It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a number of studies have found that people who choose to have more vacation time are happier than people who have more money. Life work balance is a subject that is often brought up in relation to health and happiness.

active-15926_1920These studies also say that people who spend the money on experiences instead of material possessions are happier. It is not about keeping up with the Joneses.  A fulfilling life doesn’t lie in our possessions, it’s found in the experiences we have and the people we share them with.

If you look back on your own life and bring up your 5 all time favourite memories, what are they? Are they about moments, about feelings, or about material possessions?

My favourite 5, looks like this:

  1. My best memory is the doctor telling me after 3 miscarriage that the baby I was looking at a computerise image of my unborn child was healthy and strong and would see the light of day. I still have tears when I think back at that moment.
  2. My boyfriend kneeling in the snow surrounded by trees with a small box. The light in his eyes, the smile on his face as I jumped from happiness.
  3. My mother-daughter trip to Disney World. The joy on her face. The feeling of accomplishment as a single mother. This memory always brings a smile on my face and warmth in my heart.
  4. Camping under the stars with my child and 2 nieces in the middle of the forest. Being the only one awake in the middle of the night and watching a group of coyotes pass by.
  5. Lying in the sun as a child while my mother is quietly passing fingers in my long straight black hair. Feeling the warm caress of the sun and the cooling summer breeze on my skin.

hiker-918704_1920Happiness in my case is all about passing a good time with family members. It isn’t about passing time at work. It isn’t about the purchase of a laptop, even though I’m a tech and getting a new material possession does make me happy in that moment.

Some of my worst memories, include having to return to work early after giving birth because I couldn’t afford to stay home. Forcing new parents to make the heartbreaking decision between earning the income they need and caring for their newborn(s) they love is heartbreaking.

“Don’t chase happiness with money. You’ll never catch it.” – Dave Ramsey

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