These days won’t last forever

Last night was an unusual and highly coincidental night.

For starters, I should warn you that this post is more philosophical and about life in general than anything. Writing is nothing new for me, but this blogging thing is a bit of a newer endeavor. I’ve been told and have read that I need to schedule my time to write posts. I understand the reason, but inspiration hits you at different points. Today, for me, it was at 5:40 am … as I reflected upon “the night that was.”

Shortly before we got into our bedtime routine with our girls, I had a conversation with a close family member who has been going through some difficult times. He’s been battling with depression and other challenges. I was sharing with him that this chapter in his life will be over and the next chapter has yet to be written. My exact comment to him was “these days won’t last forever.”

Less than an hour later, I found myself reading the third book of the night to our soon-to-be 3-year-old daughter. She’s at the phase in life where she has mastered the most important rule in sales – don’t accept the answer “no.” Frankly, if I could get her to understand a few basics about expense ratios, asset allocation, risk, and the importance of reliable retirement income, she’d probably pick up more clients in a week than most financial advisors do all year. She’s that cute … and that convincing.

We finished the third book, and I reminded her that it was time to go to bed. She was quick to remind me, “Daddy, I’m already in bed.” It’s hard to argue with good reasoning. She needed me to define my wishes more clearly. “Charleigh, it’s time to go to sleep.”

“But I want you to tell me a story …”

Pretty hard to say no to that. After making up two “once upon a time” stories, my request for her to go to sleep became a little more stern.

As she rolled over, I pulled her blanket up to cover her shoulders. And just as I was ready to declare victory for the evening, she broke out the kryptonite.

“Daddy, will you cuddle with me?”

That was only the jab. The right hook came when she dialed up the sweetness factor 40 notches and whispered, “Will you hold me?”

If we’re really smooth and clicking on all cylinders, our bedtime routine for our two little ones can usually be tackled inside of 25 minutes (assuming the bathtub didn’t enter the equation). Last night … I lost track around the 2-hour mark.

But as I cuddled up to my sweet, little, Jedi-mind-tricking daughter, only one thing came to mind … “These days won’t last forever.”

And yet … that’s not the end of the story.

Since I prefer the comfort of my own bed, the next step in the process is to pull off a “Yoga-esque-Mission Impossible” style maneuver to quietly and gracefully exit the bed and the room. Since the end result is inevitably a pulled muscle, I know I’ll be up for a little bit yet.

I wrapped my night up by reading a few chapters from The Energy Bus, by Jon Gordon.

It’s a book I try to read every now and again, when I’m needing the reminder about the importance of surrounding yourself with positive thoughts (and people).

Ironically, the theme of the last chapter I read could most easily be described in one sentence …

These days won’t last forever.

And with that, a few nuggets of advice to end this post on:

  1. Stop spending so much money on sales consulting courses and books. Volunteer at a day care. I’d suggest the 2.5- to 4-year-old room for the most effective training.
  2. If you have the privilege of putting little kiddos or grand-kiddos to bed at night, might I suggest something larger than a twin-size bed.
  3. If you’re feeling like the positive energy just gets sucked out of you throughout the day, or if you are simply not starting the day with much positive energy, give that book a try. It’s profoundly simple.
  4. Lastly, … in the financial industry, like all others, just remember – these days won’t last forever. If your days are tough now, have the fortitude to push through. If the days are great now, have the wisdom to make the best of them.

Enjoy,

Mark

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