I’m watching a dear friend pack up and head off to a small town in the mountains. She doesn’t have a job yet, just family members there. She’s telling me all the cool things she’ll be doing, which ironically are the same things I’d like to be doing.
The difference is I’m not willing to give up my good paying job to go do it. Yeah, I’m not thrilled with what I do, in fact most of the time I’m totally bored. I hold on because the money is good. She’s letting go and embarking on a life of her dreams.
As I was sulking around the house feeling quite a bit envious, a thought immediately popped into my head. Riches are measured in experiences, not how much money you have. Say what? Where’d that come from?
Okay, going with that thought, I looked back at the things I remember the most: climbing a fourteener, hiking the Grand Canyon rim to rim, camping at the Great Sand Dunes, climbing Klingmon’s Dome, having lunch in Cades Cove, waiting for the clouds to clear at Mt. St. Helens, walking through the redwood forests in Northern California, whale watching in Monterrey Bay, flying co-pilot on a skydiver jump run, 4wheeling Blanca Peak, and the list goes on. Every time I think about any of those, I smile and remember good times.
Now I think about the raises I received, the occasional bonus, etc. Hmmm, I remember a few of them, but most are forgotten. I do remember the promotions and how exciting that was. Why? Because I had more money to spend on trips!
Think about when you sit around with friends. What makes a memorable evening? The sharing of stories that make you laugh, cry, and touch your soul. That is what makes us truly rich.
I’m not ready to quit my job just yet, but a change of focus is definitely in order from this side of the keyboard. A little shorter work day and more focus on enjoying life because a life well lived is the best riches ever.