For most of my adult life I wanted to be able to buy my wife and kids anything they wanted regardless of the price. I put a lot of pressure on myself until I read a book on how to live a minimalistic lifestyle. A minimalistic lifestyle is a way of living that requires you to own less materials so you can focus on your family, health, and relationships.

A personal story I usually come back to is from a family holiday. We arrived at our destination later than planned, around 11pm. We were starving so we went out looking for a fancy restaurant to have a late night meal but with no success. On our way back to the hotel we found a little street cart that sold rice and chicken. We bought three boxes, went back to the hotel, sat on the floor and ate our food.

Although we didn’t get a fancy meal what we got was intimate time together, laughing and acting silly. There was with nobody else around, just each other and three plates of rice and chicken for five dollars each. It was perfect. I can only imagine how much of that we would’t have experienced if we were sitting in a fancy restaurant that required us to look and act a certain way. I don’t think a restaurant manager would have appreciated me doing the monster dance that makes my kids crack up.

I wonder why I used to strive so hard for nice things for my family and I when in reality what truly matters is the time we spend together with nothing but each other. Instead of accumulating luxurious items I would much rather accumulate beautiful memories and they don’t cost nothing. All it takes is a willingness to forget the “stuff” we think we need and focus on all the people that make our lives beautiful.

So next time you’re planning that expensive meal with family and friends at a fancy restaurant think to yourself, maybe we would have a much better time at home, at the beach, or in a park, where we can laugh and act silly together, where we can create moments that will become beautiful memories to look back on.