07 December 2013

A Good Indulgence

I did something incredibly indulgent today. I flew to San Francisco for a few hours because I was 187 miles short of reaching platinum status on American Airlines.  I’ve never done anything like that. I was feeling a little guilty until an airline employee told me that he’d just dealt with someone who was flying to Shanghai and then back on the first return trip for the very same reason. Suddenly my little jaunt to San Fran seemed downright judicious.

I picked the Bay area because it also gave me a chance to see my cousin and her family. I’ve written before that I don’t have a big family and I cherish the times I get to see her. 

Between my plane being late and needing to travel about an hour via BART to get to her house, we ended up having very little time together, but it was a joy to get to see her, one of my other cousins (and his great dog), my cousin-in-law (is that a real term?) and my second cousin. 

While my cousin was driving my to the airport, I was struck again, as I always do when I’m there, how beautiful the area is and how much I want to spend more time there. 

But even places of great beauty have poverty (and I also realize there are parts of the Bay area that are plagued with horrible poverty and crime). I asked my family if they had a charity they could suggest I give to today and they almost instantly came up with Bay Area Rescue Mission. It’s one they’ve supported for years and they were able to rattle of different needs that Bay Area Rescue Mission meets, including running an emergency shelter, recovery programs, and job training. 

I’m back home now in Los Angeles, wishing I’d gotten to spend more time with my Northern California family, and very happy I indulged in today’s whim, but very aware that it was an extravagance...making today's donation all the more humbling.

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