You always hear the expression that money can’t buy happiness, but I beg to differ on a technicality. Money may not buy happiness per se, but it can buy peace of mind.
I don’t know about you, but when I can afford food and housing simultaneously it brings me a measure of peace, resulting in happiness.
Love, on the other hand, can’t be bought. Real love is beyond any arbitrary human measurement of valuation. Here are some stellar life moments that drive that point home beyond question.
1) Dear old dad
When I was a little kid, my father put together one of those two-foot-deep aluminum pools for my amusement. That man did a lot of things for my amusement.
I loved that pool more than anything, especially when my dad was around because he would don his “swimming costume” (as he called it) and jump right in there with me.
I was all over the poor guy, and his patience with me was endless. He wasn’t just a present parent, he was an engaged parent. The love of a good dad is a literal treasure.
2) Your first kiss
Now I don’t mean your first-ever kiss. Those kisses, while sweet, are pretty darn awkward and rarely blow you away. Probably because you’re in seventh grade at the time.
That was my experience, anyway.
So, although not without its charm, that first-ever kiss has nothing on that first kiss with the love of your life. It’s a head-to-toe body buzz that you’re carefully preserving in your memory before the moment has even passed.
When I was on my first date with the guy who turned out to be my husband, I’d been in a serious car accident two weeks before and my face still looked, well, really bad. Like been-through-a-meat-grinder bad.
I was bruised up, scabby, and pretty sore to boot. I almost backed out because I looked so heinous, but everyone convinced me to go because I’d been cooped up so long – and the place would be dark anyway.
As I opened the door that night when my future hubby came to pick me up, he didn’t even blink when he saw the horror movie come-to-life standing in front of him.
When he kissed me goodnight for the first time when he brought me home, I knew I was going to marry him. Anyone who could stare at the mess that was me for hours on end and ask for a second date was OK in my book.
3) The first ‘I Love You’
The first time someone you adore looks into your eyes and says ‘I love you’ is another of life’s biggest joys with no cover charge.
There is nothing like the stomach flips and weak knees that come along with this milestone. Your person loves you, and all is right in your world.
You’re the star of your very own rom-com, at least for now. If there’s ever a moment in life where time stands still, this is it. Very few tangible things can inspire that sense of timelessness coupled with awe, and the ones that can, like oceans and mountains, are also priceless.
4) Total rush hour
You know what else money can’t buy? The exhilarating rush you get when you’re driving on the open road with your sweetie and a favorite jam randomly plays on the radio.
The wind is whipping through your hair, and you’re both singing and smiling at each other. It’s one of those random yet perfect moments that happens during a relatively mundane activity.
Those are the best and most priceless types of moments if you ask me.
And now, that’s “your song.” You have a musical touchstone that will forever define the best things about your relationship. You can’t put a dollar sign on that.
5) A hello from the inside
There is no amount of money on earth that can hold a candle to feeling your baby kick for the very first time. It feels almost like a tentative flutter, so subtle, yet so unmistakable.
This is the moment that your pregnancy becomes really real to you, and it’s exciting and a little scary. You already love your wee nugget with a maternal fierceness that is primal, so it’s an incomparable thrill when said wee nugget makes its presence known.
The first time I felt my first child kick, I was at my desk at work. I was literally blown away by the realization that this was my first hello from my baby. I was filled with awe. And Oreos. I was craving them like crazy.
Since my husband and I worked in the same office, I clued him in so he could freak out with me. That was very cool.
And as the baby grew, so did my arsenal of precious moments. I finally understood why my father let me go all WWF on him in the pool. The unconditional love of an involved parent is a matchless blessing.
6) When your toddler wraps their arms around your neck
When that baby gets a bit bigger and has turned into a one-toddler demolition squad, there are days when you just want to start a new life in a faraway city under an assumed name.
Or get three hours of consecutive sleep. You’d be good either way.
But, when you think you’ve finally gone over the edge, your little one will throw their chubby, dimpled arms around your neck saying, “I love you, Mommy (or Daddy, of course.)
You immediately turn into a pile of mush who wouldn’t trade their crayon-covered walls and French toast sticks suffered under the couch for anything, even a million bucks.
A forehead kiss would be nice, though.
7) A forehead kiss from your person
OK, what is it about a forehead kiss that is so freaking adorable and endearing? It’s just such a charming gesture. There’s something so sweet and yet so intimate a forehead kiss.
It’s one of the best feelings in the world. A forehead kiss is an outward sign of your partner’s emotional attachment to you.
And you can’t put a price tag on that kind of love and affection.
8) Your parents waving goodbye from their front door
Back when my kids were small we (my husband, my three kids, and I) visited my parents a lot at my childhood home. We’d hang out, eat, and have a few laughs.
After their home invasion was complete and everything in their house was sticky, my family would pile in the car as my parents stood watching from the front door.
As we pulled up the hill directly in front of their house, the kids and I would turn around and wave, and they would wave back until we disappeared over the hill.
The beat goes on, and it’s a beautiful thing.
The currency of love
Love is the impetus behind goodness and the glue holding anything worth having in the world together. No amount of money or material possessions can replicate the precious and priceless experience of genuine love.
If you can claim real love in your life, you are wealthy beyond measure, no matter what your bank balance says.