Friday, March 29, 2013

Open Letter To My Kids - Part One

This isn't meant to be the single "In Case Of My Demise" posting where you all read this at my funeral and it tells you everything I ever wanted to say to the five of you. But, it is me taking a minute to say a couple of things that I'd like you all to know. By the way, older kids (Ash...Maddie...) be sure to tell the little kids my thoughts on this after they are old enough to know what I'm talking about.

Anyway, my purpose of this blog post it to tell you guys what I think you should know about life. There will likely be multiple posts so I'm calling this one Part One. We'll see how many I do......

First of all - Tell everyone you know (and like or love) how you feel about them before you don't have the opportunity. I know that my Grandma, today, as she sits in her chair watching tv knows how I feel about her. I know because I tell her every time I talk to her. My Grandpa knew too. I told him how I felt about him and when I went to his funeral I had no regrets. None. I'm going to tell my parents again in three days how I feel about them. I tell each of you all the time how I feel about you. You should do the same. Regret is a hell of a pain if it hits you.

On a practical note, work less. Exactly. Work less. Not "once you have kids work less" though that is a good idea, too. I'm saying work less starting today. If you're single go do something meaningful and enjoyable with your time. It is....after all....YOUR time.

With that having been said, the best thing I can tell you is this; If you work hard and live within your means you will be okay. Of course there are crazy, unexpected things that happen but as a general rule if you work hard and live within your means you will be able to pay your bills and still enjoy yourself. When you don't put in a full day's work (and I'll go into what that is in a minute) and don't buy junk you don't need then you will be okay.

On the living within your means part I'd say that you need to live a lifestyle that your income can support. Cars are a big thing that you gotta watch out for. You may need a car but you don't need a lot of the cars out there. You've never seen me drive a fancy car and you never will. It's not necessary. Houses are the same thing. There is a gap between what you need to be comfortable in and what the mortgage broker will loan you. Be careful there.

Work. It's called work because it hurts. If it were fun you wouldn't get paid for it. If it were too much fun they wouldn't pay you for it. Your Grandpa used to tell me, "There aint no shame in paying the rent." He's right. I've worked jobs that I hated and I've worked two jobs when one wouldn't pay the bills. But I worked and you need to work too. There aren't any reliable shortcuts to hard work in life. I'm not just saying this to my son, I'm saying it to my daughters too. Chances of you marrying into money are slim. Plan on being in a career and make the most of it. Don't job-hop either. I did too much job-hopping probably. Don't do that. Get in a job and stick with it. Work stuff out. Like in your marriage. Work stuff out and have some staying power.

So that was today's post.

Tell people how you feel about them.
Work hard but not too hard. (Yeah, I know that one was conflicting)
Live within your means.

I'm going home to take you little kids on a bike ride. Ash, oh how I look forward to going on a bike ride with you some day soon my sweetie.


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