On being grateful: There is a rampant “Keeping Up” culture in my profession. Throughout high school and college, I had that mentality – specifically, that spending money would mean more happiness. Somewhat ironically, since starting work, I have done a complete 180. In particular, I am grateful to have learned that spending money on most things does not make me any happier. In fact, spending money – without consciously understanding why I’m spending it – makes me anxious. On the other hand, when I spend money on experiences/things that I actually care about, buying those experiences/things actually increases my happiness.
Which Leads Me To . . .
On being frugal: Last year, I received a $25 Starbucks card from work. I typically don’t like drinking coffee on a regular basis, so I saved the card for times where I would not only remember drinking the coffee itself but also the circumstances surrounding the occasion. Last month was one of those occasions.
I went back home for a few days last month. I hadn’t visited my family in nearly a year and was only too happy to learn that my mom (who had recently discovered the joys of Starbucks) was going to visit me for a few days prior to my trip back home. While we were at the airport waiting for the flight back to my hometown, I used my Starbucks card and ordered a tall Caramel Macchiato for us to share. I don’t remember the exact taste of the coffee (other than it was generally tasty), but I do remember the feeling of how happy I was to be with my mom and how that as soon as the coffee was finished, we would be boarding and I would finally go home after ten-couldn’t-go-fast-enough months.