Experience over Stuff

Why is it that when you need something it isn’t available?  This always happens to me, when I need a present for Mother’s Day, Birthdays or Anniversaries, they are never available on the day I need them.  Over the last 31 years (29 years for Em) we have collected a whole bunch of ‘stuff’ and at times our rooms have been packed full of stuff that we love and desperately treasure but do we need it…probably not.

A few years ago, Em and I decided to value ‘experience over stuff’, now that doesn’t mean we don’t want, need and desire more stuff, but if possible ‘experiencing life to the full’ is more important than being surrounded by the biggest and brightest.  We still have a garage (expertly sorted and catalogued by Em’s organisational mind) full of things we can’t bear to part with and that are useful to have for now and the future, but when it comes to ‘new’ we seem to have transitioned into a stage of ‘a place for everything or it doesn’t come home’.

I honestly never thought this would be possible knowing my pre-marriage wife and the ‘random stuff collector’ I was in high school. I should give great kudos to Em for making a massive effort in this area and making our house ‘ship shape’.  When we were ‘clearing out’ ready for Josh, we had to reassess everything, what’s important and what is just being held onto for no reason.  I would argue that in the process of making room for a new person in our hearts it freed up some feelings that were causing us to hold on to ‘stuff’ in our past that should have long gone.

For my 30th birthday Em and I decided to finally bite the bullet and take the 28-day trip to Europe we had been speaking of for our entire marriage.  We have both spoken at length about our time in Europe (but if you want to hear more just ask and we will book in an old fashion ‘slide night’ with Em’s 1000’s of photos, which she has condensed into a nice 128 picture montage for this purpose) but the friends and experiences we had on that trip far outweigh any product I could have bought, even if I spent twice what the trip cost.  We even caught up with some great, hopefully lifelong, friends we made on that trip yesterday for breakfast.

For Em’s 30th this year we were going to be heading to Shanghai, (I know not quite as extravagant as Europe, but the finances took a fairly big hit last year), with the sole purpose of spending some time in the newest, and most high tech, Disneyland in the world.  Sadly, this won’t be happening for us this holidays as there are some even cooler things happening back at home that we most definitely do not want to be overseas for, like the birth of our first niece or nephew.  We will get to Disneyland Shanghai, and Em will get her experience, it may just be for her 31st birthday in 2018.  Life throws down some diverse speed bumps that usually we are not expecting but, valuing experiences, both good and bad, over the stuff that fills your house makes your life light enough to be malleable and ready for them when they come.

Anyway, that’s certainly not what I was intending to write about, I was just going to write about how there was no good movies on when I was buying Valentine’s Day tickets and how we had to wait an extra 38 days to ‘celebrate’ Valentine’s day at ‘Beauty and the Beast’ but I’ll leave it there and just say ‘experience over stuff’ certainly has created memories and friendships that will long outlast the ‘new and shiny’ of stuff and that more good movies should come out on Valentine’s day so I have something to buy for next year that isn’t 38 days late.

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