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Invest, Don’t Spend

August 30, 2011

     “As sands slip through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives.”  These were the beginning words of a well known soap opera.  You cannot control sand.  Just ask my children who for the last week battled the elements in their attempts to build the perfect sandcastle.  Sometimes the faster you dig the faster the sand falls back into the hole.

     Money too is another thing that tends to slip right through your fingers.  Wise financial advisors will tell you to invest, do not spend.  I always have the desire to invest but I tend to enjoy spending far more than I should.

     Dr. Haendiges sends out a regular e-mail called “The Daily Dose.”  In her most recent e-mail she pointed out that we need to invest our time and not just spend it.  So today I will give you my “time” advice.  Just as a financial advisor attempts to help you see the bigger picture and look at the long term, so will I.

     First of all let’s make sure we understand the definition of “invest.”  To invest is to expend for future benefits or advantages.  It is all about seed planting.  It is taking what you have right now and spending it so that later you will reap the benefit.

     When we look at our daily activities, are they actions that are investments in a better future for us or those around us? 

     When you make financial investments, you put your money where it will be safe but produce the highest returns.  We are more careful with our money than with our time, yet I believe our time is much more valuable than our money.  Let’s consider some of the areas that we should invest in.

     Ourselves!  A dangerous result of the “Over busy Mama Syndrome,” is Mamas who do not take care of themselves. When you are running here and running there, caring for your children’s needs, the needs of your household, the church’s needs and anyone else’s needs who happens along; there is no time left to care for YOU.  Little Johnnie kicks a mean soccer ball, Susie pirouettes like a prima ballerina, Dick is the next Mozart and Jane can slam dunk like Michal Jordan but you are tired, overwhelmed and shortchanging your health.

     Dear Mama, if you do not invest some time in taking care of you, you are spending all you have and will have nothing left later.  What I am suggesting is time for healthy meals and snacks for you and your family.  A full 8 hours of sleep at night and 30 minutes a day for you to have time for a walk or some exercise

     When things get crazy, and they always do, the first thing to go is time to take care of ourselves.  Mama this is an investment that will produce tremendous benefits.  We care for our cars so they do not break down but we do not care for ourselves.  News flash – we will break down.  At some point the neglect will surface and then it will cost you more.  It will cost you in poor health, medical bills and possibly even worse.

(p.s. Steve, I am listening to myself)

     Another investment of time should be in building meaningful relationships.  Quite often the relationships in our lives are merely just the other over busy Mamas who are involved in the same activities that our children are.  It is difficult to establish a long lasting friendship while sitting together watching our little ones tumble about in gymnastics.  The seasonal camaraderie at sporting events usually ends after the final game and dropping kids off at the same class at the same time doesn’t leave much room for bonding.

     Invest in a relationship.  Make some intentional friends.  We are all busy.  No one seems to have time but this is so important.  You hear about marriages that broke up when the kids were grown because the parents did not pay attention to each other, only to the kids.  It will be the same for Mamas who are so busy with their kids.  When their season of busyness ends the loneliness can be overwhelming. 

     True friendships are rare but a true gift.  Take some time today to invest in a relationship.  It is an investment that pays great rewards.

     Tomorrow I will have more investment advice.  But for today, take one meal and invest in a healthy future.  Take 30 minutes and walk around your yard.  Then pick up the phone and call someone and just let them know how much they mean to you.  These are merely seeds but instead of sands slipping through your fingers you will be making an investment in things that really matter.



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