It’s not often you walk into a doctor’s office with a few questions and leave with a life lesson. On a recent visit to my doctor, I had somewhat of an aha moment.
We got talking about different medical screening tests and how oftentimes they aren’t always dependable. With some medical issues, blood tests don’t alert us soon enough. He brought up the example of pancreatic cancer and went on to say that, more times than not, by the time that disease is diagnosed, it’s too late.
It was then he said something very profound, which stopped me in my tracks. He said, “you just pray you don’t get it and if you do, you pray that you’ve lived your life.” Wow. Pray that you’ve lived your life. That statement just sat with me.
He left the room for a moment and I just sat there, in my lovely little gown, processing that statement. I quietly asked myself, ‘am I living my life?’ Initially, I got a bit sad, thinking, maybe I’m not. My mind raced with my responsibilities, my hours working, the various projects on my plate, single parenting and more.
As I left the office and spend the rest of the day contemplating that comment, I realized something very interesting. Yes, I was living my life. I found myself reflecting on those things I love; my son, my family, spending time with friends and doing something that makes a difference in the lives of others. I do spend a lot of time with my loved ones and that is precious to me. And, no, I wasn’t living my life. I realized I didn’t include much ‘play’ time. Actually, I had no play time.
We’ve always heard it’s important to live your life to the fullest and never take anything for granted. I totally agree with that and do feel immense gratitude for my life. But, I have to admit, I get caught up in my day to day responsibilities and stresses that I forget to slow down and ‘smell the roses.’
What does this have to do with teaching teens about money? Absolutely nothing. But, it does teach an invaluable life lesson. Yes, it’s important to plan for the future, manage your money wisely and make smart choices in life. But, it’s also important not to get so caught up in planning your future that you miss today.
So, go play. Live your life with no regrets. All the while, be sure to save automatically and watch your spending. I’m off to play some tennis.