Unless you’re a charming Brit like me, there’s no nice way to tell someone to get lost and not lose them as a friend. As a Brit, I made a pretty massive mistake in one particular life choice. I moved to California…
It’s just so awful here. It never rains. The people are wonderful. And there is always something to do. Dreadful. Dreadful. Dreadful.
I’m joking. Obviously.
This issue actually relates more to how others view my life choices. In making the decision to follow my dreams and live in Southern California, I brought everyone I love with me. Not physically, but I implanted the idea that SoCal is a holiday destination-to my friends, that is, who would have otherwise just gone to Spain, France, or maybe Croatia. Croatia is actually an amazing holiday destination, and I highly recommend it. Go there. Please, go there instead of here.
Again, joking. Sort of.
I can’t wait for my friends to come and visit. Unlike all of my friends who moved to France, I am neither retired nor a ski instructor, so my spare time is a lot less frequent than one might assume. This has a wealth of issues that go along with it, which I’ve written into small bite size pieces below for all of you to read at your leisure…
The most annoying thing about having friends and family come visit is the loss of income. I don’t have a full time job (yet), and therefore my days are dedicated to earning money through my remote positions. Some of these jobs can be easy and quite lucrative, but you’re on someone elses hours.
If Client #1 wants 10,000 words by Friday night on “the way that immigrants are treated in detention centers,” then Client #1 will get just that. Why? Because I have to pay rent. That’s why. When you have people visiting and Client #1 calls, it’s difficult to decide whether to take the call or not. You’ll never lie on your deathbed remembering that phone call, but you’ll remember the visit. The choice is yours.
I just got my own place. It’s the first time I’ve ever lived alone. I love it. I LOVE IT!!!!! It’s a studio, and I got it because I was bored of being controlled. If I want to walk around in a baggy sweater and pop socks with my hair tied back in a mess and a toothbrush hanging out of my mouth, farting as I walk from the closet to the fridge in five steps, then I’m going to bloody well do it.
The other joy of this is, as a freelancer, I can sit at my desk and work all day without having to go into another room to boil the kettle or cook. I can chuck whatever I want on the stove and keep the work going. None of this happens when other people are in your space. No work. No relaxing. Why oh why are humans such social creatures?!
Plan Plan Plan
Plan what you’re going to do every day. Plan days where you can send your guests to an entertaining local attraction. Plan your meals in order to save money. Plan your excursions around your schedule. Plan how to save money before your guests arrive. Plan on depending on a friend, lover, or newly released movie or shopping mall to help you out in the entertainment department. Plan to the nth degree, and then watch it all fall apart when your guests actually arrive.
Watch as your whole soul is lifted up to the sky when these people – who have traveled thousands of miles just to see you – walk out of the gate. Their faces and yours will crinkle up in smiles, laughter lines appearing on both of your cheeks as you realize how much you’ve missed each other. You’ll never look back and remember the forgotten income, but you would look back and regret the missed opportunity to spend time with a person you love, in a place you love. After all, isn’t that what life is all about?
So Here’s How It’s Done…
I was recently introduced to the concept of Forgotten Money. This is money you spend on experience, helping others, or doing something that makes you feel great about yourself. It might only be a few bucks, but more often than not it’s a few hundred.
Think of your visitor as forgotten money. Spend sensibly, but make sure you don’t cheap out. These people are here to give you their time because they love you. You should take them to the beach, the mountains, the city, shopping, for great meals, and take this time as a holiday for you too. If you can spare an hour or two throughout the day, earning a few extra bucks, then you’ll be problem free.
My mother is coming to visit me in a few weeks, and I honestly, no sarcasm intended, couldn’t be more excited. We’re going to go shopping on 3rd Street Promenade, hang out in the Hollywood Hills with my fancy friends, go to Golds Gym for a pilates and yoga class, and hike in the Santa Monica Mountains. A holiday with my mum wouldn’t be complete without breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the famed Gjelina restaurant, here in Venice on Abbot Kinney. All of this adds up financially, and I’ll be missing ten days of work, which represents a big chunk of lost cash to me. This is how I plan to battle it:
- Work my arse off before she gets here, so I know I’ll be able to cover rent and buy food in March
- Walk and cycle as many places as possible
- Plan activities that don’t cost too much money (except Gjelina, obviously)
- Take an hour or two a day for a project. The deadline of which I will be extending in order to take ten days instead of four
I can’t bloody wait.
Kay Smythe, The British Bitch in America.
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