This is NOT a post about the holidays.
You’ll see a lot of blog posts around this time of year, talking about the true meaning of Christmas, or whatever holiday you happen to be celebrating. While I do thoroughly enjoy those type of holiday-themed posts, this is not one of them.
This blog post is more about you. The reason for your season. Whatever phase of life you happen to be in.
Whether you’re just starting out, recently graduated, making a career change, or settling into your groove.
If you’ve built a solid resume of specific experiences, or have bounced around as a Jack or Jane of all trades.
Or if you’re embracing a new phase in life, ready for retirement — whatever that specifically means for you. That may mean you want to slow things down, or it could also mean you’d like to be more active, traveling the country, or even the world.
And it could mean nothing is really changing work-wise. Just that you will now spend time doing the type of work that actually makes you smile.
Whatever season of life you are in at the moment –
What motivates you? What makes you tick?
It’s finding out your “why” —
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What’s Your “Why”?
If you’ve landed on this blog post, it’s probably fair to say that’s for one of two reasons:
1) You are looking to make some extra money on the side (a.k.a. Side Jams), or
2) You are trying to get out of Debt.
Or maybe it’s the third option — you and I happen to be friends or family (Hi there!)
In any case, I thank you for visiting, no matter how you ended up here.
(And I also thank you for putting up with the wonky behavior of my recent email notifications!)
But also — if you are looking to either make more money, spend less money, or both — something has brought you here to initiate a change.
Change is good! Because how utterly boring would life be if things were always the same?
Diversity is the spice of life (or maybe that’s supposed to be Variety? Well, either way — it’s something different, and that makes life all the more interesting.)
Because you can do the same things over and over, and wind up with the same results.
Or you can question the path you’ve followed, and decide if you’re heading where you truly want to go.
And then maybe you choose to veer off that course a bit, to start moving in a different direction. One that will yield greater results, turn things around, or make you a happier person.
But you won’t be able to really make that change (or at least long term) unless you first identify your “Why”.
Beyond just “I want to save money” or “I want to spend less”.
- Because I want to stress less about my future
- I’d like to save up to buy a fishing boat
- I’d love to be an artist … or a ballroom dance champion … or a professional golfer
- Because I’d like to give back to everyone who’s helped me get to where I am today
- I want to travel the country, without a care in the world
- I’d like to audition for “Survivor” so I can meet Jeff Probst
- I don’t want my kids to have to take care of me when I can no longer do that myself
- Or I’d love to start a llama farm … or a traveling circus … or a cupcake delivery service
There’s something deep, deep inside that you are pining for.
You just gotta find it.
Oh yeah — and then act on it.
Related Post: Keeping the Faith to Follow Your Dreams
My Favorite Socks
Well, I actually have several pairs of favorite socks. I’m a sock person, and I like when they have personality.
I even have a pair of socks that bear the faces of my two dogs.
But I absolutely adore socks that have motivational or quirky sayings on them.
Here’s an example (with one word blurred out, for any easily-offended or young, impressionable readers out there.)
I wear these socks when I know my day will be full of challenges. Whether it’s back-to-back meetings, a presentation that’s a tad out of my comfort zone, or just when I’m in a cr*ppy mood.
I also have a pair of socks that say “B*tches Get Stuff Done”. I wear them when I want to feel especially motivated.
Sometimes you need that extra boost to keep you moving up the path to greatness. And yes, a lot of the time you will be pushing yourself forward, battling up that hill.
Because achieving your dreams won’t always be easy. Sure, there can be good luck involved. But for the most part, you’ll need to work for it.
So what would your lucky socks say?
Or maybe for you it’s a lucky hat, or t-shirt, or favorite high-tops, or lipstick.
Whatever it is that keeps you motivated — along with your ultimate “Why”. These are the things that will keep you moving forward.
Related Post: Find Your Voice
The Mid-Life Transformation
Have you ever heard the phrase “Mid-Life Crisis”? A time in your adult life when you might question the impact you’ve had on the world around you?
It’s mainly used in the movies, exaggerating how a middle-aged guy (for the most part) reacts to getting older. And it typically entails sports cars, flashy clothing, and all-night partying.
And I totally get it — you reach an age when you’re not sure how much time you have left, and are not sure how you got to be … well, the age you currently are.
While I’m certain at least some of this concept may have originated from something in reality, I’d like to offer a slight variation.
Instead of “Crisis“, how about we call it a “Transformation“?
Because, let’s face it — once you reach mid-life, you’ve accumulated some serious education, experiences, and street cred. It doesn’t need to be a crisis.
Yeah, you’re a totally different person than you were in your younger days.
But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
I mean, when you’re a kid, your main goal is to have fun.
When you’re a teenager, your purpose is to question the norm and be a little bit rebellious (and also still have fun).
Once you are in your 20’s, you’re starting to branch out individually, but are still just beginning to learn how to be an adult.
And when you reach your 30’s, you’re a full-fledged “grown up“, but are still young enough to reach backward and recall the times of your youth.
But once you’re in your 40’s — well, I won’t say it starts going downhill, because it most certainly does not.
What does happen is you begin to understand how much younger you are not getting.
And you realize you now have the opportunity to take all you’ve painstakingly learned through the years, and make everything that much better.
You now have an entire second half of your life — as an adult, with experience — to truly hit the ball out of the park.
To some people, this realization causes a frenzied desperation to hang onto their youth. Whether it’s by getting Botox injections, body lifts, hair implants (or other implants), flashy cars, or expensive clothing.
To others, it starts a big push to achieve something they thought they’d have way more time to accomplish. Getting married, having children, launching a meaningful project, getting back on track with far-off friends or loved ones.
For me, this time has been about acknowledging where my happiness lies, and what activities truly bring me joy.
These are things that don’t require a ton of money, but do require a fair amount of time and dedication. Time and dedication that currently are assigned to other not-as-fun things.
So how do you choose to spend your time? And how do you choose to spend your money?
Those two questions are sooo closely related, in case you haven’t noticed.
Related Post: What’s a Side Jam?
Your Reason, Your Season
And maybe this is something that resonates with you as well. Do you want to continue with the usual, whether it’s pencil pushing, order taking, or cubicle dwelling? Or would you rather work for yourself, making decisions that align with your own personal hopes and dreams?
Is there something beyond the cookie cutter concept of business in the private sector, lining the pockets of corporate America?
Can you visualize working for an actual purpose, impacting others to make a real difference, making your own choices and feeling genuinely good about them? I sure can — some day, some way.
So maybe this is a story about the holidays, and starting the New Year off with a bang.
Or at least a well-thought-out plan of action, running parallel to the daily grind.
Until the scales start to tip slightly into the other direction, and a ray of light emerges, growing into the possibility of full-time entrepreneurship.
Because these are the days of challenging the norm. So why not give it a go, and see where this season takes you?
There’s no true reason not to.
This is Your Time. This is Your Season.
Carpe Diem, my friends.
If you liked this post, please let me know — Hit me up in the Comments!
Robin : )
Robin is a full-time business professional who has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years. She is also a personal finance blogger who shares her first hand experience with the struggles of money and debt. On Mastering the Side Jam, she focuses on ways to maximize efficiencies to make & save money, pay off debt, and live your best life.
She has been been featured on The Money Mix, Rockstar Finance, The Financial Diet and Women’s Money Talk, and has been quoted in various online publications.