Thursday, October 23, 2014

Money Can't Buy Time

At this time five years ago, I lost both of my grandparents, within just a couple of months of each other. It was a hard period of time for my family, and continues to be an emotional time of year for me. I miss them each individually, but I also miss the way they fit into the tight knit dynamic that is ever present in our growing family.

My mom's parents were amazing people. When we were little, they played with us, went sledding with us down their steep driveway in the snow, let us come over, fed us well, and filled our lives with memories that I still think of fondly. As we grew up and they moved to the coast, they allowed us to come visit, spend time, camp out in their yard, and bring armies of friends, boyfriends & girlfriends, and pets with us for weekends away from Portland. There was no shortage of love, quality time, or laughs in their house, and it quickly became my favorite place to spend weekends after I was able to drive and had a car of my own. 

Would you rather: Have more time, or have more money

At this time every year, I wish I would have had more time to spend with my grandma and grandpa; this one is simple, really - I would rather have more time. 

Where does money really get you anyway? Is it a necessary evil to survive, to pay bills, to feed & clothe yourself? Of course. But it is the root of any happiness? No, not at all. I mean, I suppose it contributes - without money, life would be pretty bleak, and I would argue that in the past year or so that I have finally had more of a disposable income and more ability to both spend and save, things are less stressful. But money certainly does not buy happiness on any level. 

I am far more concerned about the time I spend with people, than what I am spending to do so. I don't need to go out to dinner or see a concert, or to take lavish vacations in order to enjoy the company of someone in my life. I am often content to lay in silence in my boyfriend's arms after a home-cooked meal (yea, I make food sometimes now, it's a new thing). I enjoy long walks outside with my girlfriends or dinner at home with my mom & dad. There is more to life than things you have to pay for, and often times the ones you don't have to pay for end up being the best ones anyway. 

For the cost of half of a tank of gas in my '91 Toyota Tercel, I was able to spend years of weekends with my grandparents while they were here; I can't imagine not having those memories, those stories to think over when I visit the beach house now that they're gone. It didn't take a lot of money for me to have those weekends, to sit on the couch and watch TV with Grandpa, or to take a walk on the beach with Grandma. But it took time. Time I could have spent with friends or at the movies or at the mall. Time I preferred to spend with my cousins. 

Money doesn't buy anything as important as time. Sometimes that best thing you can do for yourself, is to make time for yourself, and then to make some time for someone else. Because in the end, you won't have any of the stuff you spent your money on, but you'll be able to find peace in knowing that the people in your life knew you valued your time with them.