Today I’m taking the day off. No clients, no community organizing, no straightening the house, bill paying, elderly mother managing. And no nagging the youngest about web searching for our college tour come spring. I’m gonna play.
You heard me right. I’m doing nothing but fun stuff today. Some writing, some blog straightening, some photo organizing – doing the creativity resolution. Then I’ll grab a cup of coffee with a friend – another one of my new year’s resolutions that – don’t hate me because I’m perfect – I’m keeping!
Which means I’m having a guilt-free day. Let’s see, when was the last time that happened? Age 6?
And why is this okay? Because I read it in the paper! “Buying Happiness”, LA Times, today. Seems that experiences will make you happier than material things. Duh. So what should you do with the change in your pocket? Have fun.
I’ve got a loop of photos running as a screensaver from our recent Freiburg trip to visit our oldest on her junior year abroad. This was money well spent. I’ll repeat that, because I’m cheap, haven’t traveled much and the daughter of Depression-era parents who had no credit record to buy their house in 1964 because they paid cash for everything. (They did get the house but, as I recall, they had to sign-up for a credit card to do it.)
This vacation was exceptionally wonderful because we stayed in one place and WALKED EVERYWHERE and spent lots and lots of time just being with our kids. Sometimes that meant crawling up in a ball covered by my pea coat in the kid’s messy dorm room as I napped, my husband made chicken after figuring out the Celsius conversion and the kids watched Sponge Bob in German on the telly.
The only souvenirs I have are the empty mulled wine cups from the Christmas Market and a striped pashmina (9 Euros, not bad) that goes with everything and warm feelings every time I catch a photo of a castle or a streetcar or the kids mugging in front of a snow-filled backdrop.
Of course this not-new-news came from a study that said experiences tend to make people feel more alive. Their suggestion? Buy experiences. Mine? Buy them cheap – coffee and window shopping at the new Nordstrom’s. Or take the opportunity when it arises, if you can, and spend it with family you love.