When I was a kid, I didn’t dream about cars. My urge to escape had nothing to do with speeding on the highway in a Ferrari. Instead, I hoped to get the latest video game console. A video game console, for me, was fun without end in a far away land.
A console was a luxury item that my parents bestowed upon a good kid. They reserved the console for special events like Christmas and birthdays, making those days even better. I anticipated the gifts under the tree, the feel and peeling sound of unwrapping, the reveal and joy. Of course, I had to share the console with my older brother too, and I never got a console on launch day.
So for me as a child, a video game console seemed to be the pinnacle of luxury. For me, a console was the childhood equivalent of a new car. After all, the average adult, who isn’t weighed down by the gold in their pockets, doesn’t buy a luxury object, like a new car, on a whim. They need to plan and make a major investment. From my naïve perspective, a new video game console was a major investment too. And it was the only major investment that I wanted as a kid.
So a new console, like a new car, was always a big surprise to see. “Wow you got the N64!” That’s something I probably said when another kid told me about their new gift. And I wanted my own.
My parents, wiser and more experienced than I, may have wanted to keep me from getting everything I wanted. Maybe they didn’t want me to become spoiled. They kept me in the fridge, in a sense, to make sure I didn’t become rotten.
But now I don’t need to wait for them to buy me a new console for a special occasion. I’ve grown up and don’t consider a video game machine to be the most important thing in the world. Now I understand money, have some of my own, and I can afford to save and budget. Now a car or owning a house is a luxury, though consoles still aren’t like one cent candies.
As I’ve grown up, the wonder and excitement of owning a new console has worn off. I could save to buy a console whenever I want. Well, almost whenever I want because my super powers do not include turning base metals into gold.
But I didn’t write this post to talk about how I can buy a console now . Instead, I wanted to look back on those childhood days with fondness. I want to keep that child-like sense of wonder and love for simpler times and things. When I unwrapped that console, I had a sparkle in my eyes that transcended a desire for mere consumer things. It’s called joy. I want to keep that sparkle alive as I live my life.