I'm shopping around for a private island. It's part of my long-term plans called Get Away From It All and Be Mysteriously Unavailable. You know how people get that itch occasionally, when they are due for a vacation? I have it all the time.
Don't get me wrong; this isn't an extended vacation. I'm planning to work on my private island. I'm going to write books on paper, wrap them in blue tarpaulin and ship them to my editor by way of Skipper Don, the scraggly retired Navy man who drives a rusty fishing boat that delivers supplies from the mainland like toilet paper and Cheetos. My husband, a psychologist, is going to conduct a serious research study on us, examining the long-term effects of living on a private island via a substantial grant from the NIH, WHO and OMG. The children will be educated via our vast Kindle library and will write term papers on banana leaves (I need all the paper for my books) and we will dine every night together in the dim glow of tiki torches.
We will have spotty Internet access, so don't be alarmed if we don't return your emails or calls. This is to be expected. Sometimes the connection is good for hours, sometimes only long enough to renew our Netflix subscription. I hope you'll understand.
Probably the biggest problem with my private island plan right now is the actual cost of a private island. Currently, we can only afford a 200 square-foot island off the coast of Greenland. Of course, you can get a lot more for your money if you head north and purchase a slab of polar ice, but there's a serious recession going on there, which worries me. (Not a financial recession, but actual polar ice recession.)
Ideally, my private island is closer to the equator, out of the path of hurricanes and monsoons, and close enough to get scratchy radio reception of NPR. If I sell all my personal belongings and one of my kidneys, I'm still short on the down payment. So for now, the plan is on hold.
But you know what? Something interesting happened the other night. I was sitting in bed reading. My husband was out picking up the kids, who'd gone mini golfing. Eventually, I heard them walk through the door, laughing and talking. They all came to the bedroom, climbed on the bed and continued their stories, filling me in on the details I'd missed before they came in. We sat there together for at least an hour in the dim glow of the bedside lamps. It wasn't a big island, this queen-sized square of mattress, but it had everything I needed right then: my little tribe, no outside noise. For that moment, on the heels of what had been an emotional few days, it was enough. In fact, it was an abundance.
I'm not giving up on my private island plan. It's important to have goals. But until that day comes, I'll be appreciating all the island-esque moments I already have: kids, husband, Cheetos and all. And if you happen to see Skipper Don, tell him we'll be in touch.