When my daughter turned 18, she finally had enough income to open a checking account. As all young people eventually learn, you have to make sure that there is money in the account before you write a check or use a debit card that will let you go into overdraft. The lessons are tough because they're not as simple as they seem and the lesson generally hurts financially and emotionally. As you have already guessed, things turned into quite a mess before she figured out that deposit comes first, THEN use the debit card! Going to make a deposit doesn't count!
It's not just our bank accounts that we need to make deposits into. We need to deposit into our families and ourselves as well. It's even more important to do this now more than ever with our current economic times. We are expecting more from our families because we're working harder to achieve enough to get by and we're expecting more from our bodies by keeping longer hours and our emotions by allowing fear and worry to run us.
Taking care of ourselves and our families is of great importance if you are going to be any good to those around you. Too many times we put everything into our work and put ourselves last; then we don't achieve the results that we are looking for because we don't have enough left in us to give! It's just like being on an airplane and the flight attendants remind us that in the event of a drop in cabin pressure that the oxygen masks will drop and to make sure that we put ours on first and then attend to others. If we don't help ourselves first, we can't help others either.
Making deposits into our lives is a critical part of making sure that things keep going in a way that is beneficial for us and our families. If we keep putting off these deposits, your work suffers, your family suffers and you suffer. It’s a never-ending cycle that is worth addressing at the earliest possible moment.
So, how do we make deposits? Try some of these:
- Take a nap on a Sunday afternoon
- Go through your old records or pictures
- Go to the bookstore and get a coffee
- Learn a new hobby - or revive an old one
- Read a self-help book
- Call a friend that you haven't talked to in awhile
- Volunteer (this one adds a HUGE amount!)
- Put a puzzle together
- Take a walk somewhere interesting
- Watch your favorite childhood movie
- Go to a museum
- Have a picnic on the living room floor. Spread out a blanket and enjoy the time together.
- Take a walk together and see who can find the most colorful leaf
- Go to a Corn Maze
- Have a family game night one night per week
- Have family meetings - discuss what's going on. Address each item and use a ‘talking stick’ if necessary. Make sure everyone in the family has the chance to talk.
- Watch a DVD together - make sure you have popcorn and Milk Duds!!
- Make homemade pizza together
- Put on your old dance records (or CDs) and teach the kids to dance like you did when you were in high school. (My sister and her family used to do this every Saturday night when the local radio station played dance music all night).
- Volunteer as a family at a place that has special meaning for your family.
There are thousands of things that you can add - be creative! I hope that you’ll add your comments on here and either tell what you’ve done either personally or as a family, or later on when you try something from the list, let us know how it goes.
Lynn Bacon, CPLC, CRC, CFC