I wonder, does everyone do this? Look back upon years past, when we were less well off (WAY less well off) with fondness and maybe even yearning? A couple of nights ago, my husband and I had dinner with my aunt and uncle. I hadn't seen them in over ten years (which is embarrassing because they only live ten minutes from my house!) Even though my husband met them years ago, Doug never really had a chance for in-depth conversation with them and so was really, just now, getting to know them at this dinner.
My aunt and uncle have four grown children who have produced a total of 11 grandchildren. Doug asked my uncle what he thought the best part of all those raising-kids-years was, including now with all the grandchildren. He instantly recalled "way back when we were poor, those were the best times." He went on to say how the important parts of life are the times we spend with others, and the experiences we share. Their vacations back then, for lack of money, consisted almost exclusively of camping trips with their four girls and a couple other families to practically every national park in the western states.
My aunt and uncle recently took their whole family, 21 people in all, to Hawaii for a big birthday celebration. While they had a blast together, he reminisced back to the days before game boy, computer games, DVD collections (even TV for that matter) on vacations. The kids found things to do in the wilderness, creating their own games and really enjoying one another's company.
Having money makes things easy, convenient, maybe too convenient. Maybe we are missing out on life's simple pleasures when we rely on the things money can buy to entertain us rather than just enjoying being together, creating our own fun. Sometimes it's hard to filter out what the media or society is telling us we need to have, from what we know really makes us happy. Back in the days when we were less well off, we couldn't afford to indulge in what the outside world was telling us we should have, we just didn't have the money. So we created our own fun; perhaps that's why many of us look back to those days with fondness. We were forced to listen to our own ideas of happiness simply because we could not afford to do otherwise.