The editors of this fine blog recently went back to categorize the entries (including ones from yours truly) to make it easier for readers to browse back and re-read the bits and pieces of pithy knowledge previously proffered. In an effort to assist, I counted my contributions (25, not including this one) and took a moment to read through them all. Individually, I didn’t offer any information that was terribly earth shattering; nothing worth stopping the presses for (sidebar: will future generations even understand that expression?)…
That is until I read a New York Times article on what makes people happy. And guess what? For the vast majority of us, it’s not stuff; it’s experiences and connecting with others socially. To quote the article, “One major finding is that spending money for an experience—concert tickets, French lessons, sushi-rolling classes, a hotel room in Monaco—produces longer-lasting satisfaction than spending money on plain old stuff.”
So, after reading this, I am now convinced I’m some sort of happiness guru (which of course means you have to check back on the blog on a regular basis to ensure your continued satisfaction with life) because I have embraced this concept of “doing versus buying” as a subtle theme running through most of my entries (it was so “subtle,” in fact, that the entire concept was news to me until I read through everything). In the 25 posts I wrote for you, gracious reader (quick: who knows where that expression comes from?), I count maybe four instances in which I suggest you buy something as opposed to doing something. And even these “things” I suggest you buy are to supplement some kind of activity: a nature guide (for better hikes); WD-40 (for easier snow shoveling, and, really, is WD-40 an indulgence?); a compass (instead of GPS); and ice cream and pizza. Now, let’s be clear: I’m not saying you shouldn’t go spending money (and lord knows the economy needs you to), but next time you might consider patronizing a local purveyor of an experience rather than a thing.
If you’re now thinking to yourself, “I simply must go back and re-read what “The Balanced Guy” has to say to ensure my lasting happiness,” please turn your attention to the right side of this Web page and in the “Categories” section, click on “The Balanced Guy Blog” link. I guarantee you will feel your very soul and deepest inner-being achieve Nirvana even as you hit “Return.”
The writer of The Balanced Guy, Roman Horoszewski, is not particularly balanced but he’s trying to be. He makes an effort by not only doing “guy stuff,” but also by spending time with his three sons and wife while attempting to remain informed about the world around him. He and his family live in the Princeton, N.J. area. His blog is at thebalancedguy.blogspot.com.