Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Best Things In Life Are Still Free

This entry was inspired by my conversation with a young man a couple of days ago. He is from Smalltown, USA. He recounted the simple ways to pass time in Smalltown: swimming in a river, visiting friends, exploring the woods, boating and fishing. He said that his friends who live in metropolitan areas seem to be oblivious to free activities and at lost in amusing themselves without spending money. 

When I was growing up, we did a lot of things this kid have done to while the day away. My friends and I swam in a nearby lake, fished, visited with one another, cruised the neighborhood, and played games such as hide and seek , jacks, tag, and basketball.  Occassionally, we made road trips to nearby towns and saved for concerts, plays, and must see movies. 

I guess I am bothered by this young man's observation because themessage hit home. I raised my children mostly in metropolitan areas and they became rather unimaginative when it comes to personal amusement. I took them to concerts, plays, exhibits, movies, skate parks and a lot of other paid form of entertainment. I somehow feel that I took away something very vital from them during their formative years by not introducing them to the activities I enjoyed when I was young.

The conversation also made me think about things I love and treasure. I had to go back to an old entry and revisit the list I compiled. Here is the list:

I love: kids, sunshine, sand, surf, ocean, sunset, sunrise, flowers, candles, cheesecake, good wine, ice cream, pasta, exotic foods, smiles, hugs, kisses, laughs, friends, family, nature, fishing, traveling, music, indie and foreign films, success stories, performing arts and culture, books, readworthy articles, blogging, reading J entries, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Emily Dickinson, Shakespeare, Erma Bombeck, Michael Crichton, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Vanessa Mae, Charlotte Church, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kurt Cobain, and Rod Stewart.

I noticed that a lot of them are free and a few cost money. I realized that the ones that are free such as as: kids, sunshine, sand, surf, hugs, kisses, friends, family and laughs would go to my "can't-function-without" and  "can't- live-without" list and the ones that cost money (flowers, candles, wine, pasta, etc.) can go in my "nice-but-not-necessary" list.

I also remembered that the best gifts I ever recieved are those from the heart and not from the store: a mixed tape, my kid's artwork, homemade cards and baked goods, downloaded music, homecooked meals, hugs, kisses, smiles, kind words, recipes, online greeting cards and sappy e-mails.

To sum these up: Yes, the best things in life are still free!!!

15 comments:

my78novata said...

Yeah I know We spend alot of time doing things as a family that are free though we do go bowling nad other thigns. We also play games and go hiking and get silly on Friday nights. We do stupid stuff and yes the best of those are the free things.

my78novata said...

Oh by the way I htink sometimes we forget we do simple thnigs like you listed becuase someteims the WORLD does not place value on it unless it costs us something. Lori

lindainspokane said...

the best of times are free...just so they are spent with those u care about...love that picture...id love to see the original one in its larger size...any chance of that? have a great weekend..

linda
http://journals.aol.com/lindainspokane/LifewithLinny
http://journals.aol.com/lindainspokane/LinnysLuciousLickings

samnsmile5 said...

This was a great entry!  I just had thoughts of this the other day...thoughts of playing "Kick the Can" or "Spotligt" during the summer, waiting for your mother to yell for you, telling you it was time to come home.  Oh...the simple fun times.
Thanks for sharing this!
Michele   http://journals.aol.com/samnsmile5/LettingItAllSinkIn

derasta said...

I love this entry so much...and I agree with everything you said...my favorite gifts have been ones in which my kids wrote special poems for me and I have them framed and hanging on my walls...I love when a gift comes from the heart verses just anything purchased from a store...

http://journals.aol.com/derasta/ADayInTheLife/
http://journals.aol.com/derasta/ADerastaCreation/

ann7inflorida said...

This entry is beautiful & I love the photo lay out! Happy Friday!!! ~Ann : )

justaname4me2 said...

I've certainly discovered in  my life how very little I value "money." Money doesn't buy the things you truly cherish, but tis good for a movie or artwork purchases. Childhood was full of adventures and I had a blast. I too, hope I've given my daughters a glimpse of how it can be without arcades, movies etc.....Great entry and photography
Rebecca

alphawoman1 said...

This entry really hit home.  I use to find things to do with Bridget that const -0- because I had little to zero money. We would go visit the cemetery and feed the ducks, go to the wonderful and plentiful outdoor parks in Louisville, visit pet stores, etc. etc. etc.  Saturday afternoon we would go to the $1 movie.  Actually, when I was growing up we were always booted outside to play!  Allowed back in for lunch then back out!  We did the same things you did, roam the streets....such a gentler time back then.

Great entry.

belfastcowboy75 said...

Easy to say when you're already in Florida. It's costing me $400 to get there next month. THEN I'll appreciate all those natural pleasures.

karensull12 said...

I'm with you.  I appreciate the simple things--but this is after many years of not seeing the beauty in the simple things.  I hope my kids come to this conclusion some day too because everything they want to do now involves lots and lots of money...

cneinhorn said...

Love your "love" list. and the photo effect you did is wonderful too :-)

~JerseyGirl
http://journals.aol.com/cneinhorn/WonderGirl
 

ryanagi said...

This is a very good point. I fear already my son is expecting to be entertained and can't figure out how to entertain himself. I was almost never bored as a kid. Just climbing a tree and reading a book were enough to keep me happy for hours. The only thing my mother did to encourage this was to say, every day, "Go out and play. Get out of my hair." LOL Can it be that easy?

jcole16757 said...

I agree with you on the best things in life are free!  I remember the days of playing outside all day and having to be called in for dinner.  Riding our bikes and enjoying nature.  Times have change in a great sense that it's not always safe for the kids to play outside all day, or ride their bikes.  I long for the days of when I was a child.

chatzeekay said...

OH love the entry thanks for sharing ,,, Mnay places but our little ones always grow reagrdless where we live thats why we travel lol silly me

musenla said...

Someone send me a card recently which said, "the best things in life are not things".  So true.  What you enumerated are things you love because of the happiness they give you when you are engaged in them:  the warmth of sharing, the joy in nature's beauty, the thrill of discovery, the pride in accomplishment and creativity.  Those are the things that make our lives meaningful and worth remembering and thank goodness, don't have to cost a fortune!