Aside from money, there are 2 things people always claim to have in short supply: time and energy. Over time, I’ve learned to guard these as truly precious commodities, even more so than money. Why? Because you can always make more money, but you can’t gain back time you’ve lost or energy that’s been wasted.
This mindset should apply to all areas of life– at work, at home and with the company you choose to keep. Over the last few years, I’ve been very fortunate professionally to get to the point where I can pick the projects that I want to work on, and those are the ones that I find worthy of my time and energy. Similarly at home, I have carved out huge chunks of time that I want to dedicate to my family because I know these years are precious. The fact is time is not on our side with respect to our loved ones. Those of us that are GenX are facing 2 stark realities: (1) our parents are getting up there in age and (2) our kids will soon be teenagers, who will want to spend more time with their friends, and less time with us, especially once they head off to college.
One of my strategies in life that has always served me well is to look forward into the future and then work backwards to plot out the path most likely to help me achieve my goals. At this juncture, after accepting all the inevitable realities that lie ahead in the next decade, I have made some very conscious choices: (1) make the most of my time with those that I love while I still can and (2) cut out all the negativity that tries to seep into my life. What I’ve found is that the stronger I remain in my resolve to guard my time and energy, the more I’m able to stick to these very simple goals.
In the end, those of us that are GenXers have at least another 20 years of work ahead of us, and when our final day comes, no one will remember us for the number of hours we have billed, and few if any will know or care about the financial wealth we amassed, but it is our loved ones, those we touched in our lifetime by giving them our time and energy, that will be our legacy. Unfortunately, most do not realize this until it is too late.
Here’s hoping you will find a way to use your time and energy more wisely!
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.