“It’s not about stuff,” she said through tears. “He never talked about stuff in the end.”

I ran into an old friend at a conference last week . Sadly, she experienced the death of her husband since I’d moved away. Yet she is strong and is finding her way through a darkness nobody wants to navigate. I was happy to see her and connect again. Her comment continues to stay with me confirming what I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

At midlife, I’ve tallied what has and has not been accomplished, how much has or has not been made and struggled not to be disappointed with the sum. When I was younger, I thought 40 was a long way off and by then I’d be at the top of my career game, own at least one home and be well on my way to a healthy retirement. Life has a way of throwing curve balls and time is elusive. Suddenly, I’m here and the picture is far different than I imagined. Not in every way. I love my job and have a strong marriage. My children continue to make me proud. But as for considerable assets, let’s just say Bill Gates would not be impressed.

And frankly, unless something weird happens, I don’t expect to be independently wealthy in my lifetime. So, I have been thinking about what is most important to be sure the next 40 years is exciting and fulfilling. I want to collect experiences, see more places and deepen relationships. And frankly, stuff gets in the way of that.  So, I’m challenging myself to see how much I can lose in order to gain what’s most important. My friend is right. Less is more and time is our greatest currency. Let’s not waste it on stuff.

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