There are few things in life that are important. Health is obviously number one. Wealth is nice but having enough income coming in to sustain your needs is more important than money to sustain your wants. Family and healthy relationships round up the top of the list. What comes up next is the topic of this post: time and energy.
Everyone has different ideas about what’s important to him or her. We all can agree health is the great equalizer. Regardless of your social status and economic position in life, the person who is poor in health and on deaths doorstep is not thinking about their next purchase or working overtime. When you are given a fatal prognosis with an end date that is sooner than you hoped for your mind automatically shifts to time.
Time and energy go hand in hand. The more of both you spend on one thing, the less you have of both to devote to another. Obviously, working to support yourself and your family is a necessity for the majority of the population. Some people are fortunate enough to be born into wealth and are free to spend their time and energy pursuing their passions. Once you get past that what you choose to spend your time and energy on will speak volumes about what you value and who you are.
As I was leaving work tonight I ran across a long time colleague. He works the overnight shift and had just flown up from visiting his wife and two young children. A year or so ago he sold his house and purchased a home out of state in a nicer area with a lower tax rate. He was able to get more home for his money down south and thought the opportunity was too good to pass up. He has been trying to get a transfer so he can move closer to his family but it’s been a slow process. Twice a month he flies down for a few days to see them then flies back up. Sometimes I see him in the locker room sleeping on a chair waiting for his shift to start. At first, I thought he was having trouble at home. When I asked him if everything was all right he told me his situation and said he’s just waiting for his transfer.
When I walked into the men’s locker-room tonight he was sleeping and woke up when he heard me walk in. I started making pleasantries with him while I was changing to go home. My natural thought process is to look for solutions. I asked him his age and he said 65. He’s been working on the job for at least 11 years and would qualify for a small pension. We also have the benefit of an employer-sponsored retirement program. I didn’t ask him how much money he had in his but would imagine it is a sizeable amount.
He mentioned to me he had children late in life and both of his kids were under 6. I asked him why don’t you retire and collect social security? He said he couldn’t afford it. He then mentioned social security has a provision in it that would pay your spouse and children money each month so long as your children are minors. I did a quick calculation and said to him that he could make more money by retiring than staying at work not including touching his retirement account. He said “oh no, I’ve got kids so I’m not going to retire anytime soon. Besides, if I stay another five years I will get $500 a month more in social security benefits.” This would put him at 70. I saw his mind was set on that path so I wished him a good night and went on my way.
As much as his decision makes sense to him mentally I have to imagine he’s not taking into consideration the time he is spending out of state away from his family although he is reminded of it when his kids ask him when he’s coming home. He also is spending energy on a plane commute twice a month that is costly mentally, financially and physically. He is also now spending money paying for temporary housing for him and on the property his family stays in. If he was to factor in all of those variables along with what he could be receiving in retirement benefits he might be inclined to seriously consider retirement now and not in five years.
Unfortunately, in the pursuit of additional money from overtime and social security he has overlooked the two things that all the money in the world cannot buy; the cost of time away from his family and the energy he could be using watching his kids grow. He’s also assuming he will be in good health over the next five years. The stress of being away from his family has taken a toll on him mentally and physically. Add to that the resentment he or his family may feel from him being away for the majority of each month. At what point does someone say it’s not worth the extra money? Besides, time is not guaranteed to any of us. Someone once said if you want to hear God laugh tell him about your plans for the future.
Since my posts are about politics I’m going to end this with Adam Schiff (D), CA. Schiff is the chairman of the Committee on Intelligence. Since the Mueller report was released and exonerated the President on charges of collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice he and members of his party have refused to come to terms with the special investigator’s findings. For the past two years, Schiff and many of his colleagues have been going on TV promoting the Russian collusion narrative and held numerous investigations against Trump, his family and campaign associates. They have invested so much time and energy in it that finding out the President is innocent of all they have accused him of is a bitter pill that they somehow cannot swallow.
The conclusion of the 22-month long investigation would make any normal person take a look in the mirror and question their own behavior and hopefully change course on their governance going forward. Not Schiff and some of his members. The Mueller report was only a hiccup. They still believe there was collusion and obstruction and are going full steam with additional investigations and have filed motions for possible impeachment.
Sometimes you need to take a step back and listen to outside opinions. The next presidential election is less than two years away. Instead of spending that time and energy looking to remove the president thru endless investigations, perhaps they should consider doing the job they were elected for and find ways to improve the country for the betterment of the American people. If they can do that, they will have results they can run on instead of wasted time and energy on disproven collusion theories the electorate is running from.