Whose Nest Egg Counts?

Grumpa Joe Looks at FlowerWhile walking this morning it occurred to me that I spent a large part of my life away from my wife and family to earn a living. As many of us do, I spent more time than was necessary at work. I did earn and form a “nest egg.” My dream was to spend the autumn years of life with my lovely wife in play. We spoke of what we would do, we often expressed our dreams of what it would be like. We talked about living in the desert away from harsh winters.

Last night Peggy and I had dinner and conversation with the Ryans. Our time together was marvelous. We met at Villa Rosa in Frankfort. This little place, tucked into a strip mall, in the historic section is quiet. We can hear ourselves talk and think there. In addition, the food is great.  It was over a year since we had dinner with the Ryans, and we had a lot to catch up on. Our last dinner was in the Phoenix area in 2007. 

I walked along the trail listening to the birds and talking to Barb. While I spent all my time building the “nest egg” at the expense of missing time with her, she spent time developing friends. She had to do somethiing to fill the many hours that I was gone, she joined clubs in the neighborhood. She sang in the choir at church. She cultivated relationships. Barb always made sure that I met her new friends and I became a member of her circle. The Ryans are one of the couples I met through her activity in the garden club.

Since Barb died, it is her nest egg that I live on.  It was the time she spent developing relationships like the one we had with the Ryans, that has saved me from major despair. It is all of the people who she cultivated  as friends from the choir, the garden club, and the bowling league that have become my friends. They are the ones who have been my comfort.

Barbara never enjoyed any of the fruits of my nest egg, the one I spent so many hours away from her to build. All of her life she gave me love, and continues to show me her love with the payout from her nest egg.

Making a Good Day Better!

Today, I planned to get a number of things done. It started with a breakfast omelet loaded with chopped garlic, onions, with wheat toast and coffee. Cooking the omelet was a good thing, and provided me with a sense of accomplishment followed by the reward of eating the omelet. Next, I watered my house plants, and soaked my orchids under the spray on the sink. I sent my daughter-in-law a birthday card. The kitchen was calling me back, so I chopped onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and put them in a large pot with green peas and a ham bone loaded with meat. Once the goodies were covered with water, I put it on the stove to boil and simmer.

While the soup cooked, I mounted a fixture for my new flat screen TV. At this point, my day slowed to a craawl. My son-in-law came over to finsih installing an electrical outlet for the TV. He is one of my favorite people so I spent time talking with  him about ponds, and the HVAC business. While he worked, I sat reviewing my income tax statements so I could mail them to the IRS. I also wrote some big fat checks to pay taxes. Jeff disappeared for a short time, but came back with my grandson. I actually got a chance to work on homework with my namesake.

 After a brief review of the meaning of antecedents on the internet, my grandson and I were underlining pronouns and their antecedents when the phone rang. It was the leader of my Wednesday night supper group asking if I minded if we brought the wives with us this evening. Of course the answer was yes.

My list of goal steps for the day went to hell this afternoon, but I can’t get into a snit about it because the activity that came to me was more important than my original plans. How much better could it get? Visiting with my oldest grandson, followed by dinner with my wife and friends. Goals are good, but fun with family and friends is better. Visiting with family and friends is one of my “high payoff activities.’ In fact it is number one on my list of “high payoff activities.”  This activity carries the highest priority and is the most important thing in my life. All else pales in comparison.

What are your High Payoff Activities? 

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