Happy New Year plus one week after the long hiatus here at Things I’ve Noticed. Sorry to make you miss by blog posts. With Christmas being over and people coming to grips with the presents they’ve received, I just want to say don’t feel like you have to return any of your presents by falling for “receiver’s remorse” (or buyer’s remorse if you bought yourself a present.) Supposed happiness experts are tell us, “Buy experiences, not things.” That’s an oversimplification, not good advice. I would say buy experiences and buy fewer things, ones that make you happy and lead to experiences you enjoy.
Most things we buy create immersions in the moment that we enjoy. I bought specific speakers for my stereo because they sound great (to me) and they repeatedly create a wonderful musical listening experience. Objects continually create experiences until they break or age beyond their functional life. That’s value! I am particular about the cars I drive because to me, driving is about the experience and the feel of the vehicle that I encounter nearly every day. A vacation or a zip-lining experience is a one-and-done affair. Objects can make part of each day a mini-vacation whereas you can only go on a real vacation every so often. We have limited time and budgets. It’s not about the ownership of the item, but to get repeated experiences from an object requires ownership. For instance, I can’t rent the same bicycle 30 times a year. Ironically, memorable experiences can lead to the purchase of souvenirs or the creation of photographs, even if only stored on a hard drive.