Short term happiness is EXPENSIVE, but long term happiness is FREE.

I recently went to Chessington World of Adventures with a couple of the children I look after.  We had a great day, we went on most of the rides and spent the day on an adrenalin rush, going fast, suddenly changing direction whilst spinning round and round and upside down, plunged from darkness to light, riding white water rapids and dropped from great height into smoke.  It really was a whirlwind experience.
Personally, I enjoyed the slow, gentle, drift round the Gruffalo themed ride that celebrated the countryside and many of the creatures in it. In fact, that was the one ride I wanted to do twice the most.
As a carer I got in at no cost, but I had to wonder what admission fee would be.  Right now, Halloween, is £47 pp, so for 4 people that’s £188.00, ouch! 
I was recently playing a gig in local pub on a Sunday afternoon.  A gentleman came in and bought a beer.  Shortly after, another fella came in and greeted his friend. ‘How are you?’ asked the first, ‘I have only had four hours sleep and I spent four hundred pounds last night, what an amazing evening!’ The two lads then got into an in depth conversation as to how amazing the night had been and what heroes they were for spending so much money and having managed to stay up all night.
They didn’t look so good to me.  Taking into consideration the need for exaggeration. It’s quite conceivable that they each spent one hundred, and I guess at a push two.  That’s still a lot of money. Ouch again.
Even having clothes with the ‘correct’ brand on them rather than similar unbranded equivalents can be expensive.  My son has shirts that would’ve cost over £100.00 had his girlfriend not got a staff discount! That’s ouch too.
The one thing that I took from my visit to Chessington was that I don’t need that kind of excitement in my life.
Personally, it was kind of sad to hear the young men bragging about an evening they probably couldn’t remember and the money that can’t now use anywhere else.
I don’t need to get drunk on alcohol, I am so much happier without it. When I stopped drinking, I saved enough in one month for a weekend away, about £400.00 as I remember, you can read about that in my book ‘the View Over the Wall’, as well as the many other advantages.  The list was expansive. 
Incidentally the weekend away was the marillion convention in Holland, and I remember it clearly, it was incredible.
I am rarely seen now in black; my main clothing rule is that I am colourful.  I’m not fussed about labels, unless they have the item I want. Yes, I am partial to browsing the Joe Browns catalogue and I did splash out on a Harris Tweed jacket, but I more than covered that by not drinking. Many of my clothes have come from E bay and charity shops.  I rarely wear the band t shirts I have worn as a uniform since my teens.
Then I got to thinking about how I ‘spend’ my time.  Walking, quite a lot, in a green space.  Usually the countryside, but there usually some greenspace in any built-up area. I love going to the woods, I can actually feel the stresses and strains of our modern lifestyle just evaporating as I walk and quite often just sit in, usually at the base of an oak tree.  It is amazing just how quickly wildlife decides you are not a threat if you are still.  Yesterday I heard a cacophony of animal noise and there was a squirrel, upside down starring at me from above. And if you play a drum quite often creatures will get even closer…
I spend my time looking for and celebrating the wonders of the world we live in.  I like to think and observe and learn.  All life wants to grow. I’ve blogged about that before. I love reading about anything that interests me and that will often involve research for my next book.  Incidentally, most of the prep for that is done.  It might be called ‘shine brightly’.  I love to be creative, either writing or when playing music.
I live slowly, all the time.  I am Libra, thoughtful and considered.  Infuriating to some, that’s fine.
It’s taken a long time to realise, but for most of the time I am at peace, with myself and my surroundings. AND most of these ‘commodities’ are free!
It was at this point that I realised that…
Short term happiness is EXPENSIVE, but long term happiness is FREE.
 What do you choose?

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