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The evening started with a walk.

The night was perfect.  Even though it was almost the 4th of July, the weather made it seem more like Halloween.  It was raining lightly, and the breeze was blowing softly.   It was just what I needed.

What made this walk so wonderful?  It just WAS.  See, normally when I exercise, I do it with the intent of working my hardest.  I want to maximize my workout and do it right.  It is part of being such a fun perfectionist I suppose. However, this time, I couldn’t work hard.  My allergies were acting up, which means my asthma was acting up, so I had to walk slow.

Walking slow was a gift.

Without even trying, I noticed everything around me.

Quite often, I try to pay attention, but I just can’t.  My mind wanders, my pace quickens.  Not this time though. With no choice but to go at a leisurely pace, I noticed things that I normally wouldn’t focus on. Sure I always hear the birds and see them fly by.  But this time, little things resonated with me.  I heard music from a distant graduation party, and then remembered the sounds of my brother’s stereo that would be blaring late-70s rock music when I was growing up.  I heard the sound of a buzz saw, and thought back to my dad working on one project or another in the backyard.  I smelled a bonfire that was somehow surviving the light rain, and thought of burning leaves up north as a child.  It became a blend of current and past, and no thoughts of the future.

On my way home, the birds were no longer flying around, but the bats were instead.  As the light dimmed, I did think a bit about how nice it is to enjoy this time.  So often, I focus on goals and the future, without giving nearly enough regard to the situation today.  What I have been realizing more and more though is that while it is responsible to plan for the future, it does not mean you have to suffer today. There needs to be a balance between responsible living and enjoying life.

Of course, I am not advocating a devil-may-care attitude of hedonistic spending.  What I am suggesting is evaluating your goals once in awhile and maybe giving yourself a break.   So often, people get caught up in the rigidity of a goal and never take a moment to celebrate, or to adjust their goal to a new life circumstance.  Is it worth sacrificing so much now just so you can retire when you are 50?  Do you really even want to retire when you are 50, or does it just sound fun?

I am not here to judge anyone’s goals or life’s wishes.  I am just suggesting people take the time to evaluate their life and what they truly want every once in awhile.  I know what I wanted at 30 is different than what I wanted at 40 and even different than what I want now at 45.  For example, back when I wasn’t working, I put so much pressure on myself to save as much money as I could so that our house would be paid off at the same time as my youngest child headed off to college.  If we did that, then we could save a lot of money, and my husband could retire in his early/mid 50′s.   Basically, I felt guilty because my husband was making money and I wasn’t, and I wanted to give him a break in the future. Not only did I focus on and stress out about saving money, but also on how I invested our money.   Guess what?  My husband doesn’t care (and never did) if he retires before he is 55 or not, he likes working. So, it turns out I created a goal based on self-imposed guilt, which is one of the dumber reasons to create a goal. Of course, I didn’t realize all of that at the time, but it does show why it is so important to evaluate goals periodically, and also discuss goals with your spouse/significant other.

So, take a moment and learn from my mistakes.  Get out there and enjoy today, and at some point, do some thinking and decide what you REALLY want for the future.  (Remember, enjoying today does refer to spending money, but just getting out and enjoying life.)  Keep in mind, saving for retirement and having a reasonable emergency fund is still a requirement.  But think about your future goals and if they affect your quality of life.  Are they too confining?  Do you still want what you are striving for?

Now it is your turn.  Have your goals changed over time??

 

 

 

 

 

{ 13 comments }

“Hallmark Holidays”

May 12, 2013

The other day, I was talking to someone and I told them to be good to their wife on Mother’s Day.  He then replied “it is just a Hallmark holiday” and walked away. Of course, I couldn’t let this go.  I had to explain that it indeed was an important day, and not just because […]

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My Number 1 Reason People Fail Financially

May 1, 2013

I could make you read through this whole post before you got to my exciting conclusion as to why people often struggle financially. I will end your suspense though and say it here:  Mindset. How Mindset Affects Your Financial Life So often, people will complain about not having enough money.  In some cases, it is […]

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Thoughts For Thursday: A Time Of Reflection

April 25, 2013

Life has been busy here in our household.  It has been a crazy year with starting our own business, sending a child off to college, and managing all the other things that come along in life. Whereas I have spoken previously about the lessons learned from starting a business, I wanted to share some of the […]

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10 Things We Learned Starting Our New Business

December 2, 2012

In case you have been wondering when I have been (or if you haven’t), I can now share what has been going on. Early in the summer, funding was cut where I worked, and I found myself laid off.  At around the same time, my husband found himself disgruntled with his job. So, since I […]

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Life Lesson Learned From Fruit Cocktail

September 19, 2012

When I was a kid, my brothers and I loved fruit cocktail. The can would be divided into three bowls, and then the fighting would begin. Why did we fight? Well each of us wanted the bowl with the most cherries! What is funny is that I didn’t even like the cherries- they always tasted […]

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How Much Of Your Happiness Is Based On Your Comparison Other?

August 17, 2012

Do you ever visit a friend or relative and end up with house envy?  When you get home, do you notice all the things about YOUR house that you do not like? I have to admit that has happened to me in the past. Then I realized how dumb it is to feel this envy. […]

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Don’t Delay Making Home Repairs

August 5, 2012

A woodpecker is ruining my quality of life… Last year, a woodpecker was busily pecking away at a house in my neighborhood.  That didn’t surprise me too much, because this particular house was not the best ‘kept’ home in the area, and I just figured the woodpecker had found some great bugs in the wood. […]

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Even Though I Am A Woman, I CAN Make A Decision

July 28, 2012

Newsflash: Having 2 ‘X’ chromosomes does not prevent someone from having the authority, or the ability, to make decisions. Now that I have educated everyone, let me explain why I need to share this information: Not too long ago, a vinyl siding salesman came to our door. Our house is stucco on the upper level, […]

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Change…

July 15, 2012

As some of you know, my job was recently eliminated.  All funding was cut  to our project, and many people were let go.  Most of the people had 20+ years experience, so it was very sad for many.  I have made many friends at that company since I started working there 21 years ago.  Even […]

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