I saw this comic in CityArts Magazine and it just struck me as poignant. There is something about aging that allows you to relax a little bit. The more you relax the better life becomes.
But I what I loved was the idea that not only do we relax but we learn that it’s better to spend a little money for something worth it. We spend so much time talking about saving money that we forget that some things are worth spending a little more.
My first lesson did come regarding alcohol. At 21, I could buy my own. I could walk into a store and pick out what made me happy. I was no longer at the mercy of anyone else. No more really cheap alcohol (who ever thought that was a good idea). I learned that I could have 1 drink of something fantastic and still have a good time. I might even have a better time.
Now this post isn’t about alcohol, specifically but about treating ourselves to the good stuff. Especially when we have kids, we skimp because we just can’t afford to give everyone the good stuff. What nonsense is that?
Before my son went away to school, we bought regular ‘ole cheap whole milk from the grocery store. When he left, we jumped up to the much better (and better for you) organic. Now that he’s back, I can’t bring myself to go back to the cheap stuff. So what do I do? He can drink a lot of milk. I buy a gallon of milk on payday and when it’s gone, we don’t have milk. We cook with the powdered milk or plan around not having milk. Life goes on. When we get a gallon of milk, we appreciate it more. We enjoy having it in the house. It’s not just a something. It’s become special.
That might seem weird to think of a gallon of milk as a special occasion but that’s how we’ve begun to treat our food. We buy organic meat. Because it’s not “cheap”, we use less. We savor it. We don’t fill our plates with a slab of flavorless flesh that we cover with sauce. We enjoy our small serving and save the sauces for other dishes.
Our dinner routine hasn’t changed. We still don’t have a dining room and eat our dinner in front of the tv. But while that plate is in hand, we stop. We savor. Each bite is pleasant. We, actually, forget the television is on. That is what good food does. The family still talks to each other because we are all having a wonderful experience.
You see, the downfall of society isn’t the technology that distracts us. It’s cheap food. It’s food that barely nourishes our bodies (or has been made nutritious through chemical additions). It’s bland so we have to add things to make it flavorful. We have become addicts and forgot what real living is like.
But once we realize that we don’t need a buzz to have a good time, things start to change. We invest our time and money into less because we get so much more. We order off the top shelf and savor life. And I really think no one should wait until they are 40 to start.