Years ago, a dear family friend gave advice to Michael and I when we were young parents. We never forgot these words of wisdom, and passed them along on many occasions ourselves.
It’s a figure of speech, but one that holds so much truth: fly first class, because if you don’t, your kids will!
In other words, get out and enjoy life. Don’t save everything for a “special occasion” or “rainy day”.
We believe in working hard and saving plenty so our kids and grandkids can have a good life – one we “left behind” for them. But why can’t we follow our own actions, and enjoy the good life now? Don’t our future generations also need to learn the value of hard work, and the responsibility of earning a living?
The good news is that our modern, middle-aged generation seems to be driving a slow shift in this tendency. With grandparents and parents who lived through the war(s), we’ve been lucky to live without devastation due to wars or conflict, and have been able to accumulate wealth as a result of education, a fairly stable economy, and entrepreneurialism.
We can’t leave all the fun to our kids, and nor should we. It is our responsibility to set the example so generational values continue to evolve in terms of hard work, the true values of respect, love and equality, and spending hard earned dollars.
I am certainly not saying “not to save and plan” – but instead be reasonable and make sure you are enjoying some for today.
So book that vacation; whether a trip overseas, a local county-side bed and breakfast, or a staycation in your own city. Order that glass of champagne. Take a day for yourself at the spa. Buy that piece of art you’ve been yearning for….
Because you can’t take your money with you when you go and it’s far better to enjoy it now with your loved ones around.
Because we’ve reached the stage in life where it’s okay to spend those hard-earned dollars on ourselves…without feeling guilty for it – truly living (the expression) “work hard play hard”.
Because there’s innate gratitude in knowing we earned it.
And…because we can!
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Photos taken by Michael while on vacation celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary