Who’s Your Master?

Happy is harder than money.
Anyone who thinks money will make them happy, doesn’t have money.
~~ David Geffen ~~

Boulevard of Broken Dreams

I once had a plaque on my den wall that read: He who dies with the most toys, wins!  Another displayed nearby said: The difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.  One is definitely true while the other is most definitely not.  Can you guess which one?  I don’t know what’s happened to those wall hangings, I haven’t seen them in a long time.  But like most things of material value they can be easily lost, even forgotten.

As a young father years ago struggling to make a living and hoping for financial independence I gave up a lot to work many of the jobs I once gave a big part of my life to.  I held very few positions where I wasn’t required to work nights, weekends and holidays.  I would often miss many extended family events, holidays and birthdays, even a few vacations etc..  I often reflect on how much is too much and what sacrifices must some pay in that struggle to get ahead?

There’s a lot to be said for the advice do what you love and you won’t work a day in your lifeLadders of Success.  I would only add: so long as the price you pay isn’t greater than what you or your family can bear.  Make sure that ladder of success you climb is leaning against the right wall and taking you where you really want to go.  Make sure your sights aren’t firmly planted on what will lead you toward a world of flimsy, easily broken dreams…

A Boulevard of Broken Dreams

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don’t know where it goes
But it’s home to me and I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
When the city sleeps
And I’m the only one and I walk alone

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart’s the only thing that’s beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
’til then I walk alone*

Our children and our spouses need us at home.  Mothers aren’t exempt and for parents raising a family is the most important work we could ever do.  There are few do-overs allowed in these important matters.

Evangelist Billy Graham recently wrote:

Our society places too much emphasis on money, implying that financial achievement is the main measure of a person’s true success in life.  But this is a false standard and we must resist falling into the trap of thinking that money is everything….  Just make sure that money is your servant and not your master.  ~~ Nearing Home, pp. 59-60

*Lyrics from Green Day’s A Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

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7 comments on “Who’s Your Master?

  1. oldereyes says:

    My mother always said, “Money won’t make you happy, but it sure helps.” My father said, “If work was all fun, they’d call it a hobby.” Personally, I liked (sometimes loved) being an electrical engineer, but frequently it was work. I think very few of us get to do what we love for a living and even if we do, we turn it into work. I’m of the opinion that work … of the not always enjoyable kind … is critical to our development as beings, and to the development of mindfulness, as in “Chop Wood, Carry Water.” That’s speaking as an older fellow who still struggles with finding fulfillment in retirement, where I can pretty much do what I enjoy.

  2. bonkasaurus says:

    I completely agree. Sometimes it makes me anxious because I feel like i will never be able to work my ass off enough to please myself or my family.

    -Bianca at http://theinbetweengirls.wordpress.com/

    • Rick Gleason says:

      Forget the family Bianca in your decisions. Respect them and be thankful for all they have done for you to get where you are today. But never, never allow them to steer you in a direction you don’t want to go. It’s your life to live, just as they have their own. It is you who has to live with your decisions for a lifetime, not them.

      No need too to be anxious over things you can’t change. And no need to be the same over the things you can change. Do what you have to do. Make sense? I know you’ll do well.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and especially for your comment. Happy holidays to you and yours.

  3. Ron Susek says:

    Good one, Rick. Keep writing. Ron

  4. While I agree in theory about the need for good, quality, family time -from both parents too -the sad but unfortunately, truth about work and family time and economics being what they are, often creates many issues in achieving those lofty goals! My kids frequently were totally on their own many, many times as work was an absolute requirement in my life -often working two jobs and rarely did any of those jobs provide reasonable hours that I could be home with my kids for many of their important events growing up. They survived and today, experience many of those same problems with their own children too. A fact of life for those of us who rarely can find quality employment with “quality” hours or shifts and those jobs frequently don’t offer a reasonable rate of pay to compensate for the absences required. Just saying.,,

    • Rick Gleason says:

      Thank you Jeni, I agree. However I had those with plenty of lives still ahead of them in mind when I wrote this. It’s from my point of view having travelled down the road a little farther. I’ve always seemed to learn a lot of things in the school of hard knocks and wish someone had taught me this in ways I could understand and other things when I was much younger.

      My blog, in it’s most basic intent, is written for my children and grandchildren. It is for them who I hope will appreciate that they are the masters of their future. I want them to know that it isn’t just about surviving or being victims of outside influences. It is more than theory and for them, despite current economic conditions, the opportunities still exist and America is the greatest country on earth, and I believe will remain so for a long time.

      The young can accomplish all they ever would hope for and do it while maintaining their values and not sacrificing family and home. I want them to learn early, plan ahead, be prepared, make good decisions. No excuses! Call me “crazy”!

      Thanks again for your following along and always for your comments. Thanks especially for the great mother and grandmother that you are.

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