Is it okay to feel special because you know how to do certain things that others don’t? Is it right to hold that knowledge close so that no one can replace you? I was thinking about passwords the other day and realized that no one knows how to get to the treasure map of complicated paths that lead to the world I have created on my computer and IPad.
There are many layers to how I keep my financial records and the skill with which I handle bill paying. It is truly all in my head and I can wake up any day of the month and know what needs to be paid and when a deposit is coming. It is a fun game and it keeps me on top of things that I really want to control (my family gets me). I set up automatic payments with the skill of a surgeon. I can print a financial statement with the fastest fingers in town. I can handle the books of a small company and within a month get a glimpse of its past, present and future. This is from a girl who was failing in math in high school!
I’m not sure I want to share what I do with others. I have written down a simple “how to” guide on basic information but I shudder to think that someone might actually have to take this over for me. It would seem that my life was unfinished. I want to end this strategy with everything at a zero balance — no debits and no credits. Everything balanced and spent. Is that a life well lived?
Those who hire me to organize their worlds say that they want me to teach them what I do but when we actually sit down to start ~~ their minds wander to other things and eventually they leave a tutorial session feeling comfortable that I am doing it for them. I am happy to explain and leave them “how to guides.” They are showered with notebooks that hold profit and loss reports and projections but I think that they just feel comforted knowing the notebooks are there. I believe, though, that anyone will learn what they need to when faced with the challenge.
Is this a good thing? I think the answer is that everyone has a talent and gravitates toward creating what they do best. Our lives are valuable and each day should be geared toward what you set out to accomplish. I am a terrible cook and actually do not enjoy doing any of it. I would rather be setting up files or cleaning. Luckily, my husband is terrific at it and has become the best bargain shopper since he took over. I never price checked or cared what I brought home. I would rather go out to eat which of course is a terrible way to budget. He makes our meals stretch and they are such a treat for me at the end of the day.
Then the question pops in my mind — do we trade for a few months so that the other knows what to do if necessary at some point. I think I will just update my “how to notebook” more regularly and he has kept his recipes in a family cookbook!
There should be a checklist for everyone contemplating living with someone. Oh I just found another favorite word — checklist. A checklist of chores/duties/careers/goals all the things that come with a life. Brainstorm who takes care of what — Re-visit it every year to make sure no one wants to switch. I am on it —
Next week I will get into family photos and what to do now that home movies and scrapbooks are a thing of the past. I have two amazing friends who organize photos as their business and can help set up a system and make it fun while doing it– check them out “Memory Momentum.” This is a project I don’t want to take on either. Sadly, memories and family pictures are on phones that may not last a lifetime. The sheer volume of everyone having over 1,000 pictures at one time lessens the value they hold for us. BUT how sad if I could never find this picture —
There are goals that I could have reached sooner had I realized how simple it would have been to make some commitments early —
Pick the first home to be a starter to help build a real estate portfolio of rental properties — I so wish I had kept my first home that was bought for $75,000 in 1979.
Don’t be fooled by lower interest rates and refinancing too often, you lose ground every time you re-up any loan for the same term.
Don’t start the habit of accumulating things — get out and have adventures instead. It’s really only the big occasions in life that you remember what you wore — BUT — you always remember a trip and who you were with.
Keep active forever — feeling good is essential to getting up every day and looking forward to new life experiences.
Never stop learning — be curious and stay current on all new technology.
I never asked myself where I want to be in 20/30/40 years. It was not even a flicker of a thought. I never worried about retirement and what that would look like. I thought every book that professed a new idea for success was mandatory reading for me. Buying a family home was huge in my life plan but I never realized how the percentage that it took of the family income would keep adventures out of the realm of possibility. I stopped riding bikes and running on a regular basis — why?
Don’t feel bad for me. My life is good:
I have learned to not accumulate clothes or books — there are many of both that I have donated over the last 10 years. Especially those instant business success books that didn’t translate into my success.
The closets and cupboards are not hiding unknown surprises. I don’t buy the stuff that used to fill them up — never to be seen again.
I graduated from college with my Bachelor Degree later in life. It was a regret I could not ignore — it was worth everything to have that piece of paper.
I go over my financial picture every week with the help of Quicken.
I love to work and have created a career that incorporates all that I do well and look forward to in my day — I have had many jobs and took the pieces of each that I loved and created When House Is Home.
I created this website and am learning how to live in a paperless world (at work and at home). I must admit though, Minecraft still escapes me.
What would you tell your younger self? Do you regret the choices you didn’t make? Is there still time to reach your goals? I say YES!
P.S. I still need to work on bike riding and running — I will update you on my progress. . . . .