Saturday, 18 April 2015

What Are You Saving For??

My hubby and I had a conversation the other day that made me feel I should share my personal thoughts on this. This post is about savings and retirement. I think we all have the ability to choose how we want to spend our money. For myself, living with metastatic breast cancer has made me re-evaluate how I spend my money, or more so what I'm saving for. I believe in being responsible with my money-absolutely!! However, after being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer I also realized that the whole "save for a rainy day" is here and now! I've experienced the rainy day, heck I've experienced a bloody downpour!!

Obviously, if I would have been one of the many women in this world who would have been lucky enough to have children then my perspective may be different on this. However, I'm not so I won't delve further into it. My hubby and I decided that we would enjoy every minute doing the things we love, and buying whatever makes us happy. What has always fascinated me is when people talk about saving for retirement. I can't do this or I can't do that because they're "saving." Saving for what exactly is what I ask?? We accumulate our wealth through the years, but most people talk about when they retire and what they want to do. It's as if you enter a race but never truly know if you'll make it to the finish line. How many people are lucky enough to get to retirement and have their health? Let me tell you simply from experience that once you lose your health nothing else matters. Money no longer matters. And you have saved up this fortune for what??

Once you lose your health it doesn't matter if you have 50 million dollars because money won't buy your health back. You won't feel well enough to travel, and you surely won't care about all the "investments" you've made. All you'll want is to be well. Not sick. Healthy.

So when people question me or my hubby about all the vacations we go on, or the vehicles we purchased, it's because we are living with "rainy days" every damn day of our lives. Don't look at us and say it's "irresponsible." Really?? What I think would be irresponsible is if we continued to sit around and save for something that we will never get to experience. I feel relatively good right now. Yes, I have pain but I deal with it and I truthfully know how much worse it could be, so I'll keep my complaints to myself. To watch multiple young women, fellow metsters, pass away from this disease all within one week is the biggest reality check. So while we spend, and enjoy our lives right now, I can honestly say that we have no regrets. We have enough to pay our bills, but because we know we won't be having children we will make the most of it, and spend what many spend on their children on ourselves.

Next time you choose to be conservative with every penny you make, imagine if you died tomorrow; could you say you did everything you wanted to, or were you waiting till you made it to that magical number that we deem "retirement" age? Please nobody talk to me about retirement. I truthfully don't care. And if you do, know that I'm smiling at you but could care less about what's coming out of your mouth. In my mind I have retired, not by choice, but I like to call it medical retirement. If you have your health today, do everything and anything you want to do. Seize the moment, and frankly stop being cheap!! Enjoy every day of your life. Remember, nobody promised you tomorrow. If your tomorrow involved a doctor telling you, "you have incurable cancer," I can guarantee you that your retirement plan will be the last thing you care to think about. Therefore, the next time you wonder if you can afford to buy those cute shoes, or afford to go on vacation remember these five words: what are you saving for??

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Hawaii. Part Two.

After my eventful flight I was soooooo happy when they said the plane was descending into Honolulu. Yaaay, I could see land, which meant I was moments away from getting away from ms. Cray Cray. Our vacation started with two days in Honolulu before heading to Maui for ten days.

The purpose of going to Honolulu was because we wanted to check out Pearl Harbour. Ok, Chris wanted to check out Pearl Harbour and I wanted to go shopping, and there's quite a bit of shopping to do on this island!!!! One of the things which always leaves me a bit worried is the fact that I can't transport my "medicinals" with me. This is a problem because without it I can't sleep. At all. And then I'm completely miserable. Therefore, this time I had to resort to sleeping pills for my vacation, and I slept!!!!!! This little tidbit is probably what made my vacation good!!!

The first full day there we went to Pear Harbour. If you have never been I highly recommend going!! We took a tour of the USS Missouri, and were supposed to go on the USS Arizona memorial, but due to the high winds they deemed it wasn't safe. There's something so sad about knowing that there's still a sunken ship with over 1000 people left in the ocean there. Their final resting place, and knowing that they were attacked in a manner that they had no warning or chance to even defend themselves. Sounds a little bit like cancer - you sneaky son of a bitch I still hate you!! You can't help but feel heartbreak over many young lives lost in such an awful manner. I always try to put my life into perspective, and see the many blessings and joys I have at my fingertips. This was one of those moments of perspective. From Pearl Harbour we went to the Punchbowl Crater. This is also known as the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. It has assigned gravesites for veterans and their families. I'm not exactly one to be careening cemeteries, but once again I can say I have never seen anything quite like this before. The sheer amount of veterans that are buried there, and the actual landscape is so hard to describe. I have to admit, it was the most beautiful cemetery I have ever seen, and I felt as though they had done these families some form of justice by giving them such a tranquil, dignified, and beautiful resting place. Once again, this put a lot into perspective. It's hard not to cry when you see something like this. It's one thing to learn about war in school, but to actually see the number of people who sacrificed their's indescribable and gives you goosebumps. Although our day was packed from morning to night, I'm glad we decided to do this part of our trip because I feel it was one of those things everyone should see and experience at least once in their life.

By Sunday it was time to fly to Maui. I was excited to start the "vegetative" part of my trip. Part of me was slightly worried because the entire time we were in Honolulu I had no appetite at all!!! Everything seemed to cause nausea. We went out to eat at these nice restaurants. I would order food, only to take a couple bites and not be able to finish it:(. On the bright side, we ended up not having to pay for two meals due to my mouse-like eating habits that seemed to suddenly develop in Hawaii where I was so stoked to eat fish for almost two weeks!!! I knew this couldn't be anything serious as I had scans prior to, and I just assumed this was another way my body was pissing me off!!! I felt as though Maui would be a new start, and I was excited to have a kitchen where I could cook my own meals and eat more frequent, smaller meals. I know, I'm putting a lot of emphasis on meals, but once again these basic necessities of life are called such because they really are: necessities of life!! The Sunday started off great because we learnt that Hawaii does not have daylight savings time. Wait a minute - does this mean that I will NOT lose an hour when I am vacationing??? Yup, it sure does, and it made me even fonder of Hawaii:). When we went down to grab a cab to the airport, a young man working at the hotel told us he would grab us one. As we waited we chit chatted with him. He told us he had been born and raised in Oahu, and never left. He then went on to tell us how he felt "trapped" living on the island. I had to chuckle, and told him that this was the most amazing place to be "trapped" in.
It truly does seem that we really do always want what we don't have, doesn't it?? As we stood waiting he hailed down a limo!!!! Chris and I looked at each other and mumbled a few words, as in "holy shit what's this going to cost us," but like two complete dumb nuts we smiled and just got in. It was definitely a lovely ride to the airport, and a nice lil way to end our couple days in Honolulu. The best part: he charged us the exact same amount as a cab!!!!!

The island hop to Maui was quick! When we landed in Maui it was pouring rain, and in that moment I thought I wanted to head back over to Oahu because it was sunny and warm there. Oh well, I told myself I was going to be cheerful and have fun no matter what. The stupid rain wasn't going to ruin our trip, and it really would be pointless to keep complaining about it because it really was one of those things I had absolutely zero control over. I said all this with a smile, but by day three of constant, heavy rain it had indeed peeved me off!! We went exploring the island and saw some beautiful landscapes even though there were some very questionable driving spots. As in there was one lane. But two way traffic. Oh, and the best part was a plunging cliff with no guardrails. AKA: this is where you have one of those "shit your pants moments" because you truly think this may actually be your demise. Obviously it wasn't because I wrote this post, and good thing my calm, collected, hubby drove because he kept it together. Good job sweetie;).

When we got back to our condo we had made plans for going out for the evening. I got ready, and the sun was finally appearing. Me and sunshine go hand in hand. I need it. I crave it, and it makes me happy. I think this is deep rooted from my childhood, and living in sunny California. I miss the sunny, warm climate. When we got to our "luxury" car that we had rented there was nothing luxurious about it. We sat in, completely oblivious to what would unfold, and kept talking and laughing. Then Chris went to turn the ignition and what happened?? Click, click, click. Hmmm... Our car was dead. As in we weren't leaving our parking stall. WTF!!! We spent a fair amount of our evening looking for someone at the condo to boost our car, and I was pissed that this was how we were wasting our time. Another gentleman at our condo said he also rented his car from the same place as us and he had two cars die over the course of three weeks. Perfecto I thought. Therefore, this evening was spent driving back to the rental car dealership, and me unleashing my inner crazy at them!!! This got us a discount on another upgraded car with the elimination of charges towards our first not so luxurious car. It was never truly about the money, but rather our time. I can't get that back, and my time is worth more than gold at this point.

As the days went on the weather became nicer and nicer. I wanted to go boogie boarding as there were some decent waves outside our condo. I had a very brief moment where I wondered if this may be detrimental to my cancerous sternum. I honestly didn't care, and I truthfully felt as though cancer had already taken so much from me it was NOT going to take boogie boarding too. Ok, that sentence sounded ridiculously stupid, but I LOVE boogie boarding, and if you've never done it then you really should. We spent the days that ensued boogie boarding everyday. Remember my last blog post and how I was a complete "hot mess" flying down to Honolulu?? Well, I was also a hot mess getting out of the ocean!! I respect the ocean. It's simply beautiful, but I'm also aware of its crazy power. I was wearing a strapless bikini top. Every time I wanted to "classily" exit the ocean it turned into more of a spectacle. Absolutely nothing classy about this. Remember the James Bond movies where that hot woman so sexily exits the ocean as if she's stronger then the current?? Well that was not me in the slightest bit!!!! I don't know why, but every time I tried to walk out, and a wave came I would fall and then my boogie board, which was strapped to my wrist, would be pulled back and essentially so would I!! I would be on all fours, getting smashed by a wave, and as the water receded back I would get sand into parts of my body where I really didn't want sand!!! The worst part is the shear force of it continually caused my top to get pulled down to my waste and my bottoms got pulled down low enough to expose parts that are more appropriate for a nude beach. Then when the water would recede - you guessed it - I would be left flapping with no water to cover my exposed parts, yanking at my damn boogie board, and trying to crawl out before the next wave came, all the while looking like a damn fish, again, that got pulled out of the water!! I swear, I think I may have been a fish in another life, but not a cool fish like Nemo, but like a sucker fish that you want to throw back into the ocean, lol. The best part to all my "struggles" was that this took a lot of focus on my part to finally crawl my butt out, and when I looked up there were two older men, sitting in lawn chairs on the beach, just watching me, one with his mouth literally open. Wonderful I thought, they just saw a one tit wonder exit the ocean! I think he would need binoculars to spot my remaining tit because it's not too big, lol. Now I swear boogie boarding in and of itself is crazy fun, but I have still yet to master exiting the ocean. One day maybe I'll learn how to exit without looking like I've been washed ashore. Or, maybe I'll buy a bathing suit that doesn't expose all my private bits - this may be a more realistic approach;).

Near the end of our trip we decided to do the drive to Hana. I had a lot of friends who had highly recommended this. Honestly, this is once again one of those things that everyone should experience once in their lives. I have never seen a landscape this beautiful before. We stopped everywhere to take pictures, but the pics never truly did any justice to the shear size and beauty of this island. I have never seen this many gorgeous waterfalls ever before. The lush green, the beautiful ocean, and the many different flowers. In that moment you can't help but realize the vastness of this world. The fact that we are all such a small and minuscule component in life. It really gave me this odd perspective of the beauty of this world, and how truly small we are in the grand scheme of things. This drive took us twelve hours total, including stops because this is a very winding road, but so well worth it.

Overall, we had a lovely time, and when it was time to come back home I was oddly ready. You see, I love to travel, but I miss my family and everyone I love when I'm gone. If I could nicely pack up all my "people," and prop them on this beautiful island then I would never want to leave. As our plane ascended and I peered out the window I noticed my eyes starting to well up. I didn't want to look at Chris and admit that I was on the verge of crying. Not because I was sad my vacation was over, but I honestly didn't know if I'd ever have the chance to come back. I don't tolerate long flights anymore. It's hard for me to sit for that long period of time, but it's also this "condensed" living bullshit that seems to catch me off guard at times, and this was simply one of those times. I managed to keep it together and when I did finally look at Chris I smiled because whatever the future holds, it's exactly that; the future. In that moment I was good, and I had beautiful memories that I will never lose. I will hold onto that, and count my blessings that I even had the opportunity, and felt relatively good enough to experience Hawaii and all its beauty.

                I went a little crazy with pics, but there were sooooo many beautiful landscapes I just couldn't resist!!

This was our view from our hotel in Honolulu

Selfie at pearl Harbour, and I am proud because you can see more than just our big heads!!

The trees on Oahu and Maui amazed me!! I have ever seen anything like it. Chris thought I went a bit nuts with tree pics, but seriously they are AMAZING!!

These trees were at the Punchbowl Crater

This was on the USS Missouri. I had to include this because it looks like Chris' head blew up, lol. He's smoldering, hahaha - yup i'm a total dork;)

Is this not the most beautiful tree you have ever seen???


This was King Kamehameha Castle on Oahu: All I can think of is the opening scene from Hawaii Five-O, right??

When you take a selfie and wish you could see the background! This is where a selfie stick would have come in handy, right babes???? He was too embarrassed to purchase one, but maybe then we could have remembered what this pic was about. Am I right or am I right? Just saying...

This was at a lovely restaurant in Honolulu where my "mouse-like" eating habits were in full swing. I'm smiling, but all I can think of is vomiting:( Free meal though, so that was reason to smile I suppose!

Traveling back to the airport in style via a limo

Ok... before you judge me for what I am eating let me explain. I had eaten very little while in Honolulu and when we got to the airport I was actually hungry and I told Chris I could eat chicken nuggets. You see, I do NOT want to lose more weight, as I can't afford to do so, and I found that if I crave something I have to eat it. If I wait I lose my appetite and become nauseated. Therefore, all I wanted were four chicken nuggets and small fries. Turns out this is considered a "kids meal." Well... I even got a toy with my meal! Good grief, I can't remember the last time I ate a "happy meal."

I mean I can't be married to a firefighter without visiting one of the local fire halls!

One of the beautiful landscapes in Maui

Selfie including palm trees and the ocean=successful selfie where the background can be seen not only our big heads!!!

Beautiful day!

These were our boogie boarding waves. You didn't actually think I would have a pic of me exiting the ocean, did you??? That wold be considered a form of pornography I'm almost certain of that, lol

Maui and all it's beauty!!

Maui. The landscape is truly surreal

We look like two bobbleheads!!



Big heads and the ocean:)


This was in the lava tube in Maui. Firstly, it is pitch dark, with uneven flooring, water dripping, and you walk around with a flashlight. Super interesting! I made it through, and once I was back on flat land I tripped and fell right on my face! It's one of the many ways I make my hubby shake his head, and leave him speechless, lol

This was a selfie that was meant to capture the sunset. Instead it kind of blurred out my hubbies face. Once again, the selfie stick may have been beneficial. Babes I know you read this...HINT HINT;)

LOVE the ocean:)

Waterfalls - the most beautiful waterfalls I've ever seen!!

And another waterfall

And another!! This one was huge and gorgeous

The perfect sunset. Thanks for the beautiful memories Hawaii:)