Monday, April 30, 2012

Collecting Memories Rather Than Stuff

If you wander around on the web long enough you might stumble on several blogs or websites of people that have, with great exuberance, declared that they plan on selling everything they own and travel the world!

Some of these people are single, some are married with kids. Regardless they all feel the need to leave what appears to be a normal life with family, friends and having a steady job to seek something different. Few appear to be able to define exactly what they are looking for by doing all this.

However, the best answer so far is that people want to collect memories versus stuff. Likewise people want to break out of the cookie cutter mold of normal life because for them it is just too boring and they feel as if they are missing something or are somehow trapped.

While there is absolutely nothing wrong with traveling and yes some people have made a career out of doing this, it begs the question, is there no place like home? Simply put if you’re not happy now, you take yourself with you wherever you go, so changing physical locations might not be the real answer. How many happy nomads do you really know?

Experiences versus Stuff In the United States we have created a billion dollar industry by way of self storage units where we store our stuff that we no longer can fit at our residence but are too attached to throw away. Yet, we all gasp when we watch the T.V. show “Hoarders” and shake our heads and ask each other: How can people live like this? While at the same time fail to see all the mess we have created around ourselves in our own lives.

I totally understand the need to disconnect from gathering more stuff. However, it is harder for me to connect with the need to travel the world. I guess the United States is just not big enough and it does not sound as exciting to say you are going to travel all over the United States. So, I guess people want the whole enchilada by exclaiming that they want to see the world and experience different cultures.

However, I can tell you a little secret, there are plenty of different cultures right here in the U.S. that would take years to discover, but that is another story! If we can for a moment let’s look at the reality of this “want” that people are expressing and understand this is a “want” not a “need!”

First and foremost I’m not saying this is a bad idea nor am I making a judgment call on the people who are doing this. I just simply want to focus on the reality of the situation.

Most folks doing this don’t have the passive income to sustain themselves long term. I’m guessing reality must hit hard and fast living on the cheap even if you are totally used to living on the cheap! Living from motel to motel or hostel to hostel can be interesting but there is a reason no one really lives there!

How many times have you heard the phrase: It's not the destination, but the journey that is important! Unfortunately there are no perfect places on earth, because someone every where you are going is always thinking there is somewhere better than where they are right now.

Our reality has been photo shopped to make us think what we have, where we are and how we live is substandard. In reality, we are the richest and most free people the world has ever known yet we are too self absorbed to see this. We don’t know how to wake up and smell the coffee because we are too busy looking for the things we don’t have to recognize the things we actually do possess.

Friends if you want to travel the world and see reality for what it really is, first look in the mirror. When you can be totally happy with what you see in your reflection then you might find you no longer have to pack.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Cats Are On Prozac!

I’m not sure what this exactly says about my parenting skills or if this is a reflection of my wife and myself or just society in general. I am thinking we have lost our minds or maybe our cats did a long time ago.

Our three cats were all rescued from the local animal shelter. The mother cat is Snickers, and her two kittens are Midnight and Smokey. All the cats are older now and have been inside cats but are allowed to visit a screened porch and watch the birds and squirrels eat from a nearby bird feeder. Every morning they rise and demand to be fed promptly and are offered an extra “treat” pill pocket that contains their daily dose which is a 10mg Prozac tablet that is cut into quarters. They each receive one quarter that takes the edge off their day so that are less aggressive and less neurotic licking and biting.

When the vet wrote the prescription we filled it at the local Walgreens and my wife signed them up for their Prescription Savings Club which cost us twenty dollars. I wish I was joking when I say this but it is the absolute truth! Using the card the prescription is $12 versus over $50!

I am beside myself knowing that while I love our cats and they are part of our family it has come to this and somehow this is all part of normal everyday life as we know it.

Any moment I am waiting to hear the music and be told that I have entered the twilight zone. Normal for some reason does not feel normal anymore!