There is a certain concept about life that I have figured out so far in my young adulthood, and that is the importance of investments. Now, of course financial investments are important, but that isn’t what I mean: I mean investments in your time and also investments in your memories.
Hear me out.
We live in a society that is incredibly materialistic. I, myself, am guilty of this. I mean, heck… I’m typing this blog on my laptop, with my phone sitting right next to me. I can hear Netflix playing in the room right outside my bedroom door, and I can already smell the pizza that my brother is making for a late-night snack. Those are all financial investments, right? Sure. Money goes into (or has gone into) all of these things, but what is the true value of all of it? The thing that I appreciate and cherish the most isn’t the electronics or the television services or even the food (and that’s saying something!). The most valuable thing in this whole scenario is that I can hear my brother in the other room in the first place. It’s the fact that he was able to come home from his base in Illinois and spend some time with the family this summer. It’s the slight glimmer of annoyance that I have about how loud and obnoxious his show is while I’m trying to type this – this is what “normal” used to be for us, and it’s a rare occurrence now that we both technically live in separate states. I’m going to miss his presence, and I’m glad that I’m at the point in my life that I can acknowledge this realization while it’s actually happening.
The other day, my family and I went boating. We hadn’t been as a whole group since before my seven year-old brother was born, so you can say that it was long awaited. We could have went to another amusement park or even just gone to the beach, but the boating all in itself was an adventure. We went tubing and grilled hotdogs out on an island, and we were also able to fish for a little while. This was such a simple day, and yet it meant the world to each and every one of us.
Blame the former English Major in me, but I am super observant. I try to soak up life while it’s happening and appreciate it for all that it’s worth. This boating day was no exception. I loved seeing my youngest brother’s adoration for marine life shine in his eyes when he reeled in a little shark. I admired the sight of my teenage sister, as her hair blew in the wind and as she lifted her face up the sun, and I have never thought that she has ever looked so carefree and beautiful. I sat next to my brother (the annoying one with the loud TV show and great smelling pizza that he didn’t end up sharing with me) and I noticed just how grown up he has become: He can easily grow facial hair now, his muscles are definitely more defined in his arms, and his voice has gotten deeper. You would never guess that my mother and grandmother are roughly twenty years apart – they both looked so similar to each other as they beamed on the tube in the water. They’re both a couple of the most selfless people that I know, and they are both adventurous – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? My sister looks a lot like them, too, which is a little freaky to the rest of us. And dad, well, it was nice just to see him relax and smile all day long. He wasn’t stressing about money or his job or politics or anything else. He was just enjoying life.
Invest in the memories, ya’ll. If you want to go on the trip, do it. If you want to get a puppy, do it. If you want to tell somebody that you love them, do it. Life is made up of all of these little moments, and you’re not going to want to look back on it all and wish that you had done things differently. When it’s our time to enter the Pearly Gates, it won’t matter how much we had saved up in our bank accounts. Please do not think that I’m saying that you ought to splurge through all of your money. Of course not. But don’t forget to appreciate your life while you still have time to do so. Take some time off of work and spend some quality time with the people that you love.
Frankly, I would be 100% okay if my family didn’t leave anything in their wills for me. The memories that I have with them have more value than any monetary amount that could be offered. I wouldn’t trade these memories for anything, for these are the things that I’ll hold on to for the rest of my life.