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Boomer Man - Over & Out

Updated on September 19, 2012

The term for "used" boomers is "burnout". Recently I came to the realization that I fit the definition. I haven't worked seriously for a couple of years during which time I assisted my late Mother who was slowly succumbing to a series of illnesses. That endeavour taught me the value of how we use the time we have. It wasn't some great epiphany, rather more of a slow simmering of awareness. I won't detail all the machinations of philosophy through which I trod to get there but I got there.

So here I am, Mr. Burnout. Spent my whole adult life working 60, 70, 80 hours per week, no vacations, lots of stress, struggling, neglecting my family (of course it was all for them so they won't mind) . Anyway the point I wish to make is that it seems we use an awful lot of lifespan in the pursuit of making money to buy things to satisfy our wants until the next thing comes along and we need more money to satisfy that new urge, etc. Its only now that I am learning the value of money and its uses. Of course now I don't have any but it doesn't change the lesson. Wise use of time and choosing whats actually important are paramount to a life of wellness.

When I lived in Europe, the UK, Africa, Australia and elsewhere, I watched no television and rarely went to a movie yet had no spare time as I was so busy with social relationships. Friends, co-workers, family, even people I didn't know would meet at a local watering hole or cafe and spend the evening in deep discussion of life, religion, art, politics, and love. We would eat, drink and listen to one another's stories. For daytime fun beyond work we would hike, ski, walk, bicycle, shop, even drop in on a friend, totally unannounced. I realize that it was a different time and place with a different culture but the lesson to be learned from this "foreign" lifestyle is that most societies outside the U.S. probably communicate better than we do despite all our twittering and facebooking. Communication, direct and in person is a valuable asset. You can't buy it, this is a DIY job. Remember this is how you develop friendships and create relationship activities which are essential to your wellness. Having even but one friend with whom you can share and vent is worth more than money in the bank. Its a savings account for your mental well-being. Spend time with friends and family.

This should be followed with the "less is more" - "need versus want" doctrine. These are the rules for spending money. Decide that having less to attend will permit more time and money for other pursuits. Always ask yourself if you really need a purchase or whether you just want it. Buying something you only want is always a temporary reward. Money is for maintaining your health and providing for the basic necessities of daily living. It has no other valuable use. Despite everything money can buy, it cannot buy happiness. Yes I would love to win the lottery or find a treasure and yes I know its a cliche that money isn't everything. But money cannot be one's all consuming pursuit in life. Once you make the commitment to the aforementioned money-rules, its as if someone gave you a double dose of oxygen. As the need to make money declines so will the desire. Wellness follows as you find new, more spiritually rewarding interests.

Whether you have burned out, lost a job, have financial problems or recognize the need to downsize, you may discover a wealth of good living by living more with less. Learning to place importance on reducing your stress and improving your health, interacting with others and finding friendships will serve you far better than money. Wealth and wellness are a proprietary state where you determine what is valuable.



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