by Ari Tuckman

admit, I was awed by the wide screen TV I bought recently.  I still think it's pretty cool, but not as impressive as when it first replaced my antique set.  On the other hand, when I think back on the weekend my wife and I spent exploring Greenwich Village in New York, my memories are as positive now as they were at the time.  Actually, I enjoy my memories of the trip more because I relive all the fun we had.

Even though stores are full of interesting things to buy, remember that they create work.  It always takes you longer than you anticipated to set up and learn to use new technology (and upgrade the other things that are no longer compatible).  You also have more to take care of-the more stuff you have, the longer it takes to organize.  And unless you want to keeping moving into bigger houses, you have to get rid of stuff-for every item that comes in, something has to go.  This isn't to say you shouldn't buy anything, just that it's worth thinking about the objects that we bring into our lives.

By contrast, many people find experiences ultimately more satisfying than objects-we gain more happiness from good experiences than from shiny new objects.  A rewarding experience can be expensive, like a big fancy trip, but it can also be a smaller, more common event, like going out to dinner or spending a fun afternoon at home with the family. This is especially true when we feel we spend too much time scrambling to stay on top of life's demands.
 
Here are some suggestions to get the most from your experiences:
 
When you look back on your life, your experiences will mean more to you than the things you used to own, so give yourself some good memories! 

Dr. Ari Tuckman, a psychologist in West Chester, PA, is the author of "More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD" and "Integrative Treatment for Adult ADHD: A Practical, Easy-to-Use Guide for Clinicians".  Learn more, download Chapter 1 and listen to his free weekly podcast at http://adultADHDbook.com.