Driving back home after 3 glorious days in Acadia National Park, where I was surrounded by the ocean, mountains and nature I saw a sign for shopping outlets. Then about a mile further another exit sign reminding drivers what exit to take to head to the outlets. It dawned on me in that moment that rather than promote a 47,000 acre park that will fill up your soul with so much peace, instantly relax your mind with it’s beauty and make you feel so alive- the highways instead promote a shopping outlet. I wasn’t surprised, just sad.
I don’t collect things, not anymore. I collect moments. I hoard them like crazy. I take their pictures, and share them. I talk about them and reminisce, and sometimes laugh or maybe cry. I love moments that fill me up inside and make me happy to be here having this human experience. Things do not fill me up with joy and here’s 7 reasons why.
- In 6 months you will forget about the shirt you had to have . You will never forget that day staring out into the ocean watching the sun rise that took your breath away
- You will lose a weekend having to go through the objects collecting dust trapped in your closet. You will gain an experience spending a weekend trying something new.
- You will spend your hard earned dollars filling up your closet when we only wear 20% of what we own 50% of the time. You will spend your hard earned dollars on a vacation to that island you’ve always wanted to go to, and never forget the moment you stepped off that plane.
- Items whether tucked away in closets, or out in the open for other’s to see do not have the same effect as sitting and having lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in years.
- Go shopping for more shoes will not create quite the same feeling as deciding to spend the day with friends and family instead, or maybe just taking a long walk alone.
- Moments and memories can be free, things are not.
- Moments and memories can be shared, things cannot always be shared.
Always remember we are not what we own. We are made of all of the things that bring us happiness, joy and make us feel loved. We are not defined by our possessions nor should we allow our possessions to define who we are.
When I woke up at 5:45 a.m. to see the sunrise in Maine and stepped outside just after the dawn had broken, all I heard was nature surrounding me and all I saw was beauty. In that moment I knew for sure that there are only moments. Those are the things we should take with us. Anything that does not feel amazing or inspires us to be our best self is just taking up space.