Every year at about this time, give or take a week, I begin the slow process of winter self torture by purchasing a copy of either Telluride or Steamboat magazine, and wondering what it would be like to actually go on a winter vacation to either of those places.
My reference, of course, is to the two ski areas in Colorado. It’s probably worth noting that I don’t buy a magazine that focuses on Durango or Colorado Springs. Either of those trips, after all, might actually happen.
Distance makes the fantasy grow fonder.
We are, unfortunately, a generation that isn’t content to let things remain in the realm of fantasy. If we can imagine it, we tend to believe we are entitled to it. Unlike our parents, we have been led to, at least subliminally, a sense of entitlement.
Thus came about the conversation in the parking lot, which revolved around, among other things, gas prices. The topic was the recent all state music competition in Albuquerque, which I had hoped to drive up for, as one of my seniors was involved in performance.
Unfortunately, I had to look at the realistic issue of gas prices, and arrive at the conclusion that I could not afford to make the trip at this particular time. That decision had nothing to do with lodging, which I did not plan on, nor with food, as I often prefer my own packed lunch to one I buy. It was based entirely on gas cost.
This decision would not have been made, a few years ago.
That sense of entitlement no doubt fuels some of the discontent which either is present, or seems to be present, in our society. At some level we believe that the trip to Albuquerque should be automatic, that the winter vacation deep into the Rockies should be within our reach, and so on.
Then, whether or not it truly exists, we tend to construct a gap between rich and poor, and our perception becomes that there are those, at the top echelon of society, who are skimming the cream off the surface and living better and better, while we ourselves are struggling harder and harder.
That may or may not be true, but it seems to be a widespread perception.
Wherein lies the solution? In the recession, which from what I can see is still going on, people were, and I suppose still are, learning how to make simpler pleasures count for more: Doing home improvements instead of buying a bigger home; Turning that home into a place of recreation, instead of spending money on recreational activities.
You get the picture.
It is a matter of being content with what one has, instead of riding the wish horse to a self defeating halt.
No, our living room hearth with a fire burning is no substitute for a cabin at Telluride. But at least it belongs to us.