Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I Can Fly!

Last night I had a dream I was flying. It's always a clear and sunny day. Each time I have this dream I'm soaring higher and higher above green pastures over rooftops and seeing my loved ones below waving and smiling as if this were meant to be. The wind is in my face and I'm saying to myself  "Yes, I knew I could fly." And then I get to work surveying the land. Pointing out hazards, finding stray pets, dropping off goods and leaving neighbors with good news to keep them going.

Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid, clear and real you just knew you weren't dreaming? In my dream world people don't require money to survive. They know how to live off the land, wind, sun and rain. Money is only used when selling goods grown on their land  to buy those extras - things you can live without but prefer not to.

Knowing how to live the simple life has always been a lifelong goal for me. No, not a dream but an actual goal and a desired inheritance to pass on to the generations to come. But getting there has been a major challenge. I've spent considerable time living in a circle of people who prefer the corporate life and the big city only to find out later that although they are accomplished were never really happy.

Life in the fast lane can wear your down. Have you ever had a dream where you were running but getting no where. Like there were heavy weights on your feet pulling you back in the other direction? If you're over 40 you have good reason to get out of the fast lane and learn how to live the simple life as soon as possible. Why? Two words: Health and debt. The more hectic our pace the more difficult it is to make sound choices regarding the food we eat, the exercise we get, our choice of entertainment and the downtime we need.
The more frantic life becomes the more desperate we become for instant gratification. And the cycle repeats itself over and over until battery life runs out.

As we get older we may find our body begin to turn on us because of all the fast food we woofed down over the years, and suddenly out of nowhere we get an onslaught ailments and hospital bills.  The question is what inheritance and legacy are we leaving our children to bear? To avert this madness two years ago I started taking walks and cut processed foods out of my diet. As my body weight decreased and energy increased my stride was quickened and feet and legs felt much lighter. But I was not flying yet.

Building A More Secure Future
Living the simple life is not about how much money you make. It's about having the essentials and knowing how to make good with what you have. I'm reminded of the prophetic words about a future where “They will certainly build houses and have occupancy; and they will certainly plant vineyards and eat their fruitage. They will not build and someone else have occupancy; they will not plant and someone else do the eating. For like the days of a tree will the days of my people be; and the work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full.” -Isaiah 65

We all admire those who live in a house paid for five or more generations ago. Those who grow their own fruit and vegetables on that land. Those who have money growing in a savings account but don't really need it except to pay taxes, car and home repairs or go on a family trip. Those who use free solar powered energy. Those who drink free water from their own cistern both literally and figuratively. Those who know how to rejoice in the harvest. Those who have family reunions every Sunday afternoon instead of once a year. The point is this kind of life can do much to improve  mental and physical health. And everyone knows that homegrown organic food leads dramatically improves well being and self-worth.

This is the kind of life we all long for. The kind of world we all at one time hoped we could build for ourselves our children and the generations to come. What's needed is to believe it. To believe with a little hard work and self-discipline we are entitled to it. To know that it is in our reach.

Life Beyond Riches
Most of us don't reach out for the real life. A life free from debt, credit and fast food. Why? Because we are buying what the rich are selling. Many middle class households are subjects of the Kings and Queens of the sports and entertainment world. We look up to them. Pattern our thinking after them and spend hours of our lives watching them perform. They're exhilarating to us. They know how to play on our feelings of elation, euphoria and adoration. What's ironic is most of what they sell they themselves do not even buy.So why do we?

The fact is they are rich and famous and we are not. That said, do we idolize them because of our own deep seated love for fame and riches? Could this be the same reason we eat bad food knowing it will bloat and sicken us? Is our  attraction to popularity and riches that strong? If we could turn it off like a television set would we be able to get control of our vessel, our lives, our future? Would our  health improve? Would the weight and pressures of life lighten up? Would the people in our lives make better choices because we are. Would we have the building blocks to secure financial freedom and improved health for generations to come?

The Rewards of Labor
Three years ago I remembered a long term goal I set for myself when I was just a youth. It was based on a 4000 year old proverb I read. "The borrower is slave to the lender." I realized that borrowing money, borrowing a house, a car, an apt, an education and anything and everything we get on credit makes me a subject of the lender. But it takes courage and self-control to choose another route. Recently I mustered up the courage to set out on an extreme money saving bing. My goal was to reduce living expenses to as  close to nothing as possible as a few of our blog readers have been doing for years. I got rid of needless sinkhole debt-making expenses that were putting our credit at risk. In the end I saved $900 a month! 

The rewards have been phenomenal. Peace of mind. Improved health and creative thinking that is spent being more supportive of my family and friends, planning and enjoying good times with them. Since we freed ourselves of considerable debt we've been able to afford taking out life insurance policies on our parents and adult children. While there is still much more work to be done to reach this goal this I know: One day we'll will build and have occupancy. One day we will plant and eat our own fruitage. One day when the air is clean, crisp and clear we will get our feet off the ground. With every choice we make for the better, we mount up with wings like eagles, soar and fly. 

Thanks to Dad, mom, father and mother-in-law who have tried so hard to build for the future.

For more ideas to get your family reunion off the ground consult Fimark's award winning Family Reunion Planner Social web app for use in your Chrome browser. What, don't have FRP Social yet? Good news. The app is reduced from $49 to only $40 for a limited time. Go to http://family-reunion-planner.fimark.net and get started on your family reunion event planning.

FRP Social