Money, money, money. There are movies about it, songs about it and it’s the only reason most of us even get up in the morning. And if you are considering bankruptcy or in the midst of a serious financial situation, you’re thinking about it all night, too.
Unfortunately, money has become an all-encompassing concept for the vast majority of Americans. Every where you turn there’s talk of unemployment, the recession, over-spending, under-spending, foreclosures, bailouts and hand-outs. All focused on money.
Well, aren’t you getting sick of it?
So let’s dedicate some space on the blog to talking about things that aren't about money. Let’s talk about experiences and memories, that which doesn't take money and won’t generate collection letters. You know, the stuff money can’t buy.
Tomorrow morning, set your alarm an hour or so earlier and walk to the nearest hill to watch the sunrise. Your local news station should have the time of sunrise published so you can rough-out a schedule. It only takes a few minutes but will probably be the most rewarding thing you do all day. Reality is, we only have a limited number of sunrises in our lifetimes, so why not actually watch a few of them.
The night sky
Few people realize what they are missing in the darkness of the night sky. For anyone living in the Triangle, for example, or other large urban areas, it’s tough to get a good view of the sky without significant light pollution impacting the depth of view. But there are some places you can go to get a much better look than the view available in your cul-de-sac. Basically, try to find a place that doesn’t have a lot of homes or development immediately around it. Yeah, that’s tough around here, but consider places like Lake Crabtree County Park, which can be accessed off of Weston Parkway (off of Harrison Ave.) via Old Reedy Creek Road, which is a partially paved access road to a water treatment plant for the Town of Garner. You can walk out on to the paved greenway that overlooks the lake. There’s even a bench. If you live near a golf course, consider a night-time stroll out to the farthest hole. With the right conditions, you can see satellites, shooting stars and constellations you never knew existed. It helps put things into perspective to know just how small we really are.
A nap with your dog
Sure, it sounds a bit cheesy. But have you just sat and watched a dog sleep? Wonder what’s going through their head? (They’re surely not worried about money.) After a while your breathing patterns will start to get in sync and before you know it, you start to relax. If you’re the “dog doesn’t go on the furniture” type, put your rule aside for a day or two. Most dogs love nothing more than spending quality time with their eyes shut. So why not join them for once?
Whether in a homeless shelter, dog pound, assisted living facility or elementary school classroom, there are endless ways for you to stay busy helping others that—surprise!—may worry about money more than you do. If you have free time, spending it in support of others is a great way to take your mind off what has been keeping you up at night; and you can even learn new work skills or find an interest you never knew you had.
These few items represent just a fraction of everything you can do and experience that don’t take any money and provide experiences exponentially more valuable than anything money can buy.