Friday, October 1, 2010

Stuff or Experiences?

smiley

National Public Radio likes stories about happiness. Not happy stories, though there are probably a few more of those on NPR than other radio networks, but stories about the concept of happiness.

On September 7 they picked up a story from the Associated Press on how money does buy happiness – to a degree. Up to a yearly income of about $75,000 happiness does increase, but after that it evens out. If you make more money than 75K, your sense of success and security may increase but not necessarily day-to-day happiness levels.

And on a Science Friday radio story around Christmas last year, they interviewed another happiness researcher. One of the things he discovered was that increasing happiness had nothing to do with having more stuff. Stuff just doesn’t make us happy, it turns out.

That probably doesn’t surprise most of us. At some point stuff owns you more than you own stuff.

However, spending money on experiences may indeed increase our happiness levels.

So to that end, I wrote my quota for today, did a load of laundry, and filled a bag with old clothes. I’ll add the bag to the growing accumulation of “stuff” in the basement that’s going to the thrift store, part of my recent attempts at decluttering.

Then K and I are getting on the motorcycle and heading into the mountains to see the last of the fall leaves. We’ve booked a room at our favorite little place built over the Big Thompson River, where we’ll throw together some dinner on their deck grill, eat outside bundled up in fleece, and then head back tomorrow morning after a night listening to the river.

And it won’t actually cost much at all. Look for pretty pics next week!

(Oh, and the link I’m posting on Sunday is, ironically, for a shopping site. At least it’s a discount one!)

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