Life is about choices. With every choice we make we are in reality making two choices. Our first choice is what we will do and our second choice is all the things we can’t do or have because of our first choice. How we spend our time, money and energy each day is filled with choices.
I made a choice to work towards being debt free. Each choice I make every day will either move me toward my goal or farther away. When I am in the store looking at an item that I am considering purchasing I need to make some decisions. One decision is whether what I am purchasing is necessary or not. If it is not, will it move me closer to my goal of being debt free or farther from it. What is more important, my desire to be debt free or the item I am considering purchasing? If it is a necessity will I be going into debt further to purchase it? Is it possible to purchase the item for less or used to lessen the effect on my debt load?
This time of year reminds me of choices. As I am writing this my husband, chairman of the local school board, is at the graduation ceremony handing out diplomas to this year’s graduates. As 18 year olds, they are bombarded with many choices. Do I go to college, technical college, enter military service or find a job after graduation? It would be nice if as an 18-year-old you could use some of your future retirement time and dollars to investigate some of your interests to help in your decisions for your future. I think it is a rare high school student who is 100% sure of their intended path for their life.
The past decade has allowed many choices that previous decades did not allow. The free flow of credit, two income families, and smaller families have made it possible for young families to have more than what their parents had and have at a much earlier age. They generally don’t want to wait for anything. They know what they want and they want it now.
In the last year I have watched as these families are faced with downsizing due to the loss of a job or less hours. They still have the same desires. They want it all but are now forced to make choices and prioritizing. Something they haven’t had to do in the past. Some are almost paralyzed in the decision process. They know that if they choose one thing they are giving up the ability to choose something else.
As far as energy goes in my life. I am allowed the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else. Some hours are spent sleeping, eating, and working. Hopefully at the end of these activities there is some time left over for some outside interests. The problem I have is which outside activity is going to get my time that is left over at the end of the day. Reading, flying, quilting, gardening or writing to name a few of some of my choices. Some days the choices are already made for me. For example, if the weather is not great for flying or I have no extra funds in the bank that eliminates that choice from the list.
I realized this year as I turned 50 that I have to make the most of the time I have left on this earth and start prioritizing what I want to accomplish. If I am not making a conscience effort to make time for things I want to do in my life, they won’t happen. What’s next? I’m not sure but I want to look at my choices and make sure they are not keeping me from the things that are important and that I have chosen some path to follow not just letting life push me here and there because I don’t have a plan.