The Christmas shopping list is completed, the items have been purchased and with the exception of a handful of gifts left to wrap our household is just about across the finish line for Christmas shopping 2012. Now we can get to the business of enjoying the holiday and celebrating it appropriately.
I am happily looking forward to Christmas this year. Aside from being about $70 under our budget I actually managed to have a few days off work this year. In years past I have actually come into the office and worked half days on Christmas. On the income side it was a no brainer. We were working our debt snowball and through my employer when working holidays I get paid time and a half for the holiday hours put in. So it was extra money to help get our snowball rolling. But now, truth be told, we really don’t need the money. Yes we have goals to reach like annual travel, systematically invest and hit the pinnacle point, buy a home and start a family, but I see these as marathon type goals and fiscally we shifted from a sprint to a more maintainable long-term pace.
So what did I replace gazelle intensity with? For me it has always been important to get my time back. Time for myself, time for my wife, time for volunteering and of course time for family. I figured if I could sprint through the early baby steps, build my fiscal foundation and rid my life of debt, later I could start making decisions and choices not based on money but where I want to spend my time. I am starting to feel that the time is now. So I bypassed the opportunity to pick up holiday hours at the office and instead will be spending as much time as possible with family.
Just thinking about making this choice brings me peace of mind. I mean sure, we could use the money from bonus hours to put towards any of our sinking funds, but I honestly think I am hitting a point where I am happy right where I am, in the direction I am moving, and my time is one of the most valuable things I cherish in my life. My ultimate goal is to hit the pinnacle point, where our investments make more in a year than we make for us in a year, and this will be the apex where can maximize all of our time to do exactly what we want to do day in and day out and not rely on an employer for income. But now I am starting to get a taste of having my time back. That is just one of the many blessings that I am thankful for this year, and that I look forward to experiencing more of in the New Year.