When I was younger, I was somewhat of a wanderer.
I didn’t really spend much time living in any one place.
This had pluses and minuses; one of the biggest pluses is that because I was always on the move I didn’t have the ability to buy and acquire a ton of stuff. What I had is what I used somewhat regularly.
I admit, I’ve always been somewhat materialistic; I’ve always had to have stuff. Be it the latest DVDs, Playstation games, books or whatnot.
While I was somewhat of a nomad, I did have some of those things, but my collection tended to turn over fairly regularly as I just didn’t have the space to store it.
It’s been said that the bigger the space one has, the more stuff you will eventually fill it with; I can attest to this as in the dozen years my wife and I have lived in Castor our house has been slowly but surely been getting more cluttered. Our bookshelves overflow with books to be read and in my home office, a collection of Transformers collected over the years from Calgary Comic Expo sit ready to do battle.
While there is nothing wrong with collecting things, I have learned recently that at the end of the day, it is just stuff. It does not contribute to the household. It has no intrinsic value outside the emotional value I assign to it. My life is no better, or worse, off with it.
All that said, over the last eighteen months that I have been on staff with Black Press Media in central Alberta I have had the opportunity for several experiences. I’ve covered Ponoka Stampede twice, I’ve covered a major court case, and many more locally impacting community events.
These experiences led to a realization that life isn’t about actual stuff, but about our experiences along the way and the people we experience them with. This led to a conversation with my significant other resulting in a decision to focus more on experiences in 2023.
So far in 2023, we’ve been able to see a pair of groups, with another on the horizon.
We were able to go see country group Tim and the Glory Boys when they performed in Stettler a few weeks ago. It was our second time seeing that group, we saw them years ago when they toured through the Camrose area.
On July 8, we went to see the legendary country group Alabama during the early days of the 2023 Calgary Stampede for my wife’s birthday. It was a privilege to see them, the group has been touring for five decades and is still on the road. It was a great performance!
Coming up, we have tickets to see Bryan Adams when he swings through Red Deer in September.
Instead of collecting items that will be tucked into a cupboard or set on a shelf to collect dust, we are actively working on making memories together.
This change has had a positive impact on my relationship as well; my spouse and I are spending more time together than just curling up on the couch at the end of a long day. We’re making memories together and our relationship is getting closer.
Admittedly, not everyone has the finances to go to concerts; that’s not the point of this column. I’m learning that life is about experiences, and the more of them I have, and the more varied, the better my mental health seems to be getting.
Take time out; go for a walk. Talk. Listen.
Build memories, not just collections.
-Kevin Sabo is the editor of the Castor Advance and the Stettler Independent