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Investing in the Now is Just as Important as Investing in the Future

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Just recently, it dawned on me that for all the growing up I’ve done, I’m even farther away from having it all figured out than when I was a kid. This epiphany came over the holidays, when I had the chance to hang out with babies on both ends of the spectrum, from our friends’ 5-week-old newborn to my cousin’s walking, almost talking 18-month-old toddler. It’s so amazing to see the transformation of these fragile little bundles of joy into miniature “pseudo” adults who continue to gain new found independence and control of their appendages every day. But while many of us “actual” adults are begrudgingly steeped in the reality of day-to-day responsibilities, our “mini-mes” remind us of the importance of taking time to enjoy the finer things in life – like playing with the boxes that the presents came in.

As cliché as that sounds, that was by far the most enjoyable time of everyone’s day at our family holiday gathering this year. Everyone crowded around Brandon (the aforementioned toddler) as he climbed in and out of boxes, discarded by us grown-ups who overlooked their true value. With the help of imagination and willing adults who were momentarily kids reborn, Brandon transformed what we thought to be trash into high performance Formula One cars zooming across the wood floors. Seeing the joy and pride on his face as everyone took a tiKid President Child Messagemeout to play in his world reminded us all of the value of slowing down and living in the moment. This is especially important given how fast kids grow up. Just over a year ago, Brandon was like our friends’ new baby – a beautiful, but helpless little bundle who spent most of his time sleeping, eating and pooping.

This idea of living in the now is something I’ve pledged to bring with me into the New Year. Let’s not call it a New Year’s Resolution so much as a fresh perspective. Growing up I spent so much time worrying about what the future might hold, an ailment that still afflicts me today. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Planning ahead and making a game plan can significantly take the worry and uncertainty out of advancing through life stages and raising a family. In fact, that’s what GET is all about – making long-term savings decisions now that will set our children up for future success and financial security. However, there is a point at which we can become overly consumed by the future and forget to balance that with the need to experience the now along with our children as they grow.

This New Year, I encourage you all to come along with me as I follow in Brandon’s footsteps and make a pledge to slow down a bit, use my imagination, appreciate the simple things (like cardboard boxes), and just have fun! Approaching the New Year with this kind of perspective sounds like a better recipe for success than our typical, punitive resolutions, and it sounds like a heck of a lot more fun too! Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll think I’ll go back to making my new fort out of blankets and couch cushions.

Written by Lucas Minor

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