I share a lesson learned in life each weekday. Here is today’s lesson…
I usually wake up earlier than Nicole. Since she sleeps curled in my arms or with her head on my chest, I try not to disturb her. Instead, I use that time to think about the day that passed and plan the day ahead. This is often when I come up with the day’s blog post.
While I lay awake today, I thought it would be fun to recount my top five memories of the year so far. There was way more than five though, and it was impossible to place a specific five at the top of the list. Every time I thought I had one, another memory popped in my head that I thought for sure was a top five.
In the end, I settled for the five most persistent memories I have of the year so far. In essence, not necessarily my top five but the five most popular based on how many times they kept resurfacing. The funny thing is, there was a surprising lesson about them. But first here are five of my favorite memories this year (in no particular order):
Our first Stand-Up Paddleboard excursion to Caladesi Island. It was a game changer for me, solidifying my love for SUP. We saw stingrays, a school of jumping fish, crabs, a shark, and more. It was a fascinating day all around.
Also, our first trip to the beach at Honeymoon Island. That was our first day of relaxation after we moved. It was in the middle of March and we were swimming in the ocean. It just doesn’t get better!
Strolling the riverwalk downtown. Every time we walk along the river downtown we are sure to have an adventure–whether Tampa Bay Veg Fest, Yoga in the Park, watching cruise ships or spotting sea life.
Hanging out with our adopted vegan friend, Chris. Our pal Chris is far from being vegan but I give him credit for being willing to try new things. He has gone to a few veggie restaurants with us, and every time he does, he goes 100% vegan, ranting against meat-eaters like a pro. He might be the only non-vegan who has ever made me laugh about being vegan.
My parents visiting. Mom and dad were our first Michigan visitors and it was so great to have them here for a few days. Sitting with Nicole at my side and hanging with my parents was a blast. Plus, I got my first pedicure with mom and dad, for fun.
I have to give an honorary mention, too, though it is not technically a specific memory…
Visiting Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Orlando. This is far and away my favorite restaurant here. It is so good it reminds of my Grand Rapids hometown favorites like Bartertown and Marie Catrib’s. I wish I could fit Ethos into my pocket and take it everywhere.
The most interesting thing about these memories, though, is that none of them involved spending a great deal of money.
Of my favorite memories this year, I think it is noteworthy that the nearly 80 grand we shelled out for our new cars was not at the top of the list. The 6 thousand dollar investment in Paddle boards was not there, though the act of paddle boarding itself was. It was the experience, not the shopping. The Dyson vacuums and high-end Nespresso latte machine are great toys but not even in the top 20 memories of the year. The large sums of money we threw at furniture, clothes, and moving (twice) were not among my favorite memories either.
Money buys things of present value, but not valuably present things. Only connections and experience will give you something to value forever. Looking at this year, I have to say people and adventure are the things I will remember, not gadgets and shopping for them.