I want to be transparent about something that I have been trying to be more intentional in my life as a man, adult, husband, father, friend, employee, employer, this list goes on and here’s why. Because when we get this…it speaks to who we are no matter where we are.
I was introduced to something about 2-3 years ago that sparked a flame to old dreams I had as a teenager about where I wanted to be financially. I know, life is more than finances, but growing up I watched as our family finances bounced up and down like it was on a trampoline, and to quote Kanye
“Having money ain’t everything, NOT having it is”.Kanye West
Now that I have my own family and I see the types of struggles and surprises that come, I think it was more about stability than lack of finances. The other thing that weighs heavy on me as a man is that if my family is lacking its because I’m not doing my part as the provider and protector.
So anyway, at this point I’m geeked and ready to get into it. I was up in the morning, mind focused on learning everything I could.
Waking up at 3 or 4 am, losing sleep, studying before work, listening to podcast on the way to work, any downtime at work, I’m back consuming anything related to my new passion, leaving work and jumping back into the podcast and when I got home it was no different.
Physically home but mentally focused on other things.
Disconnected from day to day life with family. Even to the point if I was asked to do something at home and it took me away from my focus, I’m being short, aggravated, and you really couldn’t even approach me because I had the “What now?!?!” Look on my face (don’t act like I’m the only one that has that face at times). This went off and on for about 2 years.
The little (big) things
My wife and I had little conversations over time about how I needed to find balance but I wasn’t even trying to hear that…I had a goal to set my family up financially the way I wanted and it was going to happen.
In my mind, we get the balance, when things are “in place”. As time moved forward, I could see that I was missing little things with my kids and too tired to spend quality time with my bride. So I started seeing them be a little short with me.
Little (BIG) things like dancing and laughing with my daughter, playing motorcycles with my youngest, and being present at games or finding ways to connect with my teen.
If you’re raising a teen or have already, you know that alone has it’s own complications at times. Not in a bad way, this is the phase where teens start wanting space but you need to be present even more with them than they understand.
At each phase of life, your family remembers those moments and the moments you spend away trying to increase.
Now, there is nothing wrong with providing for your family at a high level, but in the pursuit of that, if you lose your family in the process, what good comes from that.
Eggs and Balls
A wise friend told me, what a wise man told him, kinda went like this……
”In life certain things are eggs and others are rubber balls. You drop an egg, the clean up is messy and it will never be and be its original form again. You drop a rubber ball, it will bounce back and you choose to catch it or let it bounce again.”One wide man to another to me
My eggs are my bride, my kids, the moments we spend together to make those moments we can later sit about a fire or meal together and laugh about.
Depending on where you are in life, your egg maybe your job and your friends or fun could be the rubber ball. My rubber ball is/was anything causing me to lose those moments with family. So with every opportunity that comes now, I have to ask myself… Is this an egg or a rubber ball.
That was a practical thing that I could use once I swallowed my pride and accepted it. Weeks later I decided to listen to my wife a little closer. If you knew my wife she’s the spokeswoman for “Be Intentional”. She has always been a “be intentional” person since I can remember.
So I asked myself, how can I apply that in this…how can I be intentional and I heard a guy say on a podcast. “Be where your feet are!” Which is like my wife is saying “be intentional” but more practical for me because its how I can gauge my day.
If I’m home…I’m HOME! If my kids ask for my attention….they get it (whatever that looks like at the time) If I’m with friends and were talking, they have my full attention. Same at work.
What I’m finding out is, life isn’t short of opportunity when I’m present in every situation.
I just get to choose if I want that opportunity.
My desire to provide for my family hasn’t changed, but what has changed is how I go pursuing those dreams.
So decide, is this an egg or rubber ball and if its an egg, be where your feet are and let the rubber ball bounce.
Now it’s your turn
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Loved this. With technology is an additional struggle. Everything we do, we do for the ones we love. But time doesn’t return. Quality time spent with those you love is worth more than millions of dollars. Got to take care of my eggs!
Love this. Well said Jenn! Thank you for reading.
This also happened to me in the last 6 months or so where I needed to focus on what is important in every moment of each day. Yes, listening to podcasts and pursuing that long-term dream is important. However, spending time with family especially when they are present is so important. I now make a concerted effort to be present in every single experience.
Hi Alvern! That’s the one thing that needs to be expressed… It is super important be/feel successful. However that looks like for you. Good luck with everything and i hope you find your balance. Keep moving forward.
You are right money can’t buy everything and if you have family support then you can achieve anything. We should take care of our family.
Thank you for reading Elizabeth!
I am single, so the only family I can spend it with my mom and dad who are far away. But, you are right, money can’t buy time with loved ones.
I really like the idea of looking at the elements of my life as either eggs or rubber balls – this seems like a great thought exercise to really figure out what you value in life and what you’re willing to drop.
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