Sunday, October 25, 2009

Leaving Las Vegas

I flew home from Vegas with no marriage license, no hangover and no newly acquired fortune.

So I guess my vacation was either an extreme success or extreme failure, depending how you look at it.

In all seriousness, I had a wonderful time and was able to enjoy Sin City on a budget that was a far cry from baller status.

On vacation, I have no problem turning off my cell phone, shutting down my e-mail and avoiding Facebook.

I do, however, struggle with tuning out the mental checkbook that incessantly reminds me, "You shouldn't spend so much money."

I made my sacrifices before vacation -- thanks, beauty school haircut! -- and I stockpiled a little bit of savings. But the shaky economy still makes my stomach turn at any luxury purchase, no matter how warranted it seems.

One night, as I paid my $28 bar tab, I actually thought, "I could have bought two bags of dog food with this money."

I know even when finances are tight, some indulgences are necessary to remind yourself there's a life beyond TV dinners.

If nothing else, the recession has taught me to be more selective in the luxury items I enjoy.

It's also reminded me to appreciate those items while knowing their material value will always take second place to life's most priceless relationships.