How Much Do We Sacrifice For More Income?
Update: My apologies to Tom Collins of More Partner Income as I worded this comment on his illness in a way that gave the impression I drew a correlation between his failing to get necessary procedures at the expense of chasing false gods. However, my goal was to use his original post as a springboard for the larger discussion of what do we neglect, like health, family and more, in the pursuit of things that ultimately mean very little in the end. While this conversation may not pertain to him, as he responds in a recent post, it is very relevant to those who can and/or have lost sight of their priorities.
Is health the price we pay for More Partner Income? In this sobering, reflective and honest post by Tom Collins of the blog "More Partner Income," he makes this entry entitled "Lawyers Can Get Sick, Too":
"It is March 6th and I'm on my way into the operating room at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. These folks are the experts when it comes to colon rectal surgery and Dr. Ian Lavery is going to try today to put me back together after cancer surgery in 2004 rerouted my plumbing. Here is a warning for those of you addicted to work. Don't neglect your own health. Don't skip annual physicals. And whatever you do, don't forgo those periodic tests that none of us like. More Partner Income isn't worth much if you aren’t around to enjoy the wealth it helped you accumulate. If you have ever had one, you know that preparing for a colonoscopy test isn’t much fun. So I skipped them. That cost me a lot and almost cost me my life. In fact, my original surgeon thought it had. The diagnosis was stage four colon cancer and his prognosis was that I would not be around to write this blog entry. "
Life is about perspective. While Tom writes about not taking necessary tests, what else do we sacrifice along the way in pursuit of the almighty dollar?
Whether I was wise or lazy, I don't know, but I've never chased the golden calf. My husband and I did something unheard of in the land of 'keeping up with the Jones'. When we got married we made a conscious decision to create a lifestyle off of one income. Since his was stable, not mega-millions, but stable, we chose his income so that if one of us ever became disabled (which he could very easily given he is one of our country's heros, a firefighter) we didn't want to have our lifestyle jeopardized. One of us would always be able to support our chosen lifestyle. It also freed us up to enjoy life on our terms.
Are there choices? Of course. We don't trade in our car every three years. We didn't renovate every room in our house the minute we bought it because we didn't want the stress of feeding the debt monster each month. We do it as we have the cash to do it. (How 1950's is that!) We stuck to our guns while those around us built bigger, better, more expensive....borrowed for all the newest and best toys.
But unlike them, we actually get to raise our child when others just keeping working harder and longer to accumulate "stuff" rather than raise their kids (you know what I'm talking about, 'the trophy kids' who wouldn't know their parents if they fell over them because of the parade of international au pairs coming through their lives.) Now, there are many who have to utilize day care because they have to work to keep a roof over their heads and they are very fortunate they have that option and their kids are happy and well-adjusted. I'm not talking about these families.
So when I read about Tom Collins who neglected his health while chasing more partner income, it struck a chord. How many of us are neglecting our health, our families, our emotional well-being, our dreams while chasing 'more money' to buy or have 'things' that truly don't matter in the end it?
My home needs a face lift. My wardrobe is circa 1998, but on a Wednesday if my husband says 'let's go to the Aquarium' or I get the itch to hop on a plane to see my parents in Florida, there is nothing that stops us. A new bathroom can wait. Time with my family cannot. It's all about choices. Someone once said, "I can afford anything. I just can't afford everything.' Choices.
My thoughts and good wishes go out to you, Tom, and I'll watch for the blog post telling us of your speedy recovery and how you continue to use your life-altering experience to encourage others to review their priorities.