I used to tell my kids when they were getting close to the ripe old age of independence, around 18 to 21 years of age, “Don’t get caught up in life.” They’d say, “What does that mean?” Then I’d present the list:
- When you’re in college or just starting out on your own you buy a pet(s).
- When you’re in college or just starting out on your own you get involved in a deep relationship.
- When you’re in college or just starting out on your own you buy a house because you think renting is bad.
- When you’re in college or just starting out on your own you buy a car and you live on campus.
- on and on…adding more and more stuff in your life that you have to manage and focus your time on.
I would then compare that to someone their age who had the ability to just pick up and go. Go to a job interview clear across the country and be able to accept the job with very little resistance from the “getting caught up” list. Move to another country for a while to study or accept an internship or even a long-term job.
However, getting caught up for some people has resulted in completely acceptable lives that they still would do the same way over again if they had the chance. Someone in my family was married years ago when they were young and both students in college. Popping babies out every two years, three times (three kids in other words). Debt collectors calling constantly that went unanswered. Sometimes never really knowing how or when things where going to get paid.
Thirty years later, one spouse works while the other stays home on the acreage that’s worth well over $400,000.00 in the Midwest. What happened? The magic of time allowed the working spouse to pursue their passion in a business field where company’s would pay for them to finish college, even a master’s degree, so they’d be more valuable to the company and other companies they moved to. Raising the level of your marketability. The spouse was “caught up”, if you will, in a career that would blossom with time.
I still preach to young folks, “don’t get caught up so you’re frozen from not pursuing all the many angles in life when you’re starting out.” It’s tough enough, let alone adding extra stuff on to your life to make it harder than it already is to start out on your own.