You may have already gathered this if you’ve been a longtime reader of my blog, but preparing for the future has always been at the top of my priority list. I’ve been like this since I was a young kid. Seriously.
For example, I have this very vivid memory of being in grade 2 and having a crush on this one boy. The reason I got a crush on him was no joke because he brought in this really nice model car for show-and-tell one day.
Most of the other kids just wanted to play with it even though it was so delicate, but for some reason I thought more longterm. I remember thinking that if this boy and I got married, we would place this beautiful model car in a nice glass case to admire from our living room.
Strange right? Almost immediately after that thought I realized how weird it was to think that as an 8 year old (I guess I was pretty self-reflective at an early age too). I like to think of myself as an old sole sometimes, but really, I think I was just an odd kid who loved to make plans well into the future.
The reason this has been on my mind a lot lately is because when it comes to my finances, my goal has always been to keep on growing my wealth so that I can rest easy when I retire. I don’t want to be another statistic who isn’t prepared for retirement, and I don’t want to live out my old age without enough flexibility that I can’t travel or afford different hobbies to keep myself occupied.
When I think of my retirement, I honestly can’t help but think of one of those cheesy ads with an old couple sailing on the ocean, champagne in hand. Not that I have any desire to take up sailing in retirement. My HB can’t swim and the only thing I really like are those white and blue striped shirts.
That being said, I know I can’t predict the future. Even though it’s smart to be prepared, what if something happens and I die before retirement? I know that’s a really morbid thing to say, but it’s true. I want to live the good life in retirement, but I also don’t want to put off all of my dreams until then because what if I don’t even make it until then?
I hate the saying “YOLO” because I feel like it’s just used as an excuse to be irresponsible, but I think putting too much importance on the future can be dangerous too. I guess the ideal balance would be living in the moment while preparing for the future. I just have no idea how to do both at once.
It’s hard breaking a lifelong habit like this, but I know it’ll become even more apparent that I need to be more in the present and to cherish all of the things I have now as I continue to get older. Even though I’m almost in my thirties, most of the time I still feel like that 2nd grader who feels like she has all the time in the world filled with endless possibilities.
But I don’t have all the time in the world. Every single second is precious. I’m always going to have a plan for my future, but moving forward I’m going to try to make a conscious effort to not always stick to one in my daily life.
And if any of you are wondering what happened to that boy, once I snapped out of my model-car-marriage fantasy, my crush for him abruptly ended. I moved onto another boy who told really funny jokes.
Then after him a boy who had really good snacks. Eventually I found a someone who is funny, a great cook and has his own car (albeit not as fancy as that model car, but it sure comes in handy when we got to the grocery store).
What do you think? Are you a planner or are you more focused on the present? Or are you some mythical unicorn who has perfected the balance between both?