Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Time to Take Action - an open invitation to all!

I want to thank my wife for her inspiring and meaningful words. They speak volumes to many of us, who struggle with expectations in life. It takes courage to break down accepted social norms and pave new paths based on sincere thought, emotion, and reasoning. This is how she lives her life. The most pioneering people have always challenged the accepted way and pushed for change. Perhaps I should listen to her more often!

This past weekend, I had the privilege of being the best man in my best friend’s wedding. As he and his (soon-to-be) wife stood at the alter ready to devote their lives to one other, the Priest delivered a very powerful message that echoed my wife’s sentiments. He stated that the two most important acts in life are committing yourself to another and creating life. His take home message was simple: life and love are sacred - all else is superficial.

Of course his message may have been an over-simplification of life, but it still rings true. As I look back through my life, my happiest moments are all derived from the love of my family. Many of these times have been while I’ve been unemployed. My true happiness doesn’t come from a job or the money I earn. A job may provide a certain sense of satisfaction or accomplishment. It may even instill some pride. But, can’t I get those things elsewhere? Money doesn’t change the most important and fundamental aspects of life – love and family. At the end of the day, that’s all we have. What good are the extras in life if we can’t enjoy them with the people we love most?

It’s been said that a job is considered a way to earn a living. But, is that what we are doing? Do we earn life by working? For me, the answer is obvious. I don’t need a job to earn a living. I appreciate the intangibles. I love my family. This is how I “earn a living”. For many of us, we take jobs that pull us away from our lives. We sit in traffic. We get frustrated by coworkers. We are under-appreciated by our bosses. A job is no way to earn a living. It is merely a means to a living.

One day soon I will go back to work and I will have to reconcile my struggle. I will need to balance my job and my family. My true happiness will suffer. It shouldn’t be that way. As my wife said, I shouldn’t have to cram my life into nights and weekends. The best trick I can pull is to carve out a new norm that allows me pursue a career in line with my values.

Until that time, I want to embrace the moments of my true happiness. I implore all of you to do the same. This is our chance. It’s time to take action and start something. For everyone reading this, let’s start slow and simple. Together, let’s venture back to that place where our job was to play in the summer sun and run through the sprinklers – let’s set up a playdate next week with our kids! Here’s an open invitation for everyone reading this. Let’s get together and spend time embracing these moments of LIFE with our families!

I know of a great place (in Central Jersey) that’s fun and most importantly FREE! I especially invite my unemployed readers and stay at home parents. If you have a job, take a vacation or sick day - play hooky and join us! Invite your friends. The time is now.

For those interested in attending, send me an email (alifeunexpected.jtm@gmail.com) and I will add you to the evite. Details will be included.

I look forward to seeing you then!

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