In our family, we’re all about experiences over possessions.
You know when you have those moments that trigger something from your past?
And you smile?
I had one of those recently. My family needed to get out, so we decided to hit up a trampoline park. It was “for the kids”. “They” needed to burn off some energy.
When we got there, we were told that, no matter what, we were going to be split up into age groups for safety reasons, so my youngest son would be in an area by himself. At least Grace and Jack, my older two, were able to be in the same section. And adults? There was a designated spot for adults too. And I do understand this rule. I do understand having a 4-year-old jumping by a 16-year-old might not be the safest, however, I was still bummed.
So like every martyr of a mom, I said I would not bounce — I would just stay on the sidelines and make sure everyone was okay.
My husband laughed and bought us all tickets to jump.
Luckily for us, the place was fairly empty and they let us bounce near each other! And from there — let me tell you — I had that aha moment!
As I bounced and bounced and bounced, higher and higher each time, I was brought back to my gymnastic days. Back then I KNEW I was going to be an Olympian. However, from the ages of 8-12, I REALLY thought I was going to the Olympics as a gymnast. I loved the sport (that doesn’t even do it justice … I mean I LOVED the sport). I spent days and nights watching old gymnastics tapes; the “Best of the Best” and “Limited Edition” tapes. I can remember them like I watched them just yesterday.
So as I bounced, I had the major desire to flip again. To twist again. To be a kid again. And my stomach was a little nerved up. I mean, I haven’t done much flipping since 1995. I always loved doing it and took every opportunity to do so, but as you get older, it’s not like there are tons of places that offer a quick drop in for washed up adult gymnasts to try a thing or two.
Which is why this day was glorious in my eyes.
I went in, kinda excited, then kinda disappointed at the fact that I would be the one to sit out, then uber excited again when I got on a trampoline.
So I jumped.
Higher. And higher.
And then I pictured myself doing a back flip. My body didn’t really respond as I was flipping in my head, in reality, I was just bouncing up and down on my feet. And then I had the thought … what if I left and never tried. I would have been DEVASTATED.
So, I took my 35-year-old-mom-of-three body and just went for it. The first back flip was a little ugly, but I made it. And then I did them over and over. And over. And oooooover. I was a kid again. The feeling I had, the happiness, the little bit of nervousness, the sense of “Holy shit, I did it!” was super addicting. By the third backflip, I was borderline pushing the kids outta the way, so I could do more and more … and then it hit me.
Experiences Over Possessions
This is exactly what we mean when we use the saying “live BIG”. Our gym has those words written on our wall and it’s embedded in the way that my husband and I live our lives. Our goal is to get after it in the gym so we can do FUN and awesome things OUTSIDE of it. So we can truly “live.”
I don’t see living as staying inside, in my comfy cozy snuggie, doing the same things over and over and over again. I want to do things that excite me. I want to do things that scare me a little. I want to do things that remind me of being 12 again because when I was 12 I only did things that I loved, truly loved. Things that were at the heart of who I am.
I think sometimes as we grow up and we have to “adult”, our playful, happy, and alive self gets put to the wayside. Then add in children, which makes you responsible for a human life, and your fun-o-meter keeps going towards zero. Sure there are things that are great. And I am in no way saying that having kids isn’t fun — I mean, who doesn’t love whoopie cushions and fart talk, but, you know what I mean.
We like collecting experiences over possessions.
The more we take care of ourselves, the more opportunities we have for amazing experiences. I want to make sure I can participate — regardless of how poor I am at something — rather than say “I can’t” and have to sit out on the sidelines. I want to jump with my kids at the trampoline park, not sit and watch them have the time of their lives. I want to have the time of our lives TOGETHER. I want my kids to have fun WITH me, not just in front of me.
There are a million reasons why taking care of yourself is important. To be there for your kids in the most present way possible is one. To be around for as long as possible, on your own, is another. To be more productive at work and more productive during the day because you have more energy is yet another. But I think just actually having a life that is entertaining and adventurous gets lost.
And after my little flipping and twisting session, it reminded me of how important it is to live a life filled with excitement. A life filled with experiences over possessions.
After all, excitement never gets old … no matter how much time passes.
And while your possessions are collecting dust, your experiences live forever.