Saturday, February 22, 2014

Collect Moments, Not Things

Last week, on a flight to Detroit from Orlando, my husband and I began discussing the blueprint for our upcoming adventures. On the back of my boarding pass I began noting all of the places that Matt and I want to visit and things we want to see. I had to lay it all out by month so I didn't get overwhelmed with all of the possibilities.

The list consisted of the following places... The Roxbury Motel in Roxbury, NY (yes, again), Bethel Woods (Woodstock Festival location), Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Brooklyn, Disneyland, Yosemite, Yellowstone (to fulfill my dream of seeing the buffalo), and the Bay of Fundy in Canada.

Looking at the list, all I can see are dollar signs. I get overwhelmed until I remember that we can do this, because... we've always done this. This is our life. We don't buy fancy cars, televisions, video games, or expensive clothes. One could argue that we don't buy those things because we aren't wealthy people, but in reality, it's just not us.

I went through that phase in high school. The phase where I thought that what I wore was going to make me happy. That it was going to matter to me and to everyone else in my circle. Then I met Matt, and he made me happy. Together, we learned that being with one another, seeing new places, and learning new things made us more happy than any $200 pair of shoes could. Now, I'm not faulting anyone that finds true joy in having "things", it just isn't for me.

I always think about what is going to stand out as something significant in my life when the end is near for me. I don't think I'm going to look back and remember a $100 pair of jeans that I just had to have. I'm not going to remember the insanely large television I purchased. I'm going to look back on times I spent with the people I love, doing things that I love.

For me, traveling is like breathing. I need it. I need to meet new people. I need to see things I've never seen before. I need to become more cultured. It's probably because I didn't get to do a lot of things when I was kid. I grew up in southwest Michigan... home of farmland and many close-minded individuals. My parents weren't wealthy monetarily, despite being very hard workers. We didn't go on vacations as a family. We went to car shows. All of my wonderful memories of my family as a whole before my dad passed away are from car shows where we showed off our '55 Chevy Bel Air.

When I got a little older, I learned that the world is MASSIVE. I discovered that there were kids in other countries that had almost nothing, and I would constantly ask my mom if we could go visit them or send them things that they needed. I learned that some cities were so big that skyscrapers had to be built to fit everyone. All of these things excited me and made me so damn eager to see and do it all.

Finally, I'm an adult that CAN see it all. I CAN do it all. I CAN meet incredible people and share life stories. I'm so grateful for every single adventure, big and small, that I've experienced. I've met people that have changed my life. I've seen things that have opened my eyes and brought me clarity. My dad's death put the fear of an "end" in my life. I've always had this sense of urgency. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed, so if I don't do what I want right now... I may never get to.

I will always, ALWAYS, be a "little things" kind of person.