This weekend was one for the books. Fun. Funny. Bourbon-filled. Bar hopping. Old friends. New friends. Plain and simple – it pretty much kicked ass. As I sit here on Monday morning reflecting on the past four days, I can’t help but to think about how different my life really is now. Different in a good way. My life is becoming more about collecting experiences than collecting things. This weekend was definitely a collection of experiences.
As part of my Just Say Yes movement, I took a childhood friend up on an offer she extended a year ago to come visit her in Lexington, Kentucky. I always love a good road trip and definitely looked forward to spending a couple of days catching up and checking out her town. The first night there we ended up downtown for Lexington’s Thursday Night Live event. Sitting at an outside bar, I was talking to her about how drastically my life has changed and what I am doing to really make the most of each day. Part of that includes, as I’ve mentioned, being more open to experiences and saying yes to things that come my way. I was encouraging her to get out of her comfort zone so that she could meet people in Lexington and build relationships. Strangely enough, that caught the attention of a guy sitting alone at the bar. He immediately joined the conversation and shared how he really chases after experiences. We sat and talked to him for quite a bit of time. Somewhere in the conversation I think I actually halfway jokingly agreed to consider biking across the country with this guy. Don’t even ask. Anyway, I think that experience paved the way for what happened the next day. We decided to do the Kentucky thing and head to a bourbon distillery for a tour and tasting. What we got was so much more. Within minutes of arriving, we were approached by this guy (I fondly refer to him now as “G”) who asked if we wanted to join their group of 8 (a bachelor party) for a walking tour of the distillery. Remember that Just Say Yes thing? Without hesitation or even asking my friend, I agreed. We set off on this “tour” and before we knew it, we were integrated into their party, visiting two more distilleries and a restaurant. Hanging out with 8 total strangers, drinking bourbon, and spending the day laughing on a party bus was certainly an experience I won’t soon forget. I don’t think those guys will either. I’m not sure if my friend will ever invite me back though. 😉
I made my way back home Saturday afternoon and instead of unpacking and catching up around the house like a sensible person might do, I agreed to meet a new friend out in Broad Ripple to celebrate her recent birthday. I left my house around 9:30 pm to head out. I am 40. I can’t remember the last time that my night started at 9:30 pm. Just Say Yes. I will spare you all of the details, but saying yes to going out at 9:30 pm was a good decision. Five bars, a handful of drinks, new friends, old friends, out way past my bedtime
…another excellent experience to tuck away.
I am realizing how much more joy I get out of experiences than out of things. Think about it – when you are catching up with friends, don’t you find yourself talking about the shenanigans you got in to or the places you visited or the people you met? You talk more about the experiences you have collected in life than the things you have collected. Or at least you should be. Take it from someone who spent years collecting “things” because “things” were important to P. “Things” don’t mean anything. Not really. They can weigh you down. Collecting experiences, though, is fulfilling. It is good for your soul. It heals your heart. It provides a safe haven when life gets a little (or a lot) rocky. Experiences bring people into your life that you never even knew you needed or wanted until they arrived.
So, what do you collect? And does your collection bring you the happiness that you deserve?