Having looked up the word Selfish in the Collins mini English dictionary, the description is as follows: caring too much about oneself and not enough about others.
I had a good ponder on this and decided that I didn’t quite fit the description. What prompted the question in the first place was; am I being selfish to want to do things sometimes without the other half?
Let me explain. I met my other half on a dating website eleven years ago, after a disastrous marriage to a man I should never married in the first place. On these sites, you are encouraged to state the qualities you prefer in your future partner, which should set you on the straight and narrow right away, if you are honest with your likes and dislikes. In return, you have to be honest also and your profile should reflect this.
I know that on mine, I stated that I had children but they did not live with me. (I know this was a strong USP, now I know him better). I also said that I liked Red wine. I strongly stated that my main interest was travelling. I didn’t say by what means but most people would take that to mean by most forms of transport, not just one.
So with most boxes ticked, we agreed to meet and hit it off straight away. I moved in to my new partners house eight months later and we are still together now.
HOWEVER. This new man of mine then tells me that he does not fly. So we take our first holiday to Tuscany by bus. Yes. 33 hours there ( with a stop in Paris for 5 hours) and 28 hours back. Very nice holiday and still in the first throws of love, very romantic.
Our second holiday abroad to the South of France involved first the Eurostar to Paris (again) and then a very frantic rush across the other side to the Gare de Lyon, narrowly escaping missing said train by 1 minute. Again, a very nice holiday but without a car ( he doesn’t like driving in holiday either) we had to take public transport everywhere, which proved tricky when our campsite was miles from the nearest town.
Now I don’t know if I am being unreasonable, but it think I’ve been had on false pretences! I have recently booked a trip to Paris on the Eurostar for us and now he tells me he doesn’t like going under the tunnel! What part of “I love travelling” didn’t he understand?
So I have taken to “going it alone” because I want to see the big wide world while I am still fit and able, funded by the proceeds of the divorce from my ex- husband. This may sound mercenary but I waited 12 long years for this divorce settlement and it means that I can travel further afield, but in general by plane.
So here is my quandary: Do I sacrifice all the things I have ever wanted to do, travelling wise, because I have a partner with a phobia of flying? Or do I go for it? I decided on the latter because I am a firm believer of “You only have one life.” My partner doesn’t try to stop me, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that sometimes I do feel a tad guilty. Even if he had me on in the first place. He is a lovely man, very kind and caring, which is why I love him but he just doesn’t have the zest for life that I have.
My belief that you have to do these things while you can, has been compounded by the fact that, once you get in your fifties, your friends and peers start to have serious illnesses and one has even died and she was two years younger than me. This has put the wind up me, somewhat. I have another close friend and a sister in law who both have terminal cancer and a dear friend who suffered a stroke and is now disabled. I truly believe that you do not know what is around the corner.
With that in mind, I have decided to live my life to the full, while I can. Of course, it will be Sod’s law that I will live to be ninety and broke, with only my memories to show for it. Then I may regret my actions. So maybe I am a little selfish sometimes but on the whole I think I contribute to the relationship equally, it’s just a shame that we don’t have the same ideas on what constitutes “travelling”.
My next adventure happens next week. I am going to Cuba on a Voyages Jules Verne tour called the “Revolution Road” which I am looking forward to very much. It starts in Havana and goes all the way down to the other end of the island, taking in all the places of interest to do with the Revolution and Castro and Che Guevarra. We will also see the Sierra Mastre mountains and go to a sugar plantation and have lunch at a chocolate farm, plus a couple of river cruises. There’s a lot of walking, so I am taking my hiking boots. I just can’t help thinking that my man would really enjoy it if he would just allow himself to.
Oh yes, and the other “off the wall thing” I have gone and signed up to is Storm chasing in Tornado Alley in June! (Oops – selfish cow!)