New Castle News

February 16, 2013

Josh Drespling: Money can’t buy the things that really matter, except ...

Josh Drespling
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Maybe I can’t travel the world or splurge on thousand-dollar meals.

So I drive a 10-year-old car and have just enough money to pay the electric bill.

I may not have the nicest clothes or the coolest shoes, but I do have everything I need.

My clothes aren’t as bright and crisp as they once were, and my winter jacket doesn’t fit quite right. We keep the heat turned down very low in our house and have to use an extra blanket at night, but that is just fine with me because I have everything I need.

I’m not too proud to say that our fridge is stocked with leftovers and sale items. The cupboards are filled with Save-A-Lot deals and Nickel’s day-old bread. Name brands are a luxury that we typically pass on, but we have everything we could possibly need.

My house is in need of some repairs. The windows are very old and need to be replaced. The water heater is ancient and, I'm sure, not very efficient. Our refrigerator has a broken shelf and the light quit working a couple of years ago. Our sliding glass doors are so bad that I actually covered them with plastic for the winter.

But, this is my home, and I have everything I could ever need.

I am so very thankful for all the things we have. Not only do my family and I have a cool-looking house that we love, but we have so much more. We have each other, and that’s all I need.

I have all I need to survive this life, but I have so much more. I have the joy and laughter of a child in the house. Even the most noisy, annoying and cumbersome moments bring life and vibrancy to our humble home. The joy and energy exuded from a happy child could lighten up the most dismal of days and push away any level of despair.

I also have a lovely wife who makes me happy. She's creative and smart and pushes me to have bigger and brighter ideas. This is all I need.

Despite my lack of material items, I have found pleasure and joy in life. Sure, I could complain about my job or my half-hour commute every day. Yeah, I could complain about my taxes, the price of gas, or how the cell phone and cable bills keep going up. But, I have everything I need and really, what good would come from my complaints?

I have embraced the simpler things (there are so many). I have everything I need to enjoy my life, and that is what I plan to do. I'm not dominated by expectations based on the past or an imagined future. I am fully conscious of the consumerism of our world, but not driven by the need to keep up.

I would be content to take my family and live in a cave out in the deep woods, removed from the stress and commercialism of our culture. I could live off the land and be perfectly content.

A life of peace and solitude would suit me fine, but I wonder how hard it would be to install Internet in a cave, because I need that.