“Driving” for More Options in Life

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I will have been married to my lovely bride Laurie, for 33 years on June 14th.  We were introduced to “empty nest” with its new challenges and new delights this past year.

Empty-Nesters

My mother-in-law, has moved in from out of state, to share our townhome and so that she can be closer to her daughters during this season of her life. 

Add to that, I have been dealing with “end of life” arrangements for my own aging parents who are now 82 and 85 years old. It had never seemed more real as when I recently spent time at the funeral home with my mother preparing their pre-funeral arrangements to take care of the inevitable.

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They call us the “Sandwich Generation”

We have watched our own offspring excitedly bouncing out the door on their way to achieve their desired dreams, while we find ourselves now having to care and watch out for the needs that are becoming overwhelming to our aging parents.

Yes, I DO feel like the sandwich generation-and I’m RIGHT in the middle…

Even though we too are growing older, we must find enough brain cells and youthful strength–mixed with wisdom and desire–to help our loved ones with the challenges they face.

Perhaps you relate, or understand…if you find yourself already in the throes of parents’ ever-changing details and decisions needing to be addressed for them, or you see it in your near future.

You know how it goes. You devote yourself to your world; 45 plus hours in a career or J.O.B. while nurturing your children, and your marriage–and suddenly–you find you have to consider and sort their world and their needs which seem to always be changing.

I remember how excited I was…

 …anticipating downsizing from our large home to a townhome, with all its perceived advantages. Advantages like: less space to clean, HOA to take responsibility for lawn care and shoveling the snow during the drastic seasons here in Minnesota. More room for storage, because I would no longer need to lug around a lawn mower or a big heavy snow blower.

Can you IMAGINE the JOY???

Yes, “the simpler life.” Less busy-ness now. Our sons, now adults, have successfully moved into their own lives and relationships. After raising FIVE sons (nope, no girls!) I have now had the awesome experience of feeling my heart explode within me, at the addition of my precious daughter-in-law being added to the rans of our already large family. 

It’s SO wonderful to open up the rooms of our hearts and time , and to invite them to become part of us. They bring such joy and happiness to our hearts because of the love and commitment they faithfully show, especially to our sons. 

 

Their visits are far fewer but when they grace our presence with “drop-ins, or the “mother-negotiated” holidays and birthday visits, we cherish the precious time together. My deepest desire is that my sons and their wives will always know they are loved with genuine love, and will have a hug-filled greeting every time they visit (and again when they have to leave).

One of the best holidays I can remember was when all five sons were in the kitchen, cooking all of the fixings for our annual Christmas dinner with their mother. As they grew, she genuinely invested in them when she taught them the whole “cooking in the kitchen” craft. We watched and experienced their excitement and creativity and seeing how it had paid off in their new relationships.

Okay, I could go on and on with many of these heartfelt examples (I do hope to in future posts) but the point I want to drive home… I have realized that more options are needed for me and my wife. 

I’m truly happy with my present employment. I work for a wonderful family-owned business with a great and caring atmosphere. I feel productive and so blessed when I safely pull my truck back into the loading dock at the end of every work day. 

But at the end of the day, I am still working for someone else. The simple truth is that I am tied to a job, meaning I am dependent on its income. 

J.O.B.

Just. Over. Broke. Yep! Obviously, it depends on your situation but, what about when you need time off? Are your benefits adequate? Most likely, you are completely dependent on that J.O.B. I will not make income unless I personally clock in and perform. That makes me totally dependent on someone else’s ability to provide for and compensate me for my time and performance.

I need more options to add to my income and/or possibly grow independently from the dependency of it. I have formed a personal mantra to declare and embrace: I don’t want to be driving IN traffic, but I want to be “Driving Traffic”

My father is 30 years older than I. He now barely gets around with ailing health and aging issues. Does this mean it’s only 30 years away fro me? The thought of that brings HUGE motivation to consider for myself, when I look at my own desires for MY health and wealth.

Mentorship.

Recently, we switched gears. We have chosen a new and exciting path that will make more options a reality for us. It has been said that if you don’t change what you’re doing, how can you expect different results a year or two-or five-from now? We have seen it. We are excited to make changes by choice and not wait for life to force changes in and for us. To gather enough new information, and apply it, from people who are successful and accomplished–in the places we want to be and the results we want to achieve.

It makes obvious sense to invest in someone who can say, “I know where you are, I know where you want to be, and I will help you to get there.” A good coach is someone who does that. 

Enough said. If you are nodding as you read, relating to your own need for more options, tired of your J.O.B. that demands you punch a time clock every day and do the tasks for someone else’s success… and if you long for someone to “show you the missing pieces” and get the future you want–Change what you’re doing NOW so you don’t end up in the SAME PLACE NEXT YEAR.

I’ll meet you in retirement!

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