Experiences, not things

Since Brad and I have been married, every year we’ve made a photo book out of our digital pictures through Shutterfly. While I was going through our 2019 photos, I noticed how much we did. We had so many new experiences throughout the year. I feel like every year we do a little bit more and I love it.

One of my reflections is to enjoy experiences, not things. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be collecting mugs, shot glasses, and other kitschy stuff. I just want to see more, to do more.

Brad and I have been talking about that a lot lately. We only get one life, you know? We can do the same stuff we always do, or we can experience new things. In 2019 we went to concerts, visited new places, painted, went to a hockey game, and spent time at the beach. We spent time with friends and family, doing new things in old places, like renting a cabana at the pool while on vacation. Tonight, we’re going to one of the local bowling alleys for a New Year’s Eve party. We’ve never gone out-out on New Year’s Eve before.

A while ago, I had a conversation with one of my sisters about stuff. I have my grandmother’s china and I hid it away in the cabinet because I didn’t want to damage it. She told me to use it. I have a bottle of wine I got at a vineyard in Sonoma Valley, California. She told me to drink it.

She’s absolutely right (and that’s not something I’d openly admit to, haha). What am I saving that stuff for? Plates are meant to hold food and wine is meant to be drunk. Drank? Drinked? I’m still sober, I promise. I’m just not good at grammar.

Things are cool. I’m not gonna lie. But why have stuff and not enjoy it? Open that bottle of wine and drink it with friends. Instead of staring adoringly at the bottle on your shelf, remember fondly the memories you made with people you love while you drank that wine.

Back to the cabana at the pool…we go to the same resort every year and we love it. We always have a great time with family. Out of all our vacations there, the time we recall and enjoyed the most was when we rented that cabana. It was something we’d always wanted to do and it was new and different. We had such a fun time, acting like royalty for a day. It was nothing epic, it was a small way we could enhance our experience and it certainly did.

It’s the little things, you know? We got a park pass this year and went to the beach and the Festival of Lights. We traveled to New York, North Carolina, Florida, and West Virginia. Man, seeing the beautiful mountains in and on our way to West Virginia was something.

We can’t take things with us when we’re gone. Some may say we can’t take our memories of our experiences, either. Maybe that’s true. But I’ll tell you what…when I’m in my final hour and I’m thinking about my life, you can bet I’ll be reminiscing about the good times I had. I’m not going to be thinking about my clothes or my car or my computer or even my shot glasses. I’m going to be remembering all the good times I had. Isn’t that what we do when we celebrate the life of a lost loved one? We remember the times we had with that person, rather than the stuff that person had? We remember the type of person they were, not the things they bought.

May your new year be filled with experiences that will last a lifetime.

xoxo
Jen

3 thoughts on “Experiences, not things

  1. Cousin Debbie January 1, 2020 / 12:55 am

    Hi Jennifer. Thank you for reminding us about experiences vs stuff. You’re absolutely right. A cabana by the pool sounds decadent & fun! Gotta try it. I just cleaned out my china closet last week & am only displaying things that I love, from people I love & that make me happy to look at everyday. Problem is I didn’t know I had so many wonderful memories from so many people in my life. I need a bigger china closet!

    Stay as wonderful as you are & healthy in the New Year!
    Love all your cousins in NY
    😘💜😘💜😘💜😘💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bernadette Faretra March 12, 2020 / 2:22 am

    I am behind in reading your blog, so am doing some catch up. Add Glacier National Park to your bucket list if you have not been yet. It is so awesome! We have Yellowstone on this year’s list and will be more careful about bears this time!

    Liked by 1 person

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