My 73 year old mother took me to Disney World this past week. She also took my four children and we managed to take in four days at the parks while resting in-between at the pool in a resort.

This all came about at a time in my life when I was calculating savings for retirement over spending money on memories. Prior to the trip, I had asked my husband if we were really going to swim with dolphins and climb mountains to meet wild gorillas in our 60’s and he said, “Hell no!”, so I thought to myself, Why wait? I’m really glad we took her up on the offer.

I imagine most people tend to put off things because of a focus on how much it will cost. Our family plan was to wait until our youngest was old enough to go on all the rides to make it worth the admission price; however, by delaying the other kids for another 5 years, we would be traveling with pre-teens and teens who have lost the magic of meeting Mickey. This was a chance to see a little girl, too small to do most of the rides, but who wanted to meet princesses because SHE is one too. How much do people put off because it doesn’t have that “return on investment” figure they are told to formulate? I’m wondering how much more we would try if we didn’t see a return on investment in a dollar amount but instead replace it with an “emotional” amount, a “feeling” amount, or an “experience” amount? I think we would invest in more.

Are there things you have put off that maybe you could re-evaluate with this new formula of return on investment? Yes, the trip seemed over in a blink of an eye but the pictures of our private meeting with Mickey (who blinks and talks now!) will last a lifetime and to have my little girl walk through the park greeted by each staff member with a “Hello Princess!” was worth every penny. Don’t worry, I will still be investing in my retirement fund; I just will also allow for special trips every once in a while that will continue to make these kids feel special…and yes, they called my 73 year old mother “Princess” as well 🙂

About the Author

Stephanie Herrera is a comedian, writer, producer, teacher, singer, actor, mother of 4, and shallow philosopher. She runs the Durham Improv & Acting Studio in Oshawa, Canada, is a professor at Durham and Fleming Colleges, and is an award winning performer. / / / (647) 899-3342  Durham Improv Group and Business pages can be found on Facebook and follow @durhamimprov & @antimommy