Life Lessons from a U-Haul Van in Houston


Driving down I-45, the car is fully loaded with my son’s household items. All of his stuff fits into a 10-foot truck. Talk about essentialism! He has mastered it well and has done his dad proud. Not to mention, it’s extremely helpful when you are the one helping him move from one apartment to another. He’s kept it all simple – not only in accumulating less stuff but also from a financial perspective.

Here’s a 25-year-old college graduate who has a Master’s Degree in Architecture, has built up a very nice savings account, contributes to his company’s 401k plan, and lives within his means. I’d like to think he learned all that from his old man, but I suspect he figured a lot of it on his own.

The Day After Prince Died

It’s the day after Prince died. I’m cruising down highway 45 in Houston, Texas in a rented U-Haul when I begin channel surfing. I’m not exaggerating – every song on the radio is a Prince tribute. His song ‘Let’s go Crazy’ comes on. I can’t say I’ve purchased or paid that much attention to his music, but this time I start to listen to his words.

U-Haul Truck

At his funeral did they read his lyrics: “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life?”  I suspect we all can take to heart, “things are much harder than in the afterworld. In this life, you’re on your own.”  But I suspect for many of you and including myself, “at least you got friends”.  So we’re not alone.

“Over the past couple of days and over the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen so many posts on Facebook and LinkedIn and I suspect you’re no different from me. We didn’t know Prince personally, but when someone dies at 57 years old, it just brings the reality of how short life really is.”

You Better Live Now

The clock is ticking. We still need to get to our destination, unload the truck, and return it within the two hours. My work is far from done, but my mind was in two places. As Prince wrote, “We’re all gonna die. You better live now. Before the grim reaper comes knocking on your door”. I was doing exactly what I should be doing- driving the U-Haul truck helping my kid move. At the time, I couldn’t think of a better place to be. However, maybe next time I can just supervise the movers.

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