Many years ago now, as my birthday was approaching, my parents asked me to make a decision regarding a gift. They were well aware there was a fancy electronic device I had my eye on; I’m sure I had left no room for doubt regarding that fact. Also however, around the same time as my upcoming birthday, a famous comedian was scheduled to perform at (what was at the time) The Saginaw Civic Center. I was charged with deciding which I wanted more – the new toy I had been hoping for, or tickets for all of us to attend the show. It was made clear there was no wrong answer, and whatever I decided would be absolutely fine. I gave it careful consideration, and after weighing all the factors through the eyes of a 10 year old boy, I picked the electronics.
At the time, I came to the conclusion that having the “thing” was more important – and lasting – than tickets to an event that after a couple of hours would be over and done. This was something real, that I could hold in my hand and play with every day. Now, I’m not so sure I would have made the same decision.
Don’t get me wrong, I still find myself lusting after “things”. But nowadays, they are more likely to be things that create experiences. A fancy new bike to ride across the country, a running pack with a better design and more pockets, a gift certificate to McDonald’s….. 🤣 As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that the things I have that are truly valuable are the experiences I’ve shared with my family and friends. They have a lasting value, that even increases with time.
Sometimes I think back to that decision, and I regret the choice I made. But I also know that (in part) because of that particular experience, I make different decisions today. I am the person I’ve become because of all of the decisions I’ve made in the past – and the experiences that result from making them.
Today I’ve made the decision to head out on foot, beginning a journey that will end hundreds of miles from home. Maybe some day I’ll feel differently, but right now, I can’t imagine trading these experiences for anything in the world.
Day 1 – 42.7 miles