As a goal-driven Type A, I feel happiness and pride when I complete tasks I set out for myself from something as small as improving my garden to big like publishing an article. There were many times in my past when it took only seconds for me to accomplish one goal before I was moving on to my next without a moment’s thought.
I remember getting my medical school acceptance letters while living in my college fraternity house and being so happy and proud when I read the letters and then moved on with my day. When I finished my 5 year surgery residency, I moved to LA over the weekend to start my fellowship on Monday without as much as a dinner or party.
At a certain point in my life, I realized I was minimizing moments and accomplishments that were significant and important to me. What was playing out in my life did not match what I valued. I needed to make a course correction.
I began planning, creating and enjoying more celebrations in my life. I planned zip lining, white water river rafting, ultimate frisbee, game nights and regular celebrations to enjoy the moments and people in my life.
A year ago, my wife and I began planning for the Bat Mitzvah of our twin daughters turning 13. I needed to consider this expense relative to the costs of their club sports, my increasing taxes due to the new tax plan, saving for 3 kids going to college, house repairs, vacations, etc. Like so many, I am always juggling the balance between saving for later, spending to live and enjoying now.
For me, celebrations with family and friends in one place together represent the culmination of everything I work hard for and what I always look back on with a smile. We made the choice to take money from an investment or savings so we could celebrate our daughters and community.
It was worth every moment. That weekend will be a milestone and memory we will all cherish forever. I’ve gotten better at enjoying my life and am happier for it. I hope you can do the same.