A few weeks back, I decided to take a break from my normal routine and take my dog to the dog park. Fort Worth hasn’t quite caught up to the trend of dog parks and the only one worth going to is clear across town, hence the reason I’d never been. But on this day I decided it was worth the drive just for her to get out and run around, sans leash.

So after we cleared a very annoying shih tzu at the entrance who was barking incessantly at every dog and human that came through the gate, I found a bench where I could sit while Edie played.

As I sat, scanning Facebook, I found an article someone had posted entitled Living With Less. A lot Less by Graham Hill that grabbed my attention. Turns out, this guy who made a killing in the 90’s after selling his Internet start-up, now lives in a 420 square-foot studio. Not because he squandered all his money away but because he’d realized after living the high life for so long, his possessions actually began to possess him rather than give him the freedom he thought this new lifestyle would bring. So, by choice, he scaled back and is now happier than ever.

I love reading stories like this. Just affirms my own belief in less is more. I learned this when I moved to New York in 2009 with no more than 2 suitcases. And was happy as a clam.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love having nice things but having lived with less for a short period of time, I really got that lesson. That stuff is just stuff. And what matters more is the experiences we have and the ones we hold dear.

So here I was. Enjoying this sunny Monday afternoon. In the park. Watching my dog run free. Enjoying random conversations with dog owners. Affirmed once again that the simple life is the way to go. Only to return to my car. Window smashed. Purse, laptop, and briefcase gone.

Talk. About. A test.

Shock, anger, and a myriad of emotions followed. For the next several hours I dealt with all the necessary protocol that one must do in an instance like this. Calling the cops, canceling credit cards, getting the Mac people to erase and lock my computer. And it wasn’t until later that I realized the irony. Here I was reading an article that encouraged us not to get caught up in material stuff and then BAM! Stuff taken. Gone.

Now this wasn’t really in alignment with what Hill was talking about and my reactions were more because of the personal violation than anything else. But in the end, that’s what I had to reckon with. That although it was a loss that insurance was not going to cover, it was just stuff.  And I count my lucky stars that Edie and I were left unharmed.

It could’ve been a lot worse.

So how about you? Ever had an experience that really made you realize what was important in your life? What 5 things in your life could you not live without?