Such an uplifting msg. Life’s a journey & if we’re lucky, we take the lessons from the things we 1) may’ve previously prioritized for the wrong reasons, & 2) may’ve experienced as challenges in our lives, & gain vital perspective.
For each of us it’s prob a little diff based on what we grew up w….what our parents valued…what they taught us. But the thing abt being a kid – innocence & all, is that we yearn for “things” & everything else doesn’t feel AS complicated.
For me, the “things” were gifts like WWF wresting figures, or it was the new baseball bat, or the most ridiculous purchase ever made that my dad still gives me shit for to this day – “platform sneakers” that made you run on your toes only, so you could build up your jumping ability in your calves.
But it didn’t matter what it was, I got that hit of dopamine every time I got to pick something out in the store. I didn’t know it was dopamine at the time of course, but I knew thinking abt, dreaming abt, & then finally getting that toy or that sporting equipment is what brought me joy. And then everything in the world felt “in order” & simply “OK.” Sure, that’s the innocence of being a child!
But then you go thru life & “things” happen. I used to remember asking my parents what they wanted for their bdays & they’d respond w things that seemed cliche, like: “All I want is for you boys to be happy, or to be w you on my bday, that’s the greatest gift you can give me.” At the time I thought, what a load of crap – they’re just giving me an easy out so I don’t have to spend the money I made shoveling snow from driveways or washing cars, on them. But as I got older, I realized those comments actually came from the heart.
And as I got older, while things became more complicated & did feel like a “mess,” the material things I could get, like leasing a new car, weren’t the “cure all” that the baseball bat had been in the past.
And then one day “it” just clicks. You realize material things aren’t what brings you joy. You realize to appreciate one thing at a time, even when other things feel “off.” Perspective is our best earned “skill.”