I have to admit, I’ve been neglecting quite a few things recently.
I haven’t been writing very much here, other than a few random articles, although I did ignore my negative feelings toward guest posts and published one of those too (it’s a start, right?).
I haven’t been very active in the Yakezie community, nor very visible on social media.
In fact, I haven’t even been putting very much time into any of the 3 or 4 other projects I started either.
Some would say that I’m slacking off, wasting time and money, but that’s their opinion, and people are entitled to think whatever they like.
Personally, it has been a time to reflect on what’s truly important TO ME and to get some things in order.
I’ve never cared about what other people said, did, or thought and I’m certainly not going to start now.
Have I missed out on opportunities to make my site more attractive to advertisers? Sure.
Could I have spent my time working on the other projects which might have increased my cash flow?
Definitely–although the additional income was never guaranteed, I could have at least put in the time and see where it led.
Am I going to have to put off some of the things I had wanted to do around the house like renovating the kitchen and replacing the carpeting with hardwood floors?
But what would I have had to give up in order to accomplish all of those things?
That is the thing that truly made my inactivity not bother me in the least.
You see, I have come to realize in the big picture, time isn’t money (although some people will look at the small picture and argue the opposite).
There are more important things than spending every waking hour trying to be productive, trading sleep and relationships for the next dollar to be made.
There are more important things than page views, Facebook fans, twitter followers, or any other measure of “popularity”, especially when those “relationships” are with people you never actually meet or have any real impact on your life.
I always find it sad to read or hear a story about some ultra-successful person who spent years working tirelessly to reach their current level of “success”.
Why do I find it sad?
Well, it’s because so many of them result in strained relationships with their children whom they neglected, missing out on important milestones just so they could make a few extra dollars.
Or perhaps many of them involve multiple failed marriages because the spouse took a back seat to the work.
Or because there are a large number of “success stories” in terms of things, but lacking in meaningful relationships or people they can truly trust and count on.
Or maybe I find it sad that some rich old dude left his entire estate to charity or his alma mater because he never took the time to have a family of his own.
So what does any of this have to do with me and why I’ve essentially been invisible in the online world?
It started a few months back, right at the end of tax season, a time when I normally work 60 hours a week and make a tone of extra money relative to the non-tax part of the year.
I almost lost my father after he went in for surgery and in the middle of that night, the stitches opened up causing severe internal bleeding requiring multiple blood transfusions.
I took some time off from work and turned away a few new tax clients of my own.
I was confronted with some harsh words, both from people who couldn’t understand why I would turn them away when they were wanting to pay me to do their returns and from some people who said that it was “stupid” to lose the opportunity to expand my business.
My reasons were very simple–I would rather spend that time with my father as opposed to earning a little money when it wasn’t a guarantee that he would be here when I finally made the time for him.
If people couldn’t understand that:
a) I couldn’t respect nor want to work with them, and
b) I honestly couldn’t care less; this was my belief and decision.
The good thing was my father made a full recovery with no worse damage done, but things didn’t stay happy for long.
About a month later my mother had a cancer scare.
Good thing, it was just a scare and nothing more, as she already has enough health issues to deal with.
Over 4th of July weekend, one of my oldest and best friends lost his grandmother.
It hit a bunch of us, because “Grandma Rosa” always treated all of us like we were her own grand kids.
There were a few of us that were always together, and whenever she was in town, she would stuff us with the best homemade Greek food ever.
When she eventually moved into the attached apartment at my buddy’s parents’ house we would all help out with little things like taking out the trash, fixing things, picking up groceries, etc.
She was essentially a surrogate grandmother to us just for being friends with her own grandson.
Recently my own elderly grandmother fell and broke her hip.
Normally that’s not something that would be too scary, but at 93, any little thing could be a potentially dangerous situation.
As each event occurred, I found myself paying less and less attention to my online endeavors.
I found myself looking in the mirror and wondering why the hell I became so consumed with stuff that I felt like I was kind of letting real, tangible relationships slip a bit in favor of an online life which will never provide the benefits that my friends and family already have.
I started thinking about whether any of it was worth it–staying up late to finish an article, working on weekends to build up a website, taking time away from the people that really matter, making money but having no one wanting to put up with all of the time, hassle, and bullshit that so many go through.
Does that mean I’m giving up on all of my online pursuits?
But it does mean that I am going to be re-prioritizing certain things.
I haven’t come up with all of the answers I was searching for, but I do know that I don’t want to be one of those people that proclaims “I wish I just a little more time with (insert person here)”.
I know that I don’t want to be one of those people who put everything off until retirement when tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, I may not be physically able to do those things, and I definitely can’t use money when I’m dead.
I know I don’t want to wake up one day and wonder how I let time slip away.
I know I don’t want to let friendships slip away because I’m too frugal/cheap (take your pick) to “justify” the costs of doing so or being so involved with business stuff that I dismiss it as less important.
Sometimes you, as I have come to learn, you just have to say fuck the money and put more priority on your relationships and life itself.