It's July already! I'm not sure where the first 6 months of this year went. When life is on auto-pilot, the things we remember are the ones outside of your everyday routine, like travel or misfortunes. If your weeks are made up of work 5-6 days and one day of rest, the year flies without even one tiny memorable moment. It's sad. I figured this out many years ago and I have been working really hard at finding ways of keeping a life full of adventure and diversity. It's not easy but while challenging, it sure is a lot of fun.
My baby is turning 16 this month. I'm so happy for him as he's getting ready to get his drivers licence and earn that freedom that wheels get you in this country. When you can come and go as you pretty much please. My life as a taxi driver will come to a screeching halt in a few days and as Richard tells me often, I will see less and less of my children from here on. I know he is right. And I've decided to embrace that and start thinking of myself. We pretty much have 18 summers with our children. I'm down to my last two. It feels like the calm before the storm, when everything will burst and each one of us will go in a separate direction. The future looks so exciting for all of us even though neither one has a plan. But we have a lot of dreams and a big desire to make them happen. We do the right things at the moment and we are building a good base. The kids study well and stay out of trouble. They are making good friends and have a lot of potential. I am working hard at building their independence and teaching them the skills necessary to make it in life. I'm teaching them how to fly.
Which brings me back to me and life after kids. It looks lonely if left on auto pilot. So yeah, that won't happen. In July, I usually revisit the goals I set at the beginning of the year and see if I need to adjust. Today I've decided to talk about my goals, because when you make them public, your friends and the virtual world holds you "accountable". And I want that. I want to be held on track and I want to stay focused. I don't want to chicken out or find reasons why it's crazy to do the things I want to do.
So here goes.
1. QUIT WORKING FOR SOMEONE ELSE BY MY 50th BIRTHDAY. This is my main goal. I have a job that I really like, but it's still a job and I trade away my time for money. Yes, it pays well, it's 5 minutes from home, it offers benefits and a retirement plan, but will I be happy going to work every morning just to come home at the end of the day to an empty house and have no creative energy or the desire to do anything? Not really. I know it sounds crazy and scary, but I have made up my mind and I will stick with it! When ever I get scared about my decision, I remind myself that no matter what life threw at me so far, my survival rate is 100%. I am smart and resourceful and I will find a way of making a living without having to trade so much of my time for money. I am at a point in my life where I value my time more than anything and how and with whom I spend it, it's a priority.
2. BE DEBT FREE. I managed to pay off the house we live in last year. It has brought me peace of mind and the ability to dream a little easier. While taxes are still a major monthly expense, it feels great to know that no matter what, I will always have a roof over my head a place for my children to call home. The cars are paid for also, so basically the goal now is to stay debt free. I have no desire to buy any more stuff, froze my credit reports and basically moved on with the mentality that if I want it, I will save for it and then get it. I read a lot of financial blogs and really enjoy the financial independence mindset of people who have achieved it. I invest a little bit and I am working on building different streams of income, so that I can make a living without having to keep a job. I am confident in my ability to stay debt free for the rest of my life.
3. MOVE TO CALIFORNIA. I love this guy of mine, Richard. He makes me happy, he makes me smile and he completes me. We have been in a long distance relationship for almost 7 years and I am ready to move on to the next step in our relationship: live together. We don't plan on getting married but we do want to grow old together. And since I'm not a fan of winter... yeah, easy decision.
4. STAY HEALTHY. An important part of the future. As you all know, I love food and I have a sweet tooth. I have, over the years, tried different lifestyles and I have finally come to the conclusion that a low carb diet works best for me. I have high cholesterol that I'm trying to lower and a foot with plantar faciitis, but all in all, I have found a weight that I feel good at and it's easy for me to maintain. This is an ongoing goal and I'm learning everyday. Staying active and eating well is easier when one has more free time, so I think this will be easier to keep at once I will have more free time.
5. AROUND THE WORLD TRIP. This goal puts a smile on my face every time it pops into my mind. I have been so busy with work and unable to take longer stretches of time off, so after a talk with my children, we have decided to put off major vacations for the next couple of years and instead save and plan for one longer around-the-world trip once I quit my job. The kids will be out of high school and I will have the time. So yeah, the step I'm working on right now for this goal is saving money. I am planning on a budget of $100/day per person for our trip, so depending on how much money and time we will have available, that's how much of the world we will get to see. We have seen some places and there will be some left out for them to discover on their own, but I believe that this trip will help them as they are starting their lives and will give them the necessary wisdom and experience to put life and it's problems into perspective. We have a map set out in our living room and a very tentative route, but it's still 3 years away and as time passes, I will concentrate more and more at it. At this stage in the planing, besides saving money, not much needs to be done. Maybe learn a new language and think more of where and why I want to go there.
So here are my five goals for the next 2 1/2 years. While they don't seem like many, these are life changing and involve a lot of aspects that need to be studied and mastered individually. Things like financials, entrepreneurship, diet, flexibility, decluttering, love, emotional support, focus and creativity. I need to stay the course and keep up the things I am doing right and adjust if things don't seem to work as I imagine they should. I hope that reading about my goals will help you think of yours and encourage you to take that step and make that decision without a fear of failing. Life is short and when left to it's own devices it flies!
"The path from dreams to success does exist. May you have the vision to find it, the courage to get on to it, and the perseverance to follow it." - Kalpana Chawla