Monday, April 29, 2013

My Evolving Priorities

Admittedly at first glance it may appear that we no longer know how to have fun. In fact when I was even thinking it over internally I began to question it myself. This whole notion though kind of jump started at my prompting. My wife and I have been talking about having kids and raising a family a lot over the last year, and there’s a very good chance (at LEAST over 60% by my unscientific count) that this will be our last spring and summer as D.I.N.Ks. (double income, no kids).

So I asked my wife because I was kind of short on ideas, “What can we do to really embrace our last warm season with just you and I?” And she looked back at me with the same blank gaze that I gave myself in the mirror when I posted the question to myself just ten minutes earlier.

It’s not that we don’t go out. Just this last week we took on the following just between the two of us: 3 Smart Money presentations, a free independent movie screening, I had gone to individual counseling, beginning production on a new business venture (and with low cost, more to come later), a weekly small group gathering AND meeting up for an FPU class.

So we’re not short on extracurricular activities. In fact we were both exhausted by the middle of last week from our frantic schedule. But when I pulled back and essentially asked myself and my wife, “What do we want to do for fun that we won’t be able to do with kids for one last time?” The answers were pretty slim.

My knee jerk reaction was to spend Spring and Summer nights venturing all over our city’s great neighborhoods, catching great live music acts at our favorite venues and bar hopping until last call. But then I recalled that since Easter I’ve had two beers and they were both at a wedding we went to in Arkansas. Since we’ve switched to juicing morning meals and evening snacks daily, I’ve had less of an inclination to eat unhealthy foods, and have been even more reluctant to drink alcohol.

So we could bar hop and go hog wild on water, but just the idea of staying out late until the sun comes up and being completely unproductive the next day just sounds draining to me. For anyone that knew me in college, you are probably thinking that I have been a victim of body snatchers and the aliens are already making their way across this planet. But I assure you there has been no such abduction; I guess I’m just starting to grow up.

In my pre-Ramsey days, my checking account and credit card balances were not the only things that I failed to pay attention to. The truth is that I made a ton of really bad health decisions from what I ate and what I drank. Fast food was pretty normal for me a few times a week and at every party and outing I was the life of the party and fit right in with the rest of the inebriated crowd.

But this is very clearly not the person that I am today. These days I find myself more concerned with getting enough sleep before work the next morning and not being out too late on a Saturday night so I am refreshed for church and lunch with my wife on Sundays. And you will never catch me eating fast food, I know it comes across as pretentious and when I was in high school and college that I used to make fun of people (viciously mind you) that sounded like this, but it’s genuinely true: I truly enjoy taking care of my body and feeling good.

McDonald’s, Budweiser, being out until the sun comes up, going home with ringing in my ears from a band’s speakers being too loud, it all just does not sound appetizing to me anymore. Which even as I write this is something that I kind of can’t believe that I am writing.

So what do we plan to do for what might be our final Spring and Summer season as D.I.N.Ks? Aside from a few planned trips, I for one am looking forward to being out on the lakefront with my wife and strolling through our neighborhood on warm evenings with gelato in hand.  I’m sure some live acts, street festivals and our favorite music venues will see a few turns, but I think for this summer we are going to be more intentional to try our hardest to slow life down and just embrace and enjoy the company of one another.

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