Everyone has likely been given advice to “live in the moment” and worry about the future when it becomes the present. The challenge for many people is that they’ve also been told they have to plan for the future that they’re supposed to be unconcerned for.
Is it possible to do both? Not worrying and being prepared seem like opposites and doing both seems like a paradox.
It’s important for a parent to plan for the future. You obviously want to know that your bills are taken care of and that your family is okay. For many parents, this also includes putting money away for the kids’ futures. You may be saving for private school, college education, a wedding, or all of the above. On top of that, you may worry about what will happen to your kids if you suddenly weren’t there to take care of them.
The problem with planning for the future is that time goes by very quickly. If you spend the majority of your time being responsible and taking care of the kids without being fully present in your day to day moments, you may wake up one day and realize that your life and the lives of your kids have passed without enjoyment.
Remember the song, Cat’s in the Cradle by Harry Chapin? It tells the story of a father and son. It starts at the birth of the child, and continues through the boy’s life.
The little boy adores his father and just wants two things: to spend time with him and to be just like him. And he does.
“I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind,”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time.
“You see, my new job’s a hassle and kids have the flu,
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad.
It’s been sure nice talking to you”
This poignant song from the 1970’s can remind you of the importance of taking the time with your kids now, the song reflecting opportunities missed. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a life outside family time with your own passions and interests. Once in a while you may miss your child’s soccer game.
It means you learn to have balance in your life. Yes, plan for the future, but live today as if the future may never come.
How do you make this balance work when you feel like you’re being torn apart by conflicting priorities? The best way is to tap into your Internal Guidance System (IGS). It will help you know what’s truly important to you by guiding you through what you’re feeling toward any given situation.
This may be very different from what is important to your boss, your parents, your spouse, and even your kids.
There will be times when you feel guided to follow a career path that temporarily takes more time away from your family. Conversely, you may feel guided to turn down a job opportunity because the timing for you and your family isn’t right.
Your IGS will steer you in the right direction, allowing you to live your life to the fullest and be happy when your son or daughter grows up with happy memories of time spent together.
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© 2015. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.