These past weeks, Ana has been telling me about her experience teaching her five year old daughter, Manu, at home. One thing is for sure, homeschooling is not for the faint hearted. It requires discipline, time, hard work, patience, energy, creativity, and so many more attributes that it would be difficult to list them all. She says the experience has been great, but it takes a lot of preparation and dedication, which takes time and she still has her job and Happily Imperfect, which can feel overwhelming. But Ana knows that she is making an investment and a wise one too. She is investing in her daughter.
We have valuable assets such as money, time, and talents. Each day we decide if we are going to invest them or use them up. Investing takes research, planning, and patience because most of the time we won't see the return of our investment until years later. But if we do our homework and invest in the right things we will enjoy the results and be glad we did. So, the question is, who are you investing into? Because investing is not only about money, actually the most important investments we will ever make don’t even require money. They will need time, one of our most valuable assets and it will be invested in people, most likely a long term plan. You may be investing in yourself, studying late at night after a full day of work to advance your career, you may be investing in a neighbor helping her clean the yard, maybe you are investing in a special friend who is going through difficulties, or maybe, like Ana, you are investing in your children.
The tough thing about investments is that sometimes you don’t know if they are going to pay off. You may start full of excitement, but the road is long and the commitment hurts at times. You may have doubts along the way and you may even worry because you just don’t think you will have enough to continue. But when it’s time to collect the fruits of your investment the difficulties are forgotten and you are glad you didn’t give up. Ana knows this, but it never hurts for all of us to be reminded that there is a time in which we will get to enjoy the fruits of our hard work. I often tell her that everything she is doing right now matters, that it is bigger than she can imagine, not only is she making beautiful memories with her daughter, but she is creating a strong foundation for a relationship that will stand the test of time. Why can I say this with such certainty? Because I have been there, I have invested through the years in my two children. I have deposited and now I am receiving not only double or tripled my investment, I honestly couldn’t put a number to it because the return is priceless. The long drives to tournaments, the waiting at auditions, the going and coming to practice and classes, the long rehearsals, the late nights picking up after parties, the long talks, all of it worth it. I see my children and I am so thankful for who they have become, who they have grown to be. They are not perfect, but they are young adults who want to make a positive difference everywhere they go.
Ask yourself often, who am I investing in?