This has been a topic I wanted to talk about for a long time. We can easily get so caught up in consumerism and keeping up with the Joneses. More and more, bigger and better. And I also see how many kids, even young kids, are addicted to their screen time. Which seems to cause so much disruption in the child’s life, and the family’s.
I also wanted to write about this topic because I have come to see that the best things in life really are free. This was certainly reinforced on our recent family trip to Disneyland. We had a wonderful few days as a family. And it was awesome to see the girls’ reactions to seeing their favourite princesses and other Disney characters. And we certainly had moments of bonding waiting for rides and laughing with excitement after rides. (Which by the way – it was the bonding, and those little moments, and not the rides themselves– that was awesome). But, no matter what we saw or what we did, the best part of our trip was the time we spent together off the resort. We were most relaxed, had the most laughter, and really enjoyed each other’s company the most when we were splashing together in the pool or cuddling in bed together.
I’ve noticed in my life that the best things really are free. I find when I make plans to get together with friends, all we want to do is hang out over a game of cards and laughter or a refreshing walk outside. When I make a date night with my husband, we don’t want to go out for a fancy dinner. All we want to do is a quiet night in to snuggle and chat about our day, about our future, about each other. Maybe read a book side-by-side (or, even better, to each other). Mother’s day, all I wanted to do was go for a bike ride with the kids (which we did – and it rocked). Even yesterday, I had the opportunity to spend some time with my daughter. My mind immediately to all the places we could go to around town (that cost an arm and a leg) that would be fun. But she was happiest with going home and hanging with me. And so, we went home and hung out, which largely consisted of cuddling while we chatted about random things. And baking the most amazing banana bread ever. We had a lovely afternoon together. And these are the things I will always remember. These are the things that bring us together. These are the best parts of my life.
One more story. I never thought about it until now, as I was writing this post. I experienced a great loss a number of years ago. I was not coping well and I ended up seeking counselling support to deal with my grief. I was given advice. Advice to do some shopping therapy, to get a pedi/mani, go on a trip, and to otherwise distract myself with other worldly things. I left that session feeling even more hopeless. You know what helped me? Nothing that cost money. Connection. Connection with my husband. Connection with my daughter. Connection with other families who experienced the same thing. Connection with myself.