Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Another mantra

My dad came to visit a week ago. I picked him up at the San Jose airport and we drove up the coast to visit my aunt and uncle in Oregon. We stayed for a few days and drove back down to spend a few days here in Monterey.

While visiting my aunt and uncle, we spent a lot of time just shooting the breeze at their awesome house with their fluffy cats. I bought some yarn at the local yarn shop (photos to come). It felt like we were locals instead of tourists, and that's a nice feeling to have, I think.

The grownups were talking about lifestyles, houses, retirement, and whatnot when my uncle said something along the lines of: "We have everything we need. Now, it's all about experiences."

Pretty good mantra for this blog, huh? The thing is, it's not just about resisting the urge to spend and clutter my life. When it comes to physical belongings, it's about choosing items that are durable and useful. I didn't notice anything at their house that seemed brand new, but everything was in good shape. Nothing was cheap looking, and there wasn't much that wasn't being used. Everything about the house just felt content.

When my uncle said that bit about the experiences, he really meant it. They talked about how they don't really like going to the movie theater because they'd rather watch the movie at home where they can settle in with some cheese and crackers or olives (they were really into Safeway's olive trays apparently) and a couple glasses of wine.

I don't know about you, but that sounds way better than our version of movie night. We do watch movies at home, but we certainly don't make any kind of event out of it. When we go out to see a movie, it's usually not worth the time and money.

I'd like to learn from this and make a more concerted effort to create a life that's full of experiences, not stuff. This isn't the first time I've mentioned this, but I like having a specific image in mind when I talk about experiencing life more fully. People have this tendency to think that living life to its fullest means going out and doing really adventurous stuff, but I love that my aunt and uncle keep a much more steady pace about life; they just give their everyday lives a little kick. They've developed a pretty good sense of what they enjoy and then they do it. Simple as that.

So, they're my new role models.