Well, our vacation is over.
We’re all back in Virginia and settled into our home here in Brookneal. It was great to get to see all of my family and friends while we were on the road. However, as much fun as traveling is, it’s always nice to settle back into normal life. That is what I want to talk about today. What does normal life look like for me and how do I start winning at it?
Today is Father’s Day and that always draws my attention to one of my responsibilities that I often do not take serious enough and that is being the best father possible to my children. It is easy for me to get caught up in all the other areas of life that are competing for my attention. Even as I type, my children are over at the pool with Elisa. Now, in all fairness, I have taken my children to the pool twice in the past four days but I could be over there right now.
Do I think I am failing my children? No. Would swimming with my kids be a better use of my time than blogging? Possibly. However, here I am and there is a story to be told.
Once upon a time, there was a little boy named Zach. He was pretty normal, you might even say average. There was not necessarily anything exceptional about him at all. He came from, what statistics would classify as, a borderline impoverished household. Mom worked…. dad did not…. Zach had a younger sister who was six years his junior.
- Wake up… go to school.
- Come home… feed dogs….take out the trash….
- Go to room and play Nintendo
- Sleep and repeat.
This was life. There were certain privileges that were not available to Zach because of his family’s place in society but, as the saying goes, “ignorance is bliss” and this young man didn’t know any better. He made do with what his parents provided him (which was more than sufficient) and carried on.
Fast forward a couple of decades and this little boy is looking to get married. This is a blessing as the woman that he married was quite possibly the most perfect woman that God has ever created. The downside to this, however, is that 30-year-old Zach is no better off financially than 10-year-old Zach. What happened over 20 years that prevented me from experiencing any financial gains prior to meeting Elisa?
Short answer: I happened.
I spent twenty years of my life getting in my own way.
Do you ever feel that way about yourself? It is as if you know what you want but is afraid to go for it. You are your own worst enemy.
You have to do it sometime. You cannot just stand at the edge of the pool thinking that everything is going to happen for you. As I mentioned earlier, we went to the pool twice this past week. The second trip was at our motel and the water was pretty chilly. I stood along the edge of the pool for a few minutes taking pictures of the kids.
For a moment, I considered not swimming at all. After all, the water is pretty cold and the kids won’t miss me. Finally, I dove into the pool. And, it was not nearly as cold as I thought. We played tag. We swam laps. We played Marco Polo (can you actually get in the pool without doing this?) An hour and a half later, I had forgotten about how cold I thought the water would be.
My point is…. you will never get anywhere without taking a step forward. Life will not come to you. You have to go to it.
This year has been interesting so far. We moved over 800 miles away from home to try on a new hat. However, this is not the first step in discovering who Zach is. I have been taking small steps for a couple of years now. This is probably the biggest one but I have been getting comfortable with the temperature of the water for a while.
I feel like I am winning at life right now. I’ve got this blog up and running. We have investments through both Betterment.com and Scottrade.com as well as our personal 401K and 403B accounts. I have taken on close to 30 clients through Lendingclub.com. Financially, things are falling into place for Elisa and me to enjoy a nice retirement. We actually discussed some concrete plans for something we want to do after the kids are out of the house for the first time ever this week.
However, winning at life is not just about getting it together financially. I just graduated college and Elisa has her education as well. We work from our home which gives us a chance to homeschool our children. We have a job that gives us a considerable amount of downtime which allows us to travel. God has truly blessed my family.
And… I repeat… Life will not come to you.
Go get it….