Friday, May 18, 2012

Spend Out

           A Spend Out Date 

A few weeks ago, I finished the book, The Happiness Project. Read more about it, HERE. I loved loved loved this book. It was such a reality check to read and you definitely should. I won't spoil it anymore. Nevertheless, one concept that spoke to me the most was "Spending Out." Now, this is not spending in a financial sense. Spending out is something I've come to live by as often as I think of it. Basically, it means that we spend out our time and treasures as frequently as we can.
First we've got time. We've got time to make time. If there is something we really want to do, we make time for it. If not, we become extremely disgruntled in our routines. We get home from work and we're tired. We want to go out to dinner but we decide to stay in because we're tired. This is not spending out. Spending out is putting on our little black dress, freshening our lipstick and living it up. We won't remember that we watched four hours of television, but we will remember that we had that blissfully romantic date. We'll make memories over dinner that cannot compare to our feeling of tired. Tired won't matter but memories will. Rubin, author of the book makes an excellent point that I often forget. As I summarize myself, "Many people cannot do what I can do." Meaning, have we considered the people who are longing to go out to dinner but can only lay on the couch with side effects of chemo? I need to spend out for myself, finding value in the simple things. If I want to go for a long walk at sunset, I go. When we are well, free from burden, and so on, we have time to make "our time."
Next up, we've got treasures. We all have things we treasure. Family heirlooms, those favorite shoes, our VHS of Gone With The Wind. How often do we anticipate the use of something, want to spend it out, but don't? I have a ring that I wear almost everyday. My mom gave it to me for my high school graduation and then the matching bands  for my Christmas and birthday a few years ago. For a long time, I valued that ring so much that I was afraid to wear it. It was regal and meaningful. I felt I could only wear it on special occasions. Why was I doing this? I was not spending it out. If wearing the ring, it's memory, and comfort brought me joy, I should be wearing it everyday. I got it out of the safe and it's been on my hand ever sense. What pleasure can I get from it in a jewelry safe? I only have the thought of it, not the real pleasure. I don't need to wait a lifetime to enjoy my ring once every time a wedding rolls around. I recently discussed this topic over dinner with a dear friend. We discussed spending out in relation to our favorite clothing. How many times do we wear our favorite dress? Why do we wait for cousin Amy's wedding to pull it out? We need to spend it out now.

Spending out is our most valuable resource. When we have the time, the resources, and the ability, we must. Just last Sunday night, Dr. K and I met at Logan's in Decatur for Mother's Day. She had been traveling for the past ten days, and I'd just gotten off work. Although our spending out required driving a long distance and rain, it was more than worth it. I would not waste lying on the couch for not spending out with her on Mother's Day! We had a wonderful time, made memories, and I'm not one bit sleepy. :)

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