I’m turning 60 in a few. For some reason, I feel licensed to toss some life lessons your way. I leave it to you to pay heed or ignore. Just remember I’ve tried it and it worked (still does) for me.
PLAY. As teens, having no money was not a big issue. Sure, we wanted wads to spend, but having little or more didn’t matter. We enjoyed either way. The energy was there. The stamina sustained us through long nights, alternating on bed space for a few winks. We danced the whole night sharing a glass or 2 of vodka. We had peanuts in our pockets. While we worried about parking when going out NOW, we simply worried if we can all fit in a taxi cab THEN.
WORK. Work prepares us for life’s nuances and joys. Where PLAY moulds our character (you win some, lose some), WORK strengthens our resolve to succeed. The rewards are more pronounced. Enough incentives to acquire the work ethic and discipline, recognize authority and bask in the rewards. Whether those rewards come in a promotion and more money, fame and recognition or quite simply a feeling of accomplishment —- they leave you feeling fulfilled. An inheritance sparing heirs of this much-needed life episode deprives them of this experience. There is no replacement or substitute, mind you. The cycle cannot be completed without undergoing this mode. And for good reasons!
SAVE. You’d be a fool NOT to save while working. Every coin is a drop of responsibility, of taking charge of one’s future. Some would argue that money earned should be money spent and enjoyed while still young. Well, guess what. You can spend and enjoy SOME, but certainly NOT ALL. It’s too late to save when you’re in your 50’s. By that time, you need money for some of your medications and other health needs. The idea is to set aside “a little” to allow such savings to multiply over time. The longer it is saved, the more it earns, the bigger the nest egg.
SPEND. You deserve it! You’ve toiled. You’ve saved. Do you have more than enough? Go spend it! Reward yourself while you can still enjoy it. Maybe feel a tad irresponsible. You need not prove anything to anyone anymore. Whatever you do, be sure you like to do it. You can’t save your whole life, without knowing when to stop. Neither should you nurture those anxieties that you may not have enough for your old age. If you have your house, no mortgages to pay, have some savings and invested in a good health insurance, you’re doing fine. Decide on your LAST QUALITY YEARS, past which it’s likely to go downhill to enjoy even a trip to the city. You go past acquisition stage and then voila . . . nothing else matters but your God, good health and wonderful memories. Build more memories to sustain you through your old age.
SHARE. There comes a time and stage when our focus strays away from ourselves. As much if not more than we care for ourselves, selflessness provides an avenue for deeper self-discovery and recovery. We heal ourselves as we are weaned away from our personal and many times, selfish concerns. But I do think we should first work on making ourselves WHOLE to be able to give part of ourselves and share with others. Spending and Sharing are NOT mutually exclusive. Generosity springs from a cheerful heart that has experienced “enough rewards”. Sharing is an expression of gratitude from someone who feels “rewarded” and blessed. You see, some lose the capacity for joy along the way. Perhaps they failed to count the blessings? Or that they don’t feel rewarded enough? See . . . . It is important to reward yourself and gain a cheerful heart that expects NO RETURNS when blessings are shared.
And when you’re done with all these, maybe you’d be excused for repeating the cycle. 😉