“Ages and stages…” my wife and I would say this phrase to each other as one of the children was passing a milestone like learning to walk—or reminding ourselves that two-year-old temper tantrums were temporary. While the kids are both now in high school, that saying still rings true as we all pass through life’s many stages.
Transitions mean continuing to adapt to new circumstances while staying focused on what matters and being the person you are meant to be. This year was significant for my family in that my wife was able to retire early from her corporate job and now works from home to pursue her own business while having more time for volunteer passions. Her mantra is that she works with people she likes on causes in which she believes—a very positive move! Our daughter is now a high school junior which means the start of a college search and the first step toward an independent life away from Mom and Dad. It is also the most intense year of high school classes, which brings equally focused time management to balance all the extracurriculars. Our son, who is a sophomore, has hit his stride both academically and socially, evolving his gift of hospitality. Friday nights during high school football season inevitably result in many teens around the house, providing a positive space for them to hang out, and regular Costco visits—we do go through a lot of snacks! He is exercising the power of inclusion, inviting kids along who need some fellowship.
My own evolution continues as MJ articulates our future and defines our role in the communities we serve. I continue to be mindful of defining what success looks like from my financial vantage point and helping others understand how they can contribute to those goals.
On a personal note, I enjoy cycling with all the health and social benefits that it provides. During this past year, I began working with a coach that has completely reshaped how I train, and I have seen results! Father Time may be dragging on the back of my bike but being open to new ways to train will keep him at bay.
Engaging with purpose in both professional and volunteer aspects of my life helps me stay true to what really matters to me. And I am lucky to work for an organization like MJ which encourages all team members to do the same.
Transitions will continue to come quickly for my family as our children graduate and head to college. We plan to enjoy every “age and stage,” staying committed to each other, and to making our legacy be a positive one for our family, community, and world.
What types of “ages and stages” are you experiencing? Tell us in the comments section below.