Experience over material possessions, what is your take on that, my friends? Yes, you are all my virtual friends! Why the question? Well, I think that that attitude or mentality is the new brewing trend nowadays, an excellent one, if I may add. Aside from the articles I will share with you below, I’d like to convince you further that it is wiser, healthier and happier indeed to spend money and energy on experiences rather than on material stuff by sharing with you my own sentiments. Naks. 🙂
At 30, there are times when I look back at my childhood memories (napapadalas na nga eh), telling it to my friends, children, and husband. I noticed that the happiest and most cherished memories that I have are the ones which are associated with the people I love, my relationships and experiences with them. Examples:
- Happiness is my memory of me and my cousins’ food preparations for summer outings and cemetery visits. What food, how much food or what car we use does not give me joy. It’s the bonding we had during preparation and anticipation of the day.
- Happiness is my memory of me and my mother looking for a Nintendo player. It’s not the Nintendo itself that left a mark in my heart, rather, it’s me and my mom’s search and travel for a Nintendo that would fit our budget. It’s in the way we saved up for it.
- Happiness is my memory of me and my family eating altogether. All those times we shared food, whether fish crackers or pecking duck, on the floor of our one-bedroom humble abode with a newspaper as our placemat or at an expensive restaurant. They bring me so much joy.
- Happiness is my memory of me and my sisters riding at the back of an open truck on the way to the province.
- Happiness is my memory of me and my mother walking the street holding hands and her buying me kwek-kwek, stationery and cake from a local bakery after we’ve gone to a pawnshop.
- Happiness is my memory of me and my husband’s travels, local or abroad, by air or by land, transient house or 5-star hotel.
- Happiness is my memory of my children’s smiles and laughter.
- Happiness is my memory of my friends, all our gimmicks, all our chats, all our giggles.
I can share more of my happiness but I fear that I’d run out of space. The point is, none of the bags I have collected bring the same happiness they once have given me. I no longer feel the same joy whenever I think of my iPhone. The clothes, the jewelry, the toys I brought my kids, the knick-knack collections, none of them remind me of happiness anymore. I’m grateful, yes, but, not as happy. True happiness does not come with price tags or brands, it’s an emotion deeply felt by heart and then embedded, that not even time could erase. Happiness is associated with people and experiences, not things. 30 years to finally realize that, fully and absolutely.
It’s not late, though, for I have my kids to apply this important realization for. I often buy them expensive toys to make them happy and compensate for my limited time with them. Now, I know better. I know that once they are no longer children, they would remember less the clothes, toys and any stuff I bought for them, and they would remember happiness by how I made them feel while experiencing life. It’d be in the details and simple things, not the price or grandeur.
From now on, it will be experiences over things, ALWAYS. Rule no. two (2) na yan! First is God, of course. Kaya rin siguro we can only experience God. He cannot be truly felt through material possessions alone. Sharing with you these reads to encourage you to change your ways and mentality (if needed). I myself is in the process of conversion, from being thingy-clingy to experience and relationship hoarder. If these articles and scientific research won’t convince you, I suggest you do a reflection on your own. Recollect your happy memories. From there, you’ll know where to invest your resources for a lasting happiness, and I hope you’re not investing in the temporary ones. That my friends is how you can be happy.
*Images are not mine. All from Instagram