When I stop and look around, I see a lot of beauty and history right in my own area. I bet it’s the same for you, too. “Busy” and the “to-do lists” gobble up our time like a ravenous hawk, eating our precious minutes away. At the end of the day, all we have is our memories and experiences. One of my goals this year is to make those memories and experiences less stress-filled and more smile-filled.
I know I’ve mentioned my list of things I want to do while I am 44 before…I keep another blog documenting my year and my progress towards reaching my goals here.
Number 2 on my list was to see the Statue of Liberty. I was only there twice before, first as a camp counselor in the early 1990’s, and again with my cousins and family in 1994. It is only 70 minutes away, and you’d think that I’d see it more than just twice in 44 years. But I let a calendar and list of things I have to do dictate my life for far too long. As a result, I made it a priority to see it this year.
I took my niece, who did not know where we were going (which made it even more meaningful and fun). First of all, it was surprisingly inexpensive: $7 for parking, and $27 total for ferry tickets/admission to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I didn’t realize that people buy tickets for the crown and pedestal online months in advance, so they were sold out; however, to add on those benefits is only a few dollars more.
As we rode the ferry over to the landmarks, I looked at the skyline of Manhattan, and took in all of the changes. I also thought of my cousins from Sacramento…was it really 21 years ago already that we did this together?
I wasn’t heartbroken about not being able to go inside the Statue, because my niece and I would have had to waste time standing in more lines in the heat. Just walking around the Statue’s grounds was enough for us. We also took in Ellis Island, ate lunch, bought some trinkets (including postcards and pins for my collection), laughed a lot, and learned some photography tips along the way. For a diary-type reflection of the day, please read my blog post from my Living 44 blog here.
Looking back, what made the biggest impact was the reason I went in the first place: the Statue of Liberty is right here, 70 minutes away, and here we were, among so many people who traveled hundreds, if not thousands, of miles just to see this historic landmark, and more people who traced their ancestors’ journey through Ellis Island.
My point is not to go on and on about the Statue of Liberty. Rather, what I learned is to appreciate the history and the special places that are close by, and to share them with my family members and friends. I now have a lot of memories and photographs from a wonderful day spent with my niece that we can both cherish forever. Instead of sitting in the air conditioning on the couch, I got out there and did something wonderful. All it cost me was a few bucks, a quarter of a tank of gas, and 500 minutes.
This week, spend some of your minutes on YOU: find a place close to you and just go there, whether it is a park, a beach, a nature center, a historical home, or a museum. Laugh and learn, either by yourself or with someone you care about The minutes you spend will return priceless dividends of memories.
Please feel free to share a similar experience you made time for this week in the comments below.
Until next time,