A few years ago, I read a really great article summarizing the findings of eight different studies on “happiness.”
The conclusions of the studies were all the same: people’s satisfaction with their life-experience ‘purchases’ — anything from seeing a movie to going on a vacation — tended to start out high and go up even higher over time. On the other hand, although they might be initially happy with that shiny new laptop or the latest in fashion, their satisfaction with these items always waned with time.
And although I am not willing to completely cut creature comforts out of my life, that article has stuck with my husband and me and I think it has helped guide us into some of our very best and very happiest experiences and memories (some as a family and some as a couple) over the past few years. From Twins games, State Fair visits, and family “up north” getaways, to bigger trips like Disney World, San Francisco, and London.
And last week, my husband and I took a little trip to Key West.
And it was wonderful. My husband did a lot of traveling for his job during October and November and he was beat (stressful traveling and working long days is no fun) and I was beat (solo parenting for long stretches of time is also no fun). And our time together in Key West was about as well-timed and as well-needed as a vacation could be.
We didn’t do anything fancy while we were there, but it was still perfect.
We took in a little night life:
We jet-skiied 26 miles around the island (I can verify that jet-skiing on the ocean is absolutely nothing like jet-skiing on a lake … I thought I was going to die 3/4 of the run):
We came to the conclusion that absolutely everything is bigger in Key West:
We enjoyed the inbred, six-toed, island cats and the crazy, wild roosters that were everywhere — from the sidewalks to the gift shops to the beach.
We watched the Top Gun jets fly over the island for their tactical training (there are 3 tiny jets in the sunset picture).
And we just generally took in the sights and sounds of island life.
My satisfaction with this trip is definitely in line with the conclusions of that study. I am so happy my husband and I had this experience together and I know I will love and appreciate the memories even more as time passes.
Our time on this planet is short. I think taking time out — time to let life wash over you and warm you from head to toes — is really what it’s all about.