DUBLIN, OHIO—In a conversation they have had many, many times before, Amanda Grant’s 50-something parents struggled to understand their grown daughter’s current financial choices. 

Having ridden horses for nearly 20 years, Grant, 28, struggled once again to convince her parents that she was making the right decision, spending her own, hard-earned money on a lifelong passion that continues to bring her intense feelings of joy and personal fulfillment. 

“We just don’t see it,” Grant’s father Greg told her. 

“Why would you continue to set so much money aside to board and care for that horse that you love, while training diligently in a sport that provides measurable physical and mental benefits, when you could be sitting at home in your apartment, saving money while binging Netflix and eating girl dinners?”

“You’re nearly 30 years old,” added her mother, Carol. “It’s time for you to grow up and start saving your disposable income so that you can one day spend it on something more nebulous and meaningless—like a luxury car lease, designer bag collection, or optional private school tuition payments on future children you may very well choose not to have.”

Grant informed her parents that horses had provided her childhood and teenage years with structure and a sense of athletic achievement, teaching her important life lessons about hard work and empathy. As an adult, she added, the barn provided a safe haven and sense of balance in her life, offering a release from the everyday stressors of her job and personal relationships. And yet, they were unmoved.

“Sweetie, we know very well that you work hard and make a good living, but there are so many other things to spend your money on. You could buy a five-bedroom house with rooms you never sit in, or book expensive trips to stuffy island destinations you have no interest in visiting,” suggested Carol. 

“What about investing in some high-yield bonds, or even cryptocurrency? I’ve heard those non-fungible tokens are the next big thing…”

When Grant explained, calmly and with great patience, that there was nothing at all rewarding about owning the digital collectible assets to Taco Bell or Mark Zuckerberg’s Little League card, and that she had rarely in her whole life experienced the sheer delight of cantering out onto a lush green field on a summer day with her horse of a lifetime, her father Greg blinked at her for a moment, then sighed. 

“What about a boat? Have you thought about a boat?”