Monday, November 3, 2008

Good Friends Make Life Nicer

I have noticed that my Random Thoughts have been incredibly random lately. I would like to explain that because my thoughts have been very random.

With the economy like it is at the moment, it is even more important that we not spend money on frivolous things. We have to stay focused on the big picture here. If my husband loses his job, how are we going to make it through the year so my daughter can graduate with her friends? What about my son who still has 3 more years? How will we make the house payment? What about insurance for my medications? What about Christmas?

These are all things we have to think about. As more and more Americans are having money troubles, and are trying to spend less, it is causing the nations retailers some pain. And that is causing a cycle of increased unemployment, more late payments or defaults on loans, and even less money out there to spend.

Personally, I think the real problem is the mindset that we as Americans have adopted. We think it is our right and duty to spend large amounts of cash on every item there is to buy. And retailers and ad executives are ultimately to blame here. They have found new and interesting ways to convince us that we absolutely must have "things" to be happy.

Case in point. This past weekend, we had house guests from Friday night until Sunday evening. We didn't go out to eat, we didn't spend a lot of time playing games or acting like consumers. We sat and visited with each other. We did go to the bread outlet (they do not have one within easy driving distance of their home so they stock up when they visit) and we went to Big Lots (they don't have one of those either). The rest of the time we ate, talked, and basically just enjoyed each others company. And we had a good time. And we didn't have to spend a lot of money to do it.

The funny thing about that is 20 years ago, we would have played a game that took all weekend to play or played several games that took 5+ hours. 5 years ago, we would have played maybe 1 game that took 5+ hours and maybe a couple of games that took 1 -1.5 hours. A year ago we would have played 3 or 4 games that took 45 minutes to play. Maybe we are just getting old. But it just seems more important now to slow down and enjoy each other that have to be entertained the entire time.

And as they say, talk is cheap.

Now I know why our grandparents would just sit and visit instead of wanting to do anything. It is actually relaxing to be able to visit instead of trying to plan a series of entertainments that every one would enjoy.

With relaxation being a lost art these days, and the amount of stress people are under at work, it just makes sense to take the time to enjoy life.

You don't have to buy a lot of specialized equipment, special clothing, or even special food (although I do cook a lot when we have company) to visit with friends. And taking time off from the world every couple of months to just sit and drink tea is a good thing. And good friends make it that much better.

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