I am sure you have heard the saying: “Good things come to those who wait”. I have heard this many times and have probably tormented my kids with this saying, truth be told. Until I decided to write this blog, I did not know where this saying originated. I have done exhaustive research (“hey google”) and have come up with 2 origins.
The first possible origination is with late 19th century British poet named Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie who said “All things come to those who wait”.
The second, more modern origination, is a Heinz Ketchup Commercial from the 1980’s. Now since I have watched infinitely more 1980’s tv commercials than I have read British Poems from the 1890’s, I probably picked it up from Heinz.
I thought for sure that the phrase came from a bible verse, in the book of HESITATIONS, that I learned in VBS. Anyway, I am sure that you are wondering why this common phrase was enough to break my brain out of blog retirement after months of no entries.
Well, I have recently seen a new tv commercial, from DeltaAirlines, that tells a completely different side to the “Good things come” story. As the years go by, I find myself agreeing with Delta Airlines more than Heinz Ketchup.
Call me crazy, call me an adrenaline junkie, call me reckless, but I am starting to think that the only thing that comes to those who wait is “OLD and BORING”. I might have learned it too late, but I can guarantee you that lifelong memories with your kids come to those that GO. The great American Philosopher, Dr Steve Walker, once gave a strict warning to our residency class. He said there will be demand for our services and that there would be the temptation to over-buy fancy things. He said that we should limit our number of hours each month so that we could spend time with family and not get burned out. If we worked extra, make it be designated for something fun and not to pay the bills. He also encouraged us to take trips with our kids. He proposed that the trips, sights, exposures and even stresses of travel would be what the kids had a lasting memory of. I think that if you asked one of my kids to recount the top 10 memories of their life to this point, a healthy majority of them would be related to fun, wild, scary or life-threatening travel adventures. Probably nowhere on that list would be the days that they spent watching Netflix while I was at work.
This way of thinking isn’t natural for me. I am conservative in most ways. I am politically, socially and naturally a financial conservative. My brain says live below your means and save for retirement. My new way of thinking says YOLO and there is a lot to experience in this world. Now my retirement guy can attest that I have neglected him for about the past 10 years and my kids may have to pay for my trips to go with them when I retire, but we have covered some miles in those 10 years. I think that my kids would all agree that they would rather get a Christmas gift that is an experience instead of a gadget or cool clothes.
I am not encouraging anyone to neglect paying their bills and I know that the budget for experiences can range widely depending on what you can do or what you can afford. If your budget is tight, go camping at the lake with the family. Teach your kids to fish or catch crawdads. If something goes wrong, don’t get upset, have fun with it. Jill and I call those “memory makers”. If you are camping and it pours down rain and the wind blows your tent over, play in the mud and laugh about it. Your kids will remember it forever. Was the camping trip to prove that you can make things go perfectly or to make a memory? Make plans for a bigger trip and budget the money over time.
I am not sure how this blog fits in with themes of previous blogs except to encourage parents by affirming that “Good things come to those who go”. I know that things are expensive and bills add up. I am certainly not advocating working all the time to try to be able to go on trips. I just think there has to be a balance. I read a book back in 2007, called Margin (by Richard Swenson) that changed my life and I would definitely recommend it. In this book the offer talks of restoring emotional, physical, financial and time reserves in overloaded lives.
Jill and I are on the cusp of being empty nesters. It seems like yesterday when or first baby was born. I regret missed opportunities to make memories with our kids while they were home. It truly is a small window of time that they are under our roof, so I encourage you to not waste it.
I am praying good things come to you when you go!