Last night as I was sitting in the movie theatre I thought about a woman I recently met. She's the mother of five children, ages 7, 4, 2, and 3-month-old twins, who has no relatives nearby to help during the hours her husband is at work. While I was enjoying a light-hearted movie, she was probably feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.
From there my thoughts went to a recent presentation I saw at a women's conference. A young college graduate shared her experience with volunteering for an international organization that rescues slaves of human trafficking and child labor. She spoke with fervor as she related her stories of well-planned and executed rescue missions in Africa and the Philippines.
At this point instead of focusing on the movie I was thinking about how I spend my time. Although it was pleasurable to lean back in my comfortable seat and be entertained, I questioned if I would prefer to invest my time in something more important, more significant, and more meaningful.
For the first time in my life I have the fortune of discretionary time—perhaps my most valuable retirement gift. And how I choose to benefit from this gift comes down to a question of spending vs. investing. In retirement we talk a lot about spending and investing—it's part of building a secure financial portfolio. Perhaps we can apply the same planning to how we use our time in retirement.
It's not that I need to allocate all my hours to saving the world. The choice is about creating balance and being intentional. Going to the movies—spending. Volunteering to help a mother of 5 young children—investing. By consciously choosing to spend or invest, I'll create a diversified portfolio.
Copyright 2016 Patrice Jenkins. All Rights Reserved.