“The treasure is more fun when it’s lost.”
That was the opening line from Gabe Anderson’s email.
“Found treasure becomes normal treasure and eventually we forget that it’s treasure at all.”
It was thought-provoking.
His context was work (he’s a musician), but it applies to everything that we have on a sort of pedestal in our search. That might include spouse, kids, job, hobby, friends, pets.
Is your spouse still treasure?
Are your kids still treasure?
If it was treasure to start with, is your job still treasure?
If the answer is no, how do we get back to that? Rarely is something as exciting when we’ve acclimated, which was his point, but we can still appreciate them. We can still be happy and grateful to have found treasure. We can celebrate the treasure being ours. We can choose not to forget that it’s treasure.
(Sometimes, of course, the treasure has some active role in it losing its shine. Perhaps you could both work on seeing and appreciating.)
Imagine life without the treasure.
Years ago, I’d had a rough day with the toddler. He was generally a fun kid, but toddlers will always be toddlers, and some days parenting just sucks and cleaning up poop doesn’t make it better.
Later in that day, scrolling through social media I saw a post about a three-year-old whose recent scans revealed “his tumor has grown significantly.”
Suddenly the meltdowns and poop and other toddler things weren’t so bad.
Do we need comparisons like that to keep us grounded?
People who have been gravely ill tend to have a greater appreciation for health.
People who struggle with mental health troubles tend to have more empathy for others in similar circumstances.
People who started off poor often have a deeper appreciation for a decent salary.
None of these is one hundred percent true, of course. Entitlement and anger are sometimes more difficult to overcome than the initial obstacle was.
Someone worse off than us is always available for comparison. (They don’t always agree that they’re worse off, which is an interesting conversation for another day.)
Find the joy in the treasure. It’ll make life better.