It doesn’t matter if were trust-fund babies or sleeping on the streets…life will always be filled with uncertainty. Hiding from uncertainty or planning for eventual doom doesn’t help one to live. It stifles life and imprisons one in a self-manufactured cage.
I recently found out that my contract position may be eliminated at the end of the year. Job loss is one of those big areas of uncertainty that we all deal with. It doesn’t matter if you’re a company man with 30 years under your belt or a regular Joe just starting out. Either way, the fiscal world of today has shook up our collective consciousness and the stark reality is: no job is safe, no job is permanent.
How I choose to live my life in the face of this reality is the only thing I can really control. Do I hide under my rock of isolation, proclaiming that the sky is falling, all the while hoarding every penny for my inevitable unemployment doom?
It’s sad that I could live my entire life, scrounging my spare change, saving my dollar bills and passing up opportunities to see the world outside my front door. And when my time to retire finally arrives, all those saved pennies could disappear into a health crisis or assisted living bill. I would have put off today’s living for tomorrow’s dream, with the risk that tomorrow will never come.
At the other end of the spectrum, living for today without a care about tomorrow…as awesome as that sounds, I’m too much of a planner. And yet, I’ve spent money recklessly, planned vacations when there were no paychecks coming in, and gone as far as using part of my found money for fun rather than practical endeavors. I think the key word in that last sentence is “part”.
Frugal or laissez-faire, neither is good nor bad. Rather, it’s the extreme to which we adhere to one side or the other. I’m both a spender and a saver. Somehow those two parts of me peacefully co-exist in one being, for which I am eternally grateful. Even in this dark period of my life, I find a way to thrive. I know I’ve been through a divorce before and came out alive at the end. I know I’ve been laid off before, and somehow managed to hold the household together. I know I’ve been kicked around by life, and here I am, fully embracing what it brings me, ready to hold my chin high and boldly go where my path leads.
Do I forsake living today with the idea that I’ll live “someday” without a black cloud of foreboding hanging over me? Not at all. Even though I miss Husband #2 every day and my life is filled with uncertainty, I find joy and peace and happiness in the people I have around me.
Most important, I find joy and peace and happiness in myself.