fun forever. I was reminded of the generosity and character that made my childhood friendship last so many years. What an honor to know a gal like her! We saw the hard work, brilliance and years of dedication it takes to run a multi-million dollar company, all the while being a good friend, daughter, sister, aunt, wife and mom.
We saw deep generosity of spirit and kindness from people we have never met before. Neighbors stopped in to say hello to our friends as well as to welcome us to their town.
Oh, my gosh, the stories! I have to rat out my girlfriend crew back home. They made up stories about my California adventures. As I read their posts each night, I was in absolute stitches! You see, my friend lives in a neighborhood with some well-known people, but not right next door. I joked about meeting “those-who-will-not-be-named” and the fairy tales that ensued were a scream. They are completing the “rom-com” (movie speak for Romantic Comedies) now, Deb, in case you know a guy? Although I still can’t figure out how the monkeys came in to play. What a joy to have friends like that!
Some of my newer, low-key friends sent me the occasional note to see how I was doing. A few expressed how happy they were for me to get an indispensable break. My family kept track of us to make sure we were safe. That love is my most precious possession, and I hope they all know how much their support means to me. To be known and missed? It’s the best.
Love, laughter, time spent together, deep friendships, sharing; those are the things that make life a grand adventure. If I have any regrets in life, they are the many times I choose not to do what it takes to maintain important friendships over time. Those times when I got caught up in my busy and sometimes small world and let my people drift away. I received a great reminder never to lose sight of my dear ones again.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up”