As you all know, I got back relatively recently from a visit to New Orleans. I won’t bore you with more details on that trip, but I do want to share some lessons of which I was reminded as a result of my time there.
- Time is better than money. Most summers over the last several years, I’ve taught summer school. I did it for the money. So what did I do to decompress from a satisfying but long and stressful school year? I did more school. This year I decided that I needed time more than money. Granted, this is easy for me to say in my circumstance, making more money than I need to live. For the first time in my life, I don’t live from paycheck to paycheck, so I have the luxury to make that decision. But my point is that many of us choose money over time because we’re either living beyond our means or we’re just accumulating wealth for no reason other than to have it. I’ve been saying to Jenna, whom I love as a daughter, that I would visit her for years, but for various reasons I just never took the time. This year I decided that I was finished with that and just bought that plane ticket. And when I got there, I spent more money than I probably should have, but I did it without guilt because I got to share some wonderful experiences with someone very special to me. Speaking of which…
Experiences are way better than things. In fact, other than the small number of things we need to keep us alive and healthy, practically the only reason that things matter is to remind us of great experiences and the loved ones with whom we shared them. I used to try to find happiness with stuff. A new car every couple years, a newer, faster computer, the latest gadget–but they never made me happy. And I sacrificed the ability to do things with friends and family to get them. That’s something I don’t want to do anymore.
- Now is better than later. This summer has reminded all West Virginians that bad things come out of nowhere and you never know when a day is your last. So take that visit, make that phone call, stop saying maybe next year–do it now. I’m not saying to go into debt so you can take a cruise. I’m saying that we often choose to put things off because we’re tired or stressed or we’re just too plain lazy, thinking that we have plenty of time to get around to spending quality time with those we love and seeing the places we dream of someday and, for many of us, that someday never comes. So make someday now.
There you go. I hope you find those edifying.
Joe’s newest book, Dawn of Grace, just debuted on June 9. It’s available on Amazon.
Check out his third book, In The Shadow on Amazon
Take a look at his debut book, Harsh Prey on Amazon
Take a look at his second book, Kisses and Lies on Amazon