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.Peace,JB
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. There's only so much time each one of us has on this old Earth, which is why I left the rat race at 49. For years, I watched folks my age die from heart attacks, cancer, and other unwanted events. I watched my parents die, a brother die, and my kid go off to college. Yes, I was a big success in my profession, but what did that bring me.... More money, but less time, and time was not an inexhaustable resource. Even with early retirement, time is not limitless, but at least I'm spending what's left of it on things other than racing around in circles and measuring success by the amount of money I can make or the number of folks I can run over in a single day.
JB: What is your "day job" there in Iraq? What is your attitude about it? Do you feel you are contributing to a worthwhile goal? ..don't mean to pry, just curious about a "front-line opinion"...ps Thanks for serving! Are there any items you want mailed, i.e. we could start a RE/FIRE "Support Out Troops" supply line!
JB: What is your "day job" there in Iraq? What is your attitude about it? Do you feel you are contributing to a worthwhile goal? ..don't mean to pry, just curious about a "front-line opinion"...ps Thanks for serving! Are there any items you want mailed, i.e. we could start a RE/FIRE "Support Out Troops" supply line! I am a radio/telecom team chief. I work at brigade, so we mostly do training and tech support to the line units. I enjoy working with people, so I like the job and being here to serve, but I don't agree with the politics behind it. Yes, I do feel I am contributing to a worthwhile goal, as we are helping to improve the lives of the Iraquis, and I am helping the soldiers to have a better quality of service.As for me serving, thank you for your support. It's folks like you that make it worthwhile to us. No, there is nothing I need mailed, as the wife and mom are working overtime to keep me supplied, but thanks just the same. However, I do have two soldiers who haven't gotten anything from home so far. If you all would like, email me, and I'll give you their addresses. My wife's Girl Scout troop "adopted" them, but they haven't received anything as of today.Sincerely,JB
Thanks for taking the time to post--I caught it on the "Featured Post". I still can't decide what I think about the war--wish we weren't there, wish life in the Middle East was such that everyone didn't feel compelled to try to "lord it over" their neighbors, but I don't know what the "right" answer is. Complex situation.About a year ago someone in Iraq posted a book list to Alibris--about 200 books that various people in his/her unit had suggested, to be shared around the unit and passed on to others. Might this be useful? Or are the two needing more personal correspondence? If so, I could give their names to my kids' teachers--they have written to service people on several ocassions as the wife of one of the teachers was deployed last spring.Let me know.Kathleen
Ah, yes, time. On December 28, I went to the hospital ER because I couldn't sleep, was in pain and was unable to breathe. My wife and I honestly thought I was out of time. Turns out I have lung cancer, but my doctors use the term "cure" and not "treat," so I am very positive.Point is, we have learned how important time is. Great treatment has changed days to years, and we are enjoying our time together more than ever.Specifically to JBtheJunkist and all his "associates" I wish you the very best, and a quick homecoming to your "early retirement." Thank you, thank you, thank you for what you are doing, even though I wish you weren't there at all.
I am 54 years old, and wasn't dedicated enough to put aside the money needed so that I could retire yet. I have several monetart obligations I need to take care of before I can, but I wholly agree that the more time available to do things with family, church and friends, the the better my outlook on life becomes. I have a feeling that the majority of the fool community is pretty liberal in outlook, but I support the President and the effort to fight terrorism, but hope that we can bring our troops home soon. Whether the reason for being there is the right one or not, the Iraqi people deserved the chance to escape the oppression they were under, and the majority of them seem to look forward to ruling themselves in a more democratic manner. Good luck to you and the troops, and I hope you can continue to enjoy your new-found outlook on life and your priorities.
One of the most worthwhile posts I've read. Thank you. May I recommend the following book: Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship With Money and Achieving Financial Independence by Joe Dominguez, Vicki Robin The primary message is that the only thing that you can't get more of in your life is time, so it's incumbent on each one of us to make active decisions to maximize the productive use of that time according to our own definitions. When you realize that the big screen TV you lust after might cost you A MONTH OF LIFE, rather than $2000 take home dollars, you do start to re-prioritize. Not to be trite, but the time to stop and smell the roses is better taken when you're looking down on the roses instead of looking up at them.
JB,It's because of people like you serving out Country that we can have that quality of life as well. THANK YOU!Your comments are well taken. I whole heartedly agree with you. This world is a very fast paced and stressful place. I think if we all stopped to smell the roses (or enjoy a sunrise) we would all be better off!!Thank you for your service and your very insightful comments!Lswierat
Best of luck. You are in our prayers. You sound like a wonderful person. Question: Do you or others in your position ever write to CNN about the slanted reporting and out and out fabrications?Will you tune in to CNN when you get back home?
JB:God bless you, your service to our country and your perspective. I lost my wife when she was 38 years old and we had two teens. I know the valueof time and confirm every word that you say. Life is precious. I make nominal money,live a simple lifestyle, am a volunteer in various groups and find life very fulfilling. I was fortunate in giving up the rat race in my mid-30's. The extra time I gave my kids over the years has paid dividends in terms of their character as adults and is reflected in the character and smiles of my grandchildren. JB, everyone should have to walk in your shoes...experience what youare experiencing. Those who have served and survived, those whose lives have been threatened...those are the ones who really understand what isreally important.JimJJLLCC
JB,I really enjoyed your post and want to thank you for it. I'm sure your current situation forces you to reevaluate your priorities....unfortunately finding something to force people to reevaluate in "normal" life is harder...the question I always find myself asking to myself...(no I'm not crazy)...but I ask...when is enough, enough?...how much do I need to survive?...and then how much do I want to enjoy a little bit extra?...what I find myself getting sucked into is the greed that is cultured into our society....bigger, better, more...the social pressures to "succeed" or "exceed" are so heavy, that a lot of people break under that pressure...people focus so much on money and not on "leaving the world a better place"....it may sound cliche, but I strive to improve the world around me and if I'm lucky, the lives of the people around me...because when it comes right down to it....none of us know exactly how much "TIME" we have....Thank you for your post,Thank you even more for your service to our country....Get home safe.Q
Hi JB,I'm a Brownie troop leader and we'd love sending your two buddies some good wishes. It will be exciting for the girls to be writing to someone so far away. We meet on Wednesdays, so we won't be composing any messages until next week. But in the meantime, I could write to them.Nancy
Well JB, what a great message. I'm sure you have had many, many responses to this great email. I will keep you in my thoughts every day as I do my cousin's son and my Aunt's stepnephew. I can't wait for the day you return to your family. Thanks for reminding us that we should have other priorities than money. I also have just begun to realize that my greatest investment is in friends and family.Stay safe. Virginia
I appreciated your message. I could not agree more about investing time in yourself. I have made a similar discovery recently but it took me so many more years. I wish you a safe return and thank you for sharing your insight. BH
it's good to see that at sucha young age,under 30 I assume, that you have found out what makes life so precious. When the kids were still in diapers, I made the decision that my kids would not grow up without a father, as I did. I MADE the time to go to as many of their school functions as I could, to be involved with them in any way I could, and to just be around for them when they needed or wanted me. It was a great feeling and still is. Now they are both beautiful, well adjusted young women. And we have a relationship that is second to none. It has made such a difference to make that time for myself and my family. My wife and I will celebrate our 29th anniversary this year. Life just keeps getting better. I hope that your life does also. Thanks for writing such a wonderful piece. Keith
Thanks JB you have given me something very valuable! Cheers to you and yours!Lou
Amen, I say unto you amen brother. I too, found time to choose to be with my wife and best friend. We now have the time to shop together because I choose to go with her instead of doing chores. I don't think it takes any less time to go shopping with two people but whats of prime importance is that we are together. I changed my job to work 4 days instead of 5. Had to take a cut in pay but as they say in the commercials...the cost of our "fun friday" is priceless.Yesterday is gone. Tommorrow is but a dream. All I have is today.Good luck and God BlessGray G
JB, you are a lucky man and we are lucky that you shared your thoughts. Stay safe and thank you!
Thank you! JB, as an American whose family benefits from the protection presented to us due to the sacrifice and bravery of you, your comrades, and all other veterens who have come before you I sincerely thank you and want you to know that you have my best wishes for a safe engagement and hope that you have a swift and happy return back to the USA. Peace.Sayhey
Hey JB:Greetings from Canada. Despite my occasional doubt that I'd done the wrong thing, your email confirms that I'm right on track. I worked in the rat race giving just about everything of myself in the past 10 years. This was done at the expense of just about everything including my wife and kids. The company had gone through one change of ownership and then another occured in late 2002 when good old GE acquired us and the competition. At the end of 91 I decided I could not maintain the pace and pulled back taking more time to be at home as my wife returned to university. Of course, my retraction was viewed as a negative that I was no longer as dedicated and or as driven [though I think I was actually more productive because I suffered less burn out]. When GE arrived I let it be known that I wanted "out" as we wished to return to the west coast. I was granted my wish with an okay severence package, sold the house, bought a camper trailer and spent the summer camping across this great country. We are now settled back on Vancouver Island, I'm working at real estate on my terms, and taking care of my greatest investment. I can fly fish, bird watch, and even play cricket. At 54 I've got obligations with two kids still in school but somehow we'll make do. Better late than never.The GE's of the world will chew you up and spit you out when your energy and drive is gone. Six sigma to me is a disguise for growth by acquisition, baffling all the accountants in the process. Like JB, alas I am free at last and have a few more tips from the rest of you! Rob
JB,You couldn't have said it better. I learned this lesson just over 20 years ago. I came to the realization of what "one day at a time" meant.Life is not about consentrating on business or job issues 'round the clock. I learned to leave them in their place, not to take them with me on vacation trips. Enjoy life with family mebers, friends, or go off (away from every thing) and be alone. I no longer worry about anything. I have true peace of mind, and I'm convinced that I will live longer as I continue.prosperingone
JB: just wanted to say thank you to you and the troops for protecting the freedom that we've known all our lives. my family's thoughts and prayers are with you all. we are eternally grateful!!mssglife
Thank you and God Bless You and your family, even though I'm sure you and they would say He already has.KS
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