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It surprises me to write the words and think the thoughts, but there are some things I’d rather use than lose.

As a girl that’s swung wildly from splurger to saver, I was once more likely to burn the future for the present. I’ve grown more into my wisdom and wrinkles and I’m more mild and meek about torching future possibilities for today’s happiness.  

My new norm is to save. I save for travel, donations, and the annual budget buster, Christmas gifts.

It took plenty of practice. Now, my default is to save. Many of my favorite things are saved:

  • Money
  • Memories 
  • Friends
  • Travel board pins
  • Courses
  • Citizen science
  • Certifications
  • Experiences
  • Credit card rewards
  • Travel

All beautiful stars in a collective constellation of happiness.

There is a balance, because not everything should be saved.

Similar to how hot gas can provide spectacular views when contained in a brilliant balloon or stink up a room, some things shouldn’t be saved.

I’d rather use my brain to ensure I don’t lose it.

Once upon a lifetime, when I had more clothes than cash, I went back to school after an extended hiatus. The hiatus involved little education and plenty of libation – it was a 4-year membership plan into the US Navy.

Returning to school was hard. I had forgotten how to write essays, take exams, and study. I did those things in high school, 4 years ago when I was an average student. After the hiatus, I tried to be above average with no experience in how to go from zero to hero.

It took a semester and a plethora of inner pep talks before I felt like I could handle everyone’s academic expectations, including my own.

I’d lost my ability to be a student because for years there was no need for it. I forgot the skills necessary for student success.

Currently, I don’t plan on going back to school anytime soon. That’s a Someday item.

I keep climbing the academic ladder because I love to learn, even if it involves an exam I didn’t study for. 

Until then, I keep my brain sharp and try to prevent it from turning into a bowl of Velveta mac ’n’ cheese. To do that, I read library books, learn a new skill every year (this year it’s chess), and take adult education classes like printmaking. 

I only have one brain. I’d rather use my brain than lose it to dementors dementia.

I’d rather use my work benefits than lose them

I spend 40 hours a week at work. By default, I spend more time with my boss than my husband.

If I take all my leave, which is roughly 4 weeks, that means I spend 92% of my year at work.


That’s why I’m an advocate for using time off. 

The irony is I love my job. I’m happy to come to work and greet my coworkers with red-blooded enthusiasm at 8 am. I’m thrilled to deliver content to kids that includes bear deterrents and fake weapons.  

Yet, I’m stating with conviction that I don’t give refunds. 

All sales are final when it comes to work. 

I take every minute allotted because that is time that’ll never return. 

I’d rather travel than lose time.

I’ve traveled some, but I don’t considered myself a traveler. After being on restriction travel, I realized I didn’t care what title I unceremoniously gave myself. 

I could be a giant pasty crab with a bucket for a hat for all I cared. 

What I want is to travel, even if I can only manage twice a year. I want to travel in my state and out of state too.

“Live your life by a compass, not a clock.” — Erica Jong

Happiness begets more happiness.

Humans are the best at finding patterns. It’s a part of our evolutionary background, it’s how we thrive on a dynamic landscape.

We can find and remember the pattern of fruit going from tarty green to a delicious red, we lay images over globulous clouds, and we fix patterns and stories on random pointy stars in the sky. 

Humans are experts at filtering knowledge and experience over the world that surrounds us which is why happy humans experience more happiness.

I doubt happiness can be lost, but it can be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of work, traffic, and using a bathroom with no toilet paper. 

I find the most valuable happiness in small moments. Small moments require little effort and are instant. There is value in tiny efforts, when multiplied they become mighty.

My fave tiny moments include:

Reading a good book;

A hot cup of good coffee;

A hearty laugh;

A beautiful blue sky day;

A favorite song;

A compliment;


Finding a creative solution to a sticky problem;


Being fit enough to enjoy fitness;

Inspiring quotes; and

A hug from a loved one.

There are probably a trillion more tiny happy moments. 

I’m rich in happiness and have an unending supply of gratitude too. 

There are are some things I’d rather lose than use.

I’d rather lose perfectionism, sleepless nights, and my sugar tooth. For the other things I enjoy and don’t cause expensive dental visits, I’d rather use it than lose it. 

Life is too short to lose a shard of happiness, might as well use it up and get a refill.

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