I went to work the other day and two of my friends were talking about their upcoming backpacking trip in Zion National Park. One friend invited me to come along a while back but I declined because I knew I was visiting my friend Laney in Vegas already this month and couldn't afford to lose more work. He offered again and I said I couldn't because I have work. He jokingly told me to call out.
Instantly my mind started listing all the reasons I shouldn't do it. I need the money. I don't want more points for calling out. I don't have half the camping gear I need. I'm in bad shape and won't be able to keep up. I can't leave my cat again. It's a long drive and gas prices are ridiculous. While all these thoughts were rolling around in my brain, my heart was quietly whispering, "...but...I want to go..."
I started to shift my thinking into figuring out if I could actually make this work. Here's what I realized: I don't want to be one of those people who won't do things because they need to save their money. I realized that my life will be a much happier one if it is full of rich experiences instead of having a full savings account. Yes there are legitimate reasons I shouldn't go on the trip, but one reasons trumps all those. It will make me happy.
My happiness is the most I could ask for in this life I am living. While I believe in an afterlife, I want to live my life here on Earth to the fullest. I want to go on spontaneous trips with my friends. I want to buy and read a lot of books. I want to binge watch a TV show for a week straight. I want to eat ice cream every day. I want to do what makes me happy and I want to do it without feeling regret or shame.
It's silly, but even by setting goals for the things that make me happy, end up destroying my happiness...For example I always set a reading goal every year and when I get behind I get discouraged. Why should I be discouraged!? If I feel like picking up a book and reading, then that's awesome! If I'd rather watch TV or play a video game instead, that's cool too.
And I don't know if you know this, but I LOVE ice cream. Like seriously...if ice cream were a man then I would marry him and have little ice cream babies of delicious creamy goodness. Wait...where was I? Oh yeah. So I love ice cream and I probably have some form or other of frozen dairy treat every day. And every time I do, I feel ashamed because I know it's not good for me. WHO CARES!? Ice cream is freaking delicious and I just want to enjoy it and not hate myself afterward.
Life's too short for regret and shame. I plan on moving forward and pursuing my happiness. Obviously I need to be financially aware and responsible, but that doesn't mean I can't dip into the savings account every once in a while. I have a really amazing life and I'm young and have all kinds of adventures ahead of me. I can't wait to see what happens in my future.
Do what makes you happy and do what you can to make others happy. And that's my new philosophy!
*bonus points if you knew the musical right away