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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Simplicity & Gratitude


Combining Simplicity and Gratitude prompts today.  Gratitude for BFF  Friday and for Sunday’s GBE2, Simplicity.  Let’s see where this takes us, shall we?

Almost every young family or couple that I know today is way too busy. What does that mean?  Well, they work full time jobs or maybe 2 or even 3 part time jobs in order to pay their bills and they have children and hobbies or friends and family that require some of their time away from those children or each other, in some cases. 
The jobs these young men and women have secured in this crazy economy, might require long drives daily or perhaps they are required to travel, either regularly or now and then.  Point being, that a job isn’t usually 9-5 anymore. It’s longer regular hours, or it’s nights instead of days or it’s two days off but not together.  Some jobs require week-end gatherings or maybe they have to host parties for clients or co-workers in their own homes or at some meeting place.  Meetings, there’s another time consumer.  Meetings used to be on the clock during business hours and some still are, but many are now events at some hotel or conference hall located near or far from the usual work place. Those can take a day or two away from home.  It’s obvious that jobs steal a lot of family time from today’s young parents and couples.  I think that’s a shame and I wish they would all step back and reassess their life choices.  A good job is very difficult to find right now, but these days of raising one’s family or building a foundation for their lives together are days they can never get back. It is a part of their history that forms their future and the ties that are not formed now, cannot be formed later. The all-encompassing jobs are better left to later in life when time away isn’t such a high price.

Being so busy day and night and not having real connection time becomes a way of life for so many people and they never realize what they have missed out on until they are living with teenagers.  Teenagers they hardly know and who don’t know their parents; they just share a house and maybe a car. It’s a recipe for disaster. Teenagers are very difficult to get close to if they don’t have a background of closeness.

Simplicity in your life while you are creating your family is an excellent plan.  Time for grandparents and time for siblings won’t be so difficult to work out. In the long run, the job is a job and can be lost in a moment. Your family is forever, if you allow them to be that important in your life. If you don’t simplify your life now, it will be way too simple one day.
Fewer obligations in your everyday life will allow you to grow and develop a good foundation for the rest of your life and the biggest prize for having simplified now is that you will have much to be grateful for in your senior years.  You will have family who knows you and loves you. You will have people you genuinely care for and whose company you actually enjoy. They are the people who know you and share your history. The people you will tell stories with and about for the rest of your life. They are the top of your gratitude list.

Simplicity = Gratitude.

Live your lives with your priorities intact. You don’t have to be rich before you hit 50, but you do have to bond with people long before that to have a close and loving relationship for your lifetime.

Jo

32 comments:

  1. Whew, it's a good thing I met you before this November! ;-)

    I enjoyed this post, and the priorities are important to make... for whatever direction the entangled moments lead to. I like the combining of these two prompts, perhaps I will do the same!

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    1. What's happening in November? I really believe everything I wrote. I see the families falling apart because no one makes time for what really is important.

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  2. Amen, sister! I'm afraid some of the young couples I see today when they reach the empty nest stage they won't even know each other, let alone the kids.

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    1. I know exactly! Everyone is so busy with their own big ass job, they fore go real family time. Grandparents are going to day care to pick up grand kids so they can see them! That's nutz.
      I wanna say to them...GO TO YOUR PARENTS HOUSE AND VISIT! GO TO YOUR SIBS HOUSE AND VISIT! These are the people you are going to want to know you 20 years from now, and if you don't make changes, they won't know you.

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  3. It's all about balance, but finding balance isn't always as easy as it sounds. I'm kind of a "less is more" girl, but because of that, my bank balance, even at 50, falls squarely into the less category. ;O)

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    1. I agree and unfortunately so many are not balancing anything these days. It's just pile on more stuff and do more and have more and personal relationships suffer for that, they have to. Money isn't where success lies and it isn't what matters when all is said and done. It does make life easier if you can pay your housing and utilities and food, but you don't have to have the biggest house, the best food, the most toys. That's enough! LOL
      I'm sure you would not trade the time you've had with your fam for more $ if it meant you had to not have that time, right? ♥

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  4. I guess it all lies in priority setting, I agree with you!

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    1. It does, but today those kinds of jobs are the ones that pay enough to actually own a home and make a future. So, what cha gonna do?

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  5. What a wonderful post about priorities and the less is more theory. It is a pity that people have to work so hard and so much to just make ends meet. What really matters in the end is not the stuff you accumulate but the people you were close to and you leave behind. It is hard to enjoy life if you are running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Well said Jo!

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com/

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    1. What a great blog you just wrote. Simplicity is not easy, for me at least, to write about ...so I read your explanation, and it felt great.

      Families of young children spend a lot of money travelling to nearby parks and recreationsl areas, but they just do not feel it is important to travel, a lessor distance, to visit their older mother or grandmother. I can tell you this from personal experience. Kids today, of all ages, find their own things to do are more important to spend money on, then to visit their aged family members. Its a bad life out there to teach the youngest. I hope I am replying to the word correctly,..if not,,then I am sorry ..just take my opinion as it stands anyway, Loved your article.

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    2. Kathy...It's easy for me to look back and remember how hard it was to make time to be with the kids when they needed me. For one summer and into the fall I had to work 2 40hr. jobs to make ends meet. It was horrible and I was able then to get one job that paid enough that I could work just 40 hours and actually parent my children. It was a relief and I remember clearly how out of hand the kids got in such a short time.
      I learned from that that I needed to be their mom first and figure out how to cut expenses and make the one better paying job work for us. It was not easy and money was very tight, but my kids had a parent and I have zero regrets.

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    3. Sondra...It's such a difficult thing to understand when you are the one wishing to see the kids and their kids, but we have to try to go to them as often as possible because they just don't have the same "obligation" gene that we had. I never considered not going to my folks with the kids at every opportunity because that's what I was expected to do. I don't expect my kids to do that, but I wish they would.
      I also have said and will say again, if you want them to come and visit, it has to be fun for them once they get there. I always wanted to have a home where everyone wanted to hang out, but apparently I don't have that. They come once in a while and they do like to swim sometimes in the summer, but in the winter, we see the kids we go visit.
      So to simplify your own life and remove the loneliness, go visit the ones you are missing. We do.

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  6. Jo, I really enjoyed this post. And it's so true. I was fortunate enough when the two older kids were young I stayed home with them. My relationship with them today is a result of the bond we cemented so long ago. I haven't had much of an issue with them as teens because they have developed a respect for me, knowing I simply care about them. Yes, everyone rushes. Even parents with kids activities. I encourage my kids to slow down, and simply relax. Tell them to sleep in on their days off. No need to go go go. Time will always be found for anything else that needs to get done.

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    1. You got it right! There is no need to be on the go 24/7! Everyone needs to learn to relax and just hang out with people who love you. They are your biggest fans why not find some extra time to be with them?
      Talking is kind of an old fashioned past time, but I sure love talking with my family. For hours on end!

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  7. Good advice. That simplicity needs to be there for spouse as well. It makes for a happier home in retirement...

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    1. It sure does. Time is what you gain when you give up some of your financial security and your career. Time for living.

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  8. Sigh. Sometimes I think it is easier said than done.

    My husband and I are slaves to autism, which means that we are slaves to his paycheck since autism is not covered well by insurance. Having more than one child on the spectrum is crippling.

    I watch him walk out the door in the morning with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He works late. He comes home to put the kids to bed, and he goes back to work in his home office. He works on Saturdays and any other time he can.

    Hmm, how to lead life and not let it lead you....

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    1. If ever there was a couple who was entitled to 'help', it would be you guys. I am talking like nanny help on a full time basis. Or maybe a less expensive lifestyle where the bills don't drive the budget quite so hard. I don't know, I just always think you could surely use some help, all of you!

      ♥ I am in awe of you, but you know that.

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  9. You are so right. My daughter and her family not only live 8 hours away, but are just full out constantly busy. She doesn't want to hear a message like yours, but in my 62 years I know that you are completely right.

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    1. My daughter is 9 hours away and in the same boat. I don't understand it at all. I love the simplicity of my life and I wish all the kids would just kinda step back and reassess. She is doing that now because she suffered a TIA in January and now understands your body will tell you to stop, one way or the other. She is re-prioritizing her entire life and it does make me happy that she is recuperating and also making changes to stave off another shut down.

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  10. Absolutely! Well put.. I was the always busy person never any time, but then I started to write and my life shifted. I remain at a constant state of activity but I am not harried. I have a clear line on my priorities. I hop your daughter is doing well.

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    1. She is doing much better. Just returned to work this week, at a slower pace, I am certain. Thank you and I'm glad you have relaxed into your life. ♥

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  11. You are so right! I am extremely selfish with family time, some people don't understand, but our kids are only young for a short time! Time moves so quickly! Great post!

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    1. That's great, Anna. Family time should be a priority and making sure your kids know and get lots of grandparent love is also a parents job, I think. Making time for extended family when the kids are growing up becomes a lifelong habit. I am 62 and still make time for my family. It matters. The most.

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  12. As I read this I realized that the crazy "work sickness" that we have where I work is not unique to us. We talk a lot about the old "work/life balance" but it gets harder and harder to attain (and let's face it: unless you are giving 50 percent to work and 50 percent to life, the equation just doesn't work). I recently stepped down from a high-level management role after a number of personal events knocked the wind out of me -- although I still didn't go down without a struggle. Now that I've stepped back to a less stressful, less visible role a funny thing has happened: I am less stressed out and actually enjoying my life! Reminds me of something I have pinned over my desk: "People resist change because they overestimate what they have and underestimate what change can bring them". Interesting to consider...Thanks for sharing this piece!

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    1. That disease you describe is rampant in today's workplace. I find it sad, others find it invigorating or even necessary to make a success of business now. I'm a firm and forever believer that a good business making a good profit is the same one that respects their employees and respects the need for family time or personal time for each of them. Flex time scheduling works for many large and small companies and many other 'changes' in how things have always been done, can see a company grow quickly because their most valuable assests, their employees, are actually happy and giving 100% while on the job. It works and I wish more companies would realize that a happy work environment does produce the desired dedicated work force they all seek.
      Maybe one day.......

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  13. you are so right on Jo...hehe (rich at 50) that made me chuckle as i am hitting 55 this year. I am lifting a glass with my left hand (connected to my heart) can you hear me? CHEERS my friend..(one day we will do this in person!) MUAH

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    1. I look forward to that personal meeting! I will never be rich, may never even be financially secure, but I am happy and I am currently okay. My bank account is no one's dream, but I have food and the bills are paid. I also know that if I can't afford to pay for it, I don't have it.
      It's simply a matter of prioritizing our time and our money and our lives! Done and done. :) ♥

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  14. Family should always come first. Unfortunately, as you've stated here, family is usually the first to suffer when one is pressed for time. Finding an employer that isn't so needy yet still pays enough to survive is damn near impossible. The economy has been having a never-ending growth spurt and it's doubtful that it will slow down any time soon. It's a vicious cycle, the world evolves, the population grows and with it the demands needed to satisfy and nourish it so that it continues to flourish. Not to mention,the workaholics have to make up for the slackers and because there is no balance in that area, it puts more weight on them.
    I don't have a husband or any children but my job does have wonderful hours that allows me enough free time to spend with the people that I care about or just use to do what I enjoy, as well as pay my bills and eat. I have busy months where I put in crazy hours but luckily they are never twelve consecutive busy months...it all evens out. Still there have been times when I have to stop and remind myself that my work isn't my life and in the end, the connections with the people I love are all that matters.

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    1. I do believe you have your priorities in line. We have to make a living and we have to have contact with loved ones. Good job, ♥

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