In general, I have no burning desire for vast wealth. I would like more wealth, of course, enough to buy Rejuvenation light fixtures whenever I want, a house full of antiques, a picket fence for the front yard, and an exterior paint job done by someone other than myself.
But it's only since Venice that I've daydreamed about being one of those fascinating turn-of-the-last-century expatriate writers who set up shop in Venetian palazzos and other fabulous places to write their great novels.
Suddenly it feels so desperately unfair that I can't hop a plane to Europe or Canada or anywhere on a whim. I want to go back so, so badly, and yet I can't! It makes me want to stomp my foot and roll on the floor kicking and screaming!
I admit I was a somewhat spoiled child, and I've grown up into a somewhat spoiled adult. I've been lucky in life and love, and I'm used to getting most anything I want, within reason. And I don't like waiting for it!
So it's particularly painful that my sudden desire to travel long and often - and not just travel but have the time and money to live in Venice or another city for a few months out of the year - cannot be realized. If we continue on our current career paths, we will never be able to afford a $1.5 million apartment in Venice, and we will never have a month to spare to live in it.
But there is something I can do. I can save.
If we set aside 4,000 extra dollars this year, that will pay for another trip. I reevaluated our budget spreadsheet in preparation for the new year, and there are plenty of ways we can cut back. Make that I can cut back. I have an online shopping addiction in need of a 12-step program.
Our bathroom only requires two more purchases - the faucet and the vanity light - and I already have more clothes than one person can wear in a year. So I'm declaring a moratorium on buying.
And instead of spending all my downtime online shopping, maybe I will begin working on my book again. You never know which book will capture the public's imagination; it could be mine. Then I really could become that chic author figure, typety-typing away on that third-floor terrace overlooking the canals and the red roofs of Venice.