Over the past month or so it seems I have been putting forward more bad news than good. I mean with the tax mess, not hitting my goals for the month of March, being a little behind on my debt payments, and future expenses that will cause a bit of a headache for Mrs. ROB and I. All of that said, I think it is time I take stock of where I am, in general, in life. So like I often do when I am walking the dog I think about where I have been, where I am, and where I am going. Conclusion: I have a pretty damn good life.
Here are just of some of things I thought of this morning:
1) I have never been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime (unless you count a traffic ticket or two)
2) I have a great job where I get to interact with smart people on a daily basis.
3) I have more education than most in the world.
4) I am a published author many times over and plan on continuing to publish, including two books I am trying to work on now.
5) I just bought a house for the first time and I am not underwater on it.
6) I am paying my mortgage off at a specific rate where I will have it paid off by the time I am 55 or sooner (hopefully by 50).
7) I have saved more money than most Americans. The average 401k balance as of January 2015 was just north of $91000. I do have more than that in my retirement accounts.
8) I have a dog who is the best in the world, except when he is around other dogs, but we are working on that.
9) I have plenty of food to eat (god knows I could eat less). I don’t ever worry about putting food on the table every month.
10) I have all kind of modern amenities in my home: cable TV, dishwasher, washer/dryer, king-size beds, a couple of computers, smartphones, newer furniture (which we got much cheaper thanks to Mrs. ROB’s shopping), etc.
11) I have never missed a debt payment or bill. I have always paid them on time. Never been late once.
12) I have parents and siblings who love me.
13) I have been to over a dozen different countries and will be going to another one soon (another post on that soon).
14) I have had the privilege to speak internationally, nationally, regionally, and locally about my research.
15) I am a tenured professor.
16) I have spoken before royalty before.
17) I shook the hand of Bill Clinton once (granted it was in a line as he was making his way through the crowd, but still kind of cool though).
18) I get to explore topics in my work that I find the most interesting and important. I am not dictated by anyone that I have to do some specific kind of project.
19) I have a small group of good friends who I know that I can count on. A couple of those people we have been friends for over 30 years and I value them dearly.
20) Most importantly, I have Mrs. ROB, who makes my life filled with adventure, laughter, good food, and love. We have our disagreements, but I do love having her as my partner in crime and I can’t think of anyone I would wish to share the journey with.
The Bottom Line
I am sure there are things that I am forgetting, but based upon the 20 things above I have a much better life than most people on the planet. Certainly, I have problems regarding too much debt, and other desires that I will write about. But in the grand scheme of things, save for a couple of more accomplishments, I can certainly say that I have lived a good life and I hope those who are around we feel the same. I hope they know how much they mean to me (because I do try to tell them).
Yes, I will continue to write about debt and politics and the like. And sometimes I might have a woe is me attitude, but I try not to lose sight of the big picture.
And by the way, certainly some of this is luck to be where I am, but most of it is hard work. I worked my tail off to get here. I didn’t have anything handed to me. I come from a lower middle-class background who’s parents didn’t have a big house, lots of money for extra curricular activities or vacations. I worked for everything I have and had some help from some great family, friends, colleagues, students, and mentors along the way. I thank all of you for that.