It’s something we look forward to every year.
Friends of ours will say, “Oh, it’s tennis time” when Labor Day weekend approaches.
Our kids talk about our “Mommy and Daddy New York trip.”
Everyone in our sphere knows that my husband and I take an annual trip to NYC for the city and for the US Open tennis tournament. It’s a given.
But it wasn’t always this way.
I have pretty much always loved tennis, with Andre and Pete (I think we would be friends if we met, so I can use their first names) as my favorites growing up. I taught myself tennis to join the high school tennis team, and then my parents sacrificed to take me to some formal lessons toward the end of my high school career so that I could try out for a college team. Playing collegiate tennis is a highlight of my life.
And I always dreamed of going to the US Open.
And in 2011, my mom and I went. It was more than I even expected it to be.
The grounds of the US Open feel like home. My soul is at rest. I feel safe. I feel energized. I am happy. That trip was just the beginning. When I left, I knew I would return.
In 2014, I took my husband. He was a little reluctant at first but knew I would go by myself if he didn’t come (I had patiently waited three years to return). Amazingly, and thankfully, he loved it too and didn’t mind that I wanted to spend 13+ hours a day on the grounds.
In 2015, as those of you who have been with me for a while know, I was in a serious car accident. The short of it is, I am lucky to be here and to be as healthy as I am.
It was one of those moments/periods of time that are horrible, terrible, and stay with you in many ways for the rest of your life. I can’t really play tennis anymore. I have a pound of metal in my arm that at first was painful if I tried to play tennis and now is uncomfortable due to the vibration. I have a lot of trouble being in a car, still years later, and some days are better than others. I am sometimes easily overwhelmed in loud or chaotic situations, and the list goes on.
However, I lived. I am here and have been able to see my children grow. I am lucky, and I know in what feels like a tangible way that life is precious and potentially way too short.
Once we came up for air and were past the immediate healing and survival mode at home, my husband and I were talking about life and our future, and what we wanted. We talked big things and little things, career things and lifestyle things, family things and personal things. Because it seemed so selfish, I was hesitant to say what I had realized I really wanted, what I thought would continually feed and refuel me. I said that I wanted to go to the US Open every year.
And we do.
We save up over the year for our trip and plan it as frugally as we can because we also will not do a trip for us that isn’t also financially smart. But we can do it. We could probably have always done it, but it wasn’t something we considered or prioritized. We didn’t make it happen.
This year, even more than normal, it seems people have been saying to me that they wish they had a trip with their spouse like we do or that they wish they could go to the US Open some time or go to (fill in the blank).
You can. You should. Now. Plan it now.
Not hypothetically. Not in theory.
I know you can tell me all the reasons you can’t. I had many of the same reasons and frankly still do. I am also not trying to suggest that there aren’t things in my daily life that re-energize me or that I am not happy at home with my children or my work in my day-to-day life. I am. AND I am more happy enjoying those moments during the year with my annual adventure either on the horizon, in the planning stages, or having just happened.
What do you want to be doing?
Chase it to the ends of the earth and until the last of your days.
My US Open trip is just one example. It’s less than a week of my year, and yet it represents something so important that I wanted to share with you. As I was boarding the plane this year to embark once again, I felt such joy and excitement but also pride in our commitment to doing what fed our relationship and ourselves as individuals. Maybe for you it’s not a trip but a business you want to open or a degree you want to pursue or a change in lifestyle or habit you want to foster. It’s the idea, feeling, wish that keeps bubbling up, keeps reappearing, keeps whispering in your ear.
What is it for you that you have been delaying for all sorts of great and reasonable reasons?
Take a breath.