Free 2 Day Shipping With Amazon Prime

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Balanced Life

A Balanced Life

Life seems like it will last forever up until about the age of 30.  Very few of us have the wisdom this early in life to understand that like in the cartoon, where one character is out playing and criticizing those that are working diligently to prepare for a harsh winter, we too will get caught unprepared.  In life, the harsh winter is also known as the Golden Years (50 years of age and older).  Despite the myth not everyone is headed for a comfortable retirement.  Those that don’t make a special effort to prepare for later in life, will find out (way too late) that time runs out for preparing for a life of comfort and security.

Life ideally is a timeline that can be divided into conflicting priorities that must be met timely in order to achieve some sort of necessary balance.  As you have come to expect from me here comes the disclaimer:  This is my perspective and you are not asked to embrace it, after all “balance, and ideal outcomes,” are in the eye of the beholder.

Just to decide where the priorities start and fade is borderline problematic. At the time that we are going through the life stages we don’t see the importance of the moment.  Hopefully we start with the advantage of solid parenting and loving relationship.  These early years can make your life journey easier or harder.  Some parts of the country/world offer varying levels of educational opportunities, from non-existent to triple a premium (the parent’s income level is a major factor).  Besides the opportunities, we individually need to show enough interest to excel.  Few people get a redo opportunity (most of us get one shot at the brass ring if we are lucky).

Since I am writing a post and not a book I shall condense my thoughts and allow you to arrive at your own conclusions (not that you need my permission).  In my instance and with the benefit of hindsight, I am very fortunate to have made some good and some great decisions.  I did make some missteps that with time and extra effort I was able to almost fully recover from.  I will never know how some of my loved ones were affected by my missteps, but I hope and pray that like me, their lives will turn out great.  Already, I can tell that they are enjoying very (apparently) happy and productive lives.

Like many of us in the world I am the product of a very loving and caring but fractured family.  My parents separated when I was six years old and soon after divorced.  Unlike many who blame most everything on their parent’s divorce, I chose to analyze what I could do different.  Unfortunately it took me two tries to get it right.

Enough for background and now to look at what needs to be balanced.  Education is a tremendous foundation to build on.  The balancing act is more difficult but can still be achieved without the formal education (simply requires much more effort and an element of good fortune).  If children are to be part of life’s formula (crucial for me) than we must provide the best of everything that we can; shelter, nutrition, health care, education, learning activities, love and nurturing, not necessarily in that order.  The meaning of that statement is that our maximum effort needs to be exerted.

Social life outside the home should take a back seat, luxury items for the parents as well.  Dependable safe transportation versus luxury transportation in other words a Ford instead of a BMW (unless you are able to afford it without requiring sacrifice).  No eating out if you must sacrifice elsewhere.  Adequate house in the best neighborhood you can afford (safety).  Wife’s and children’s education is also crucial in the first part of life together.  All this wonderful priorities must be balanced while strengthening your relationship with your spouse or significant other.  

My wife and I offered (paid for) our children the first two years of college for the purpose of giving them a head start (incentive) in the right direction.  After the children leave the house, the next priority is to refocus on strengthening the all-important relationship between the parents, to diligently concentrate on spoiling each other (including, if within the budget and Audi or BMW). 

Ideally during the time of shifting priorities the retirement was also a priority that included a pension and social security while it’s still available.  With a lot of effort and a sprinkling of good fortune the sacrifices will pay off when you need it most.  I’ve always told my children, if you take care of yourselves, your mom and I will take care of each other.  The best is yet to come…..

No comments:

Post a Comment