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Hey, everyone. All is well here, despite what you've heard on CNN. Morale is still high, and we are already looking forward to coming home (it'll be another 9 months to a year).

Anywho, my greatest investment was something I stumbled upon completely by accident. Up to January of 2003, wifey and I were working our collective butts off. She was working full time and then helping me with our auction/antiques business and I was working 14 hour days, cleaning, dusting, hauling, refinishing, buying -- doing all the things that needed doing. We were making money, but we were just working too damn hard. So, I decided to cut back on the store hours. I then decided to hire some extra help. Then, I decided that I wasn't going to do bookwork or anything business related at home. I begain to treat my business as a job, where I worked a set schedule and after that, I went home. Period.

After a month or so, I began sleeping better. From sleeping better I felt better. From feeling better, my relationships improved. From my improved relationships, I became happier. Then, after several months, I began to realize what my greatest investment was.

It was time.

I had begun by taking time from my life, instead of my life taking time from me. I began to further trim my obligations outside of my family, friends and work, and pretty quickly realized that the more time I had to spend with my family and doing the things I enjoyed, then the greater my quality of life was. I became happier, and my friends and family benefitted from it. Having the time to not be stressed out, to not have the obligations that ran my life previously, to be well rested, to have true "quality" time with myself, family and friends, not only has made me a happier person, but has given me the opportunity to be a better person, husband, father and friend.

Now, that I am in Iraq, I have a good bit of time on my hands. I read alot more, I work out, I get plenty of sleep (when we aren't getting bombed! ), have time to write and to contemplate the things that make me ME. I am learning more about me, and am becoming alot more comfortable with who I am, who I want to be, and where I'm going with my life. I'm also noticing how beautiful the sky is at night. How much I love to watch the sun set or sun rise, with a hot cup of coffee and a few minutes of "me" time. Of how much I enjoy listening to people. Of how much I enjoy writing to my wife and children. Of looking at pictures of my family and realizing just how beautiful they really are. Of what an extremely lucky man I am, just being me and having the wonderful things I have in my life.

Yes, I must admit, my greatest investment has been taking the time to enjoy the life I have. I stumbled upon it accidentally. I hope my little chat here can help someone to realize what a great investment it is, so they don't waste all the years I wasted.


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