I have a birthday coming up. Not a ‘big’ birthday by any means but one that definitely makes me feel like an adult. More so than New Years, birthdays always make me take a step back and assess. Assess where I am in life and where I am going. This is so important. Without taking the time now and then to think about where I am going, I am worried I’ll wake up 10 or 20 years from now and feel like I have drifted through my life.
As a goal oriented person I have always made lists or thought of my life in terms of things I want to accomplish. Go to college, live abroad, go to grad school, buy a house, get married, have kids…. My 29th birthday was a tough one for me. While I had just graduated form business school my life was nothing how I’d imagined it would be when I was ‘almost 30′. I had lived in 4 cities over the previous 5 years and felt like my life was all about my career and little else.
Things have changed for the better since then. While I still have this list in the back of my mind, when I look forward now the thing I think about the most is how I am spending my time. Do I get to spend enough time with my kids, my husband, my other family members and friends? Do I feel good about how I am spending my working hours? Have I given up any hobbies that are important to me? How do I make time for things that push me to grow both personally and professionally?
When I think about financial freedom I don’t think about fancy cars and vacations, I think about becoming a master of my time. After grad school I was extremely lucky to meet an amazing guy who also values time and experiences more than things. Looking forward Mr. NTF and I have some big goals for ourselves, from spending loads of time with our kids to looking into new career opportunities and spending a lot more time writing. All of this makes me so motivated to keep our finances in order and continue working toward financial freedom.
So what does this all mean? Well Mr. NTF and I have dinner plans this weekend, I am not sure where but I am beyond excited. Not only do I love surprises but I get to have hours of uninterrupted time with Mr. NTF. Hopefully after spending an evening chatting, I will have time to put pen to paper and do an exercise I first did almost 9 years ago, mapping out the specifics of what I want my life to look like 10 years from now.
Do you like birthdays? How do you reconcile where you are from where you thought you would be? Are you happy with how you are spending your time?