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by Jon Hilton

valuables 1It is funny how the things we attach value to change over the years.  Some things that once meant everything to us now mean absolutely nothing, and conversely some things we didn’t value at all mean everything in our lives today.  I think that finding the right things that are valuable or important to us is a huge part of growing up and finding what makes you a happy, productive human being enjoying life on this planet.

Physical Activity

children playing at the beach, painting by artist Debbie Miller

children playing at the beach, painting by artist Debbie Miller

When I was young, physical activity was a part of life as vital to me as breathing. It didn’t really matter what time of year, what weather I had to face, I was moving in it.

In the summer it was perpetual motion, from swimming to boating, to just getting from place to place. I was physically active from the time I woke up in the morning to the time I put my head on the pillow at night.

Over the years, there was school, followed by a job and then you have to find time to be physically active. I have gone through weight training and cardiovascular fitness of all kinds, and each time I value the ability and stamina I had as a youth. I value my mobility now, and dream of what it was like then.

Friendships Are Strange

friendshipI am mystified by this one, because on the one hand there are the people who I grew up with, that I am still friends with to this day.

However it seems like I have met many “friends” in adulthood that are as transient as the weather.

Present for a season or two of your life and then destined to fade and fizzle out over time.  I have always believed that once I am your friend, I am your friend for life. There aren’t any conditions, or behavioral expectations, we are friends and it is a relationship that will last.

This philosophy has been continually proven wrong, so I value the friends who are there when my back is to the wall.

I believe whole heartedly that people enter your life for a reason, most often to teach you something.  Unfortunately the lesson for me has been that you can’t expect much from people. Yet it is a valuable lesson none the less. I think all of the lessons I have learned have value, so I thank the fair weathered friends I have known as well as the true for all you have taught me.

Family Valuables

Jamie and JoninwindowThere are few things in the world that define who you are more than the family you belong to. Some people hate their family, but me I look at us as a collection of unique individuals that each move their own way.

I make no bones about it that all of my grandparents, and great grandparents and great uncles and aunts that I have personally known have had an impact on me. Even though they have all passed away, I carry them with me.  Their voices are recorded in my mind and I remember not only how they sounded but what they said.  I also remember what they did and I was a fortunate and blessed soul, because all of my relatives wanted me to be great.

Those that are still here I love them all as well, even though distances that may be a natural part of life have crept in.  All of us are different, and I appreciate those unique qualities.  There is nothing as valuable as family because no matter what they say or do, inside they are carrying around a large part of the DNA.  Family is something that gains in value over time.

Relationship Valuables

Relationships from long ago,

Mean more to me than they’ll ever know.

From the very first time I saw you smile

to watching you leave in after all those miles.

You may not know that this part is true,

I have never forgot my love for you.


Valuables In My Mind

Learning is Life Long!

Learning is Life Long!

Finally there are the things I have learned, which I have found to be extremely valuable.  Most of my life I didn’t understand the value that was created when you started looking for the answer to a question.  The answers you may never find completely but the information you learn along the way can make life so much more enjoyable.

Some people believe that you go to college when you are young and learn, then get a job and put that learning to use.  I disagree with this paradigm completely. For me, non of what I was exposed to in college I learned. I mimicked and regurgitated knowledge, but to learn it has to become a part of you. I have learned more since I turned 43 than I ever learned in life before.

This is not a condemnation of my instructors or the schools I attended but an indictment on myself.  Above all else, what I am able to learn, contemplate and understand, are the greatest valuables there are.

What’s in your chest of valuables?

24 thoughts on “Valuables

  1. djmatticus says:

    “Unfortunately the lesson for me has been that you can’t expect much from people.” – Ouch. In a way I agree. As a whole we aren’t the best to each other and we often leave a lot to be desired. However, I think we need to change our own perspective on this matter. More of a quality over a quantity. Before I started blogging and meeting so many fabulous people through words, I would have said I only had a handful (at best) friends – but each and every one of them would be there for me if needed and vice versa. There were other people I was friendly with, of course, but I wouldn’t have considered them friends… I wouldn’t have put any additional expectations on our relationship beyond someone to chat with/laugh with/banter with on occasion. So, in that regard – I can expect a lot from the people I should expect a lot from (my friends), and less from the rest. Is any of this making any sense?

    My valuables are my family and my memories. I have a few “treasures” from my childhood and my grandparents that rank up their too. And my time each summer in the mountains – those days generally mean more to me than almost anything else the rest of the year (other than the family bit, of course.)

    1. Jon says:

      I have been on both sides of the fence when it comes to people, I have been let down by them and that lowers my expectations, yet there are other people that rise above and beyond what you can expect, so I do see it from both sides. I think I expect people to be people at this point, sometimes wonderful others infuriating. I also agree that my perspective on friendship does need to change. It was eloquent stated in comment here that friendship and life has a transient quality to it and that is necessary because if it didn’t you wouldn’t be able to maintain all of the relationships you have encountered over the years. I was thinking of a particular person when I mentioned being let down, and in reality, I am over that but it still mystifies me sometimes. Your thoughts on acquaintances make perfect sense, I think the key you mentioned is your own expectations on the relationship. That is a great way to look at it. Of course you are right I think, and to have no expectations for the rest is safe. Great thoughts here Matt and I appreciate your contributions to my writing and thinking. When I read your comments I always get ideas about things I want to write about. So thank you very much. Have a great weekend!

  2. theINFP says:

    The main reassessment of valuables for me are physical. In the last 5 years I have realised that all the stuff I collected while nesting in my 20’s and 30’s is unimportant. I feel the need to divest myself of possessions and to lighten the perceived load on my shoulders. I just need to get around to it :)

    1. Jon says:

      I totally agree with you, I spent too much time worrying about what I could accumulate, through those ages. Then when you really start to evaluate what is important, those things kind of move out of the way. I have also moved toward valuing the people in life over the things, the experience over the possession. I am not sure if it is just the way of life that you have to go through those materialistic times of life. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I really appreciate your contribution. Gives me ideas for new things to write. :-)

  3. I actually just wrote a post about one of my “valuables” as you would put it! It’s called “A Triumph of the Human Spirit,” if you’re interested in reading it. All that aside, I thought I’d share some words of wisdom with you that I got from my mom. She has always told me that some people are only meant to pass through your life for a season and, while the memories they have of you and you of them are special, it does not mean they are meant to be a permanent fixture in your life. The crux of this is accepting people for who and where they are in life, and also of accepting the transient nature of all things. If we were meant to keep up with everyone who held a special place in our hearts, we wouldn’t even be able to find the time to brush our teeth by the time we turn 30. I might also be biased as I have difficulty in keeping up with people. Anyway, the thing to cherish is the lessons they taught you by being a part of your life. I agree with you that people come into your life for a reason–and I’m very happy that you have come into mine! Your words are often helpful and comforting, I think the deceased loved ones you mention would be proud.

    1. Jon says:

      I will read what you wrote because I love when one thing leads to another. If that happens in the future drop a link in your comment so others can find it. (really it just makes it easy for me!) Your mom had it right I think. When I hear it that way it is true, you can’t maintain an infinite number of relationships and life has a transient nature to it. I was thinking of a particular situation that I am still healing from years later. I know that you have to enjoy who is in your life at this moment and always be open for new people to come. I believe fully about people coming to teach you lessons, since I have been aware of this I really see the lessons almost daily. Thank you for your nice comment, it makes me smile that you would say that. I really have gotten so much out of the blogging world, from other people I am ashamed to say I didn’t even know this community existed at Thanksgiving last year and now I am totally addicted to all of the great thoughts and stories I read here. But it is really the people that hook me. Unique individuals like yourself who are at first a mystery and then reveal themselves to be fantastic people. I am so grateful for the entire community and specifically today for your very nice, heart warming comment. Made my day!!

  4. Hope*Rose says:

    My most valuable possession is my relationships. There are very few that I hold dear because I agree that people are not reliable in general. So those that are, I never let go of!

    1. Jon says:

      I agree Hope Rose, Keep the reliable ones close because they are precious. Thanks for such a great topic today! Good prompt today. :-)

  5. raimyd says:

    Jonathan this post was beautiful and nostalgic. I can see that you are a real people person, someone who truly appreciates human value. Thanks for sharing your love for fellow humans, for knowledge, and for physical health.

    1. Jon says:

      You are welcome Raimy-D. I am so grateful for all of your participation and the great example that you provide for me to keep looking for my authentic self. I hope I do appreciate human value! Thank you for reading and commenting, love to hear from you always. :-)

      1. raimyd says:

        I know you do appreciate human value, or else you wouldn’t take the time to read considerately what so many people take time and effort to write and not only read but offer very insightful comments. Thanks for that by the ways :-)

        1. Jon says:

          C’mon there, you make me blush. I get more out of reading and commenting than anybody else. That is how I learn and get great ideas about what to write, what to consider, what to contemplate and what to try to implement into my own life. I love reading and learning about other people. It is really not hard! Look at all I have learned from you. Moving forward, facing the fear and moving forward anyway. Your encouragement has been much appreciated. I think in a short time you have made a wide path of influence. It is only going to grow.

  6. rarasaur says:

    Time. :) Time is my most precious valuable– as I get older, I am more and more reluctant to spend even a second on something (or someone) negative, unnecessary, or counterproductive… even if the absence of that makes me look like a weirdo. I cherish my time, and cherish the feeling of waking up everyday and knowing that my day will be entirely full of things that I love, and/or things that make me better.

    1. Jon says:

      That is the best prescription for happiness I have ever heard Rara! I agree so much. I tend to agree with that. Life is too short to deal with the negative aspects of life. As I have gotten older, I am much less worried about looking like a weirdo, because we are all kind of weird in our own way. I would rather be weird in my own way, doing what I want to do than be seemingly “normal” and not be myself. Thank you so much for the inspirational thought! Love it.

  7. A wonderful and thought-provoking as always Jon.

    For me what I hold my valuable is my faith and my meditation practice. I’ve learnt – sadly the hard way – that when times get tough, sometimes you are on your own. Even your closest friends and family are nowhere to be found. In my experience anyway :-). However my faith and my meditation practice is what has gotten my through the toughest times. And I know it will be something that I can ALWAYS fall back on. No matter what people come into my life – and then leave it again – they are 2 things that will always remain.

    1. Jon says:

      Meg, I have had kind of the same experience of looking around in my life and seeing nobody around when I thought there were plenty of people who had my back and supported me. It was not a nice feeling. Yet, if I had never gone through that I never would have developed in other areas of my life, spiritually, emotionally or intellectually. It was hard but there are so many other great things I have been able to add to my life since, those experiences are in the rear view mirror. In your situation you have developed a great belief and your meditation has developed. Who knows what is going to happen in your favor over the next few years. Great things could be coming that you never would have experienced. If things hadn’t been tough for me, I never would have written and introspective word. So There is value in all experiences. Some are just more pleasant than others. This blogging community is one of the best things I have experienced. Thanks for all that you contribute Meg it is much appreciated. :-)

  8. MissFourEyes says:

    The valuables in your mind is a different take on this than usual, I like it. I guess my valuables would include memories. Of people, of places, of doing things

    1. Jon says:

      I agree the the people that have meant a lot to me are valuable as well. I was for some reason I had a few specific things in mind. I could have put a section on places and even considered it, but it was getting a bit lengthy as it was. I didn’t want you to get bored reading! I always like hearing your thoughts BBQ. By the way I have considered and have accepted the fact that I am going to be the grunty guy at yoga class. All I have to do is find a yoga class in the middle of nowhere. No really that is just and excuse, there are plenty of opportunities. So this week at some point, yoga. :-)

      1. MissFourEyes says:

        You’re really going to do it? That’s fantastic! Can’t wait to hear all about it, Jonalicious 😀
        Good luck, make people as uncomfortable as you can 😉

        1. Jon says:

          That will be done, if I intend it or not! :-) Does the phrase fish out of water ring a bell. That is what I envision, I will be flopping around like a fish, on the bottom of a boat.

  9. Kozo says:

    I agree with you about the friends, Jon. I really believe that the friendships we are building through blogging will not fade like the weather.
    I also love your poem about past relationships. Reminds me of Spandeau Ballet “I know this much is true.” Thanks for sharing. {{{Hugs]}} Kozo

    1. Jon says:

      That is the first time that Spandeau Ballet has been quoted on this blog. Takes me way back. :-) Good memory. I agree with your assessment of the blogging friendships.

  10. It is odd how our blogging friends become so important to us and they are also the ones who stand by us when things go a little awry at times. I have though about this often, and I think the reason for this is because we become friends in spirit.

    1. Jon says:

      I agree, the people we meet on the blogs do become so important. I feel like I know you and we have never spoken a word Michelle, and I have met many people who continue to astound me each and every day with their talent and support. It is a great community. I often wonder at “real” life now, what stories am I missing? What friends there could be right next door? I think you are right because it is a friendship in spirit. I have found it a place where kindness and thoughtfulness are not just a pretext.

Let me know your thoughts.


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