Retirement, Emergency Funds, Education, Health Care, Life Insurance – the worrying never ends, does it? Most people spend so much time focusing on the future that they forget that their life is happening right now…not tomorrow, not in 20 years, but right now. This is it – this is your life. There are no second chances, no do-overs, no mulligans; so why are you only concentrating on the future instead of living your life today? I am all for trying to make sure I can survive comfortably (both financially and in health) to a nice old age, but I am not as concerned as some people I run into. A few years back I realized that while I was trying to plan for “then” and amass stuff and cash, I was missing out on actually living in the present. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” That was me, and at some point I decided I didn’t want to miss it.
I have a friend who has put off doing the things he loves because he is “saving for the future”. I asked him what would happen if the future never came, and he said he cannot think about that…he just wants to be ready for the future when it arrives. He has many hobbies that he would love to do, but he says he cannot afford them because he needs to save more money. Mind you, this is not a guy who is struggling to get by – he makes a very nice salary. But he is so concerned with tomorrow that he is forgetting to live today. And I think that someday he will look back at all the time he wasted preparing and regret it!
I will sign up for that class next semester.
I will take my kids to the park next weekend.
I will get to my woodworking project next month.
I will get to X, Y, Z sometime later.
These are the types of things we tell ourselves day in and day out – and believe me, I know the habit well! It’s a tough one to break, that’s for sure. But it’s a worthwhile one to try to get rid of. If you spend your entire life planning for “when” and not paying attention to the “now”, you are going to miss out on some spectacular stuff. So don’t get caught up in putting all your effort into tomorrow…as you are living here today. Try to find a happy spot in the middle to work with – plan AND do. Life is much better that way.