Amanda and I went to Memphis a few weeks ago. We had a great time experiencing rock and roll history, eating lots of barbecue, and waking up without an alarm clock. I’m convinced the latter is one of life’s greatest, and rarest, joys.
There’s the baby bump making its debut at Graceland!
Our Memphis trip also served as an important reminder:
(1) there is no such thing as too much BBQ;
(2) a city full of awesome all-night rock and roll bars and clubs is a great place to visit with your friends, but maybe not with your pregnant wife (“Oh, it’s already 9:30pm. I’m sleepy.”); and
(3) the things we often strive for the most will usually leave us feeling empty.
Elvis is everywhere in Memphis. The dude is probably the most famous person of the 20th Century. He was loved by hundreds of millions, if not billions, of fans. He was a baller and had more money than one could imagine. Elvis had his own racquetball court and the walls, floor, and ceiling of his living room were covered in green shag carpet. Despite all those wonderful things, his story ended tragically. He was divorced, he was addicted to drugs, and he died a premature death.
Those sobering facts made me think a lot about the types of things that can bring true satisfication. These are the things that won’t:
1. Money: I think it’s silly when people say that money can’t buy happiness. Oh, money can definitely buy my happiness. Temporarily. Burritos make me happy. A speedboat makes me happy. A Sodastream would make me very happy (FYI – Christmas is coming soon). All those things require money (or generous friends). However, I don’t think any of the things money can buy will ever truly satisfy you. They are only temporary.
2. Clothes: I love clothes. A lot. Yes, you might feel fly when rocking some new Jordans or hot pink pants, but those feelings will eventually fade. Your shoes will get scuffed and your slim-fit pants will eventually become no-fit pants.
3. Popularity: Whether you’re thirsty for Facebook “likes” or the admiration of your peers, it’s not going to bring you any long-term happiness or satisfaction. A photo of your dog got 1,000 likes on Facebook? Cool. Now what? You were prom king in high school? No one cares.
4. Legos: Little plastic blocks will never . . . . wait, nevermind. Legos will definitely bring you infinite satisfication. (Again, Christmas is just around the corner.)
5. Sports: I would do anything to see the Nationals win the World Series, UVA’s hoops team win March Madness, or UVA’s football team win any bloody game. That would be thrilling, remarkable, and would easily crack my “Top Ten Moments of My Life” list. But then what happens the next day? Yes, I’ll order a championship hoodie, but then life will go on as normal.
All of those things are amazing, but none of them will ever truly satisfy you.
So what will?
I’m not sure, but it probably has something to do with working hard, serving others, travel, faith, Chihuahuas, and family.
Oh, and Legos.