An off-hand comment by my husband on date night, gives me food for thought about our future careers.
Choosing a future you definitely DON’T want
About five years ago, in my last corporate job, I combined a work day in London starting with an 8am meeting in Holborn, a normal work day and a few drinks with my husband before making it back home for the 9pm nanny hand-over.
On both train journeys, I noted a group of suited and booted gents in their late 50s-early 60s. Each had a couple of M&S beers for the journey home and were having a good laugh. These men are now indelibly imprinted in my brain, solely because of my husband’s casual comment as we jaunted off the train:
“God, I hope I’m never one of those guys.”
I was flabbergasted - for two reasons.
My husband is one of the least judgemental people I’ve ever met.
These gents appeared perfectly happy with their lot.
Choosing life priorities defines behaviour
However, I had realised that we had agreed our life priorities early in our relationship.
Over the years we had known each other, we have comprised on some life decisions to enable our love of travel.
Neither of us have many designer clothes.
Neither of us have super flashy cars…or at least not since he helped me realise how much money I was wasting on my corporate company car allowance.
We chose a house and a mortgage that we could afford if one of us got ill/pregnant.
Before children we would go on weekend breaks around Europe at the drop of a hat, gaining me the office nickname “Judith Chalmers”, the 1980s TV travel personality.
I was secretly proud.
When we had young children we carried on with the last minute jaunts until school holidays messed with both our spontaneity and our budget!
Now, like many parents we book most of our holidays up to a year in advance to make sure we don’t pay over the odds for the holiday we choose.
Each of us chooses our priorities in life.
If we don’t make a choice, someone else makes it for us.
My husband is lucky enough to have known early on that he definitely doesn’t want to be on the commuter train when he is 60.
Which means that every day, he makes choices to do (or not do) things that fit with his goal.
You can be sure that you won’t see him in a bespoke Desmond Merrion suit, Patrick Cox shoes and a Tom Ford man bag on any commuter train any time soon…but that image makes me smile.
Our futures are designed by our actions today.
Ensuring that you take the early train to work and the late train home when YOU WANT TO, not because you have to requires concentration on your future...today.
One of my favourite books on this subject is Essentialism - the Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.
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