It’s been said that money can’t buy happiness, but let me tell you what else money can’t buy –
memories you never had!
I’m not sure where you’re at in life, but I’ve discovered a few things at my age. First, if you wait for the perfect time, it will never come. Second, if you don’t make the time, it will never happen.
Like most fathers, I’ve worked hard my whole life to ensure my family had everything I thought they needed, and I felt that always started with me being a good provider. Now that my wife and I are empty-nesters, I realized the one thing I wish I’d done more of was this – giving my time to my family.
Unfortunately, like most men, I often let my job dictate the time I took off. I only had so many days of vacation, and I had to use them wisely. These days, I tell people this – if your job isn’t family-friendly, change jobs. The wisest decision I could have made would have been to change jobs earlier in life and find a boss that put family first.
When I was young, I was told that to be successful, I needed to do these things – to ensure my family had everything they needed, to put away funds for retirement, and to make all my money while I was young so I could retire early.
I later realized that I love my current job and the last thing I want to do is retire early. I also figured out later that I would have plenty of time to make all the money I would need, but all the money in the world wouldn’t buy back memories I hadn’t made with my family.
“I figured out later in life– Dean
that I would have plenty of time
to make all the money I would need,
but all the money in the world
wouldn’t buy back memories
I hadn’t made with my family.”
But there’s a little upside – I’ve also learned that life is a never-ending opportunity to learn, and so I’ve shared with our children what I’ve learned about the importance of where time is spent.
As our children began to relocate to different locations around the country, my wife and I found ourselves empty-nesters with about twenty-five more years to work on retirement. I realized things were not as I’d envisioned as a young man. These days my outlook is different, and instead of looking for opportunities to do things for our children, my wife and I look for opportunities to do things with our children.
These days I see my kids making sure they spend lots of time with their children, something they might feel they missed growing up. Don’t get me wrong – I have a great relationship with my kids, and it’s not like I was never there – I just wasn’t there as much as I would have liked.
That’s why our agency offers unlimited time off to our employees – because every school function, every field trip, and every baseball game is essential to their kids and to their families.
So a little advice I give to men that I’ll give to you as well – don’t focus on keeping up with your neighbors; instead, concentrate on keeping up with your kids. These days I put my family first as my top priority because I now understand the true value of memories and family time more than ever.
no matter how much money you make,
you can never buy back the memories you didn’t make.
Make some memories today!