Just spoke with someone I know who just turned 21. The day before his birthday, he was called into his lawyer’s office and presented a check for $9,000, as part of a settlement for an accident he suffered last year.
I asked if he’s saving it. He said it’s already gone.
Week-long road trip. Hotel suites. Parties. And now, a week later, he’s right back where he started: unemployed and broke.
It got me to thinking about my own financial practices and my beliefs about money. How often have I wanted my oompah-loompah and wanted it NOW, and followed that emotional pull all the way into debt? Far too often, in my past.
How about now? I have to confess that like the young man I spoke with, I still, at times, catch myself disregarding the blessings in my life and focusing on what’s lacking; on those items that I could purchase that I believe would make things perfect… “If only I had this particular __________, THEN I could be happy.”
What a beautiful reminder to come back to the present moment. To now. To grace. To contentment with what I have, and with what I don’t have. To gratitude for having enjoyed so many blessings with so many wonderful people. I’ve already had a really good run.
Where I point my eyes, so follows my mind. Where I point my mind, so follows my life.
Focusing on gratitude. Getting out of debt. Saying “no” to the inner child who throws a tantrum from time to time. Enjoying the feeling of self discipline; finding beauty in that little cringe of disappointment. Enjoying the challenge of creating something new and beautiful with only the tools at hand. Like that famous jazz ethic… “everything I need is already in the room.”
If you’d handed me $9,000 when I was 21 years old and asked me what I’d do with it, I’m pretty sure I’d have made the same choice he made. “I’m gonna live it up!”
Here’s to setting the intention that I’d save or invest, given that option today. And here’s to saving and investing right now, today, with the resources I have at hand.
So I can live it up.