“Conan! What is best in life?”
The movie line wandered thru my head early one evening. For years and years, my answer would have been- “To climb to the next promotion, score the biggest commission check, win the trip to California– Get the admiration of my peers and congratulations from my managers”.
I would have thought a new Coach bag. New mufflers for the Mustang. Two cell phones, because who can have just one number?
Chanel perfume. Dior mascara. Gel manicures and weekly pedicures. $300 haircuts and highlights.
Big screen tvs. Latest Xbox. Blue Ray collection before Blue Ray was a thing. GPS units. Fit-bit trackers.
These things in themselves are fine, and many are high quality well working products.
What was wrong in my mind was the relentless pursuit of them, then the acquisition of them, and finally the disappointment soon after when the “Next Best Thing” was announced.
What also was wrong was the 70 hour work weeks. Being 30 pounds overweight. Blowing off family events for manager meetings no one would remember two weeks later. Email and chats with co workers at 3 am about spreadsheets as if it were government policy we were writing. Only to have the big project scrapped just over a year later, all that time and stress amounting to nothing– and the big paychecks spent and forgotten.
I’d be a hypocrite if I said I still don’t enjoy nice electronics. Or reading up on the newest phone features. Scrolling thru Pinterest for the latest hair styles, or shopping on Amazon for little things for the kids.
On the evening I remembered the line from Conan the Barbarian, I no longer thought of these things.
What’s best in life? Listening to my son make-believe stories with his Legos. Watching my baby girl smile in her sleep after a warm bottle. Coming down the stairs in the morning and seeing my husband’s slippers next to mine. A cup of fresh coffee, and some sunshine thru the trees as the birds sing their good mornings.
I wish I could tell my 20 year old self to be careful what you sell your time and soul for. That the things I chased would be shadows and memories nearly as soon as I grasped them in my hand. And that all I was looking for would be the most simple, peaceful things this world can offer.