Lessons I Have Learned While At Home

Last Saturday, September 1, 2007, marked my first year away from corporate life! Time really flies fast when you are having fun.

Happy anniversary to me! The past 12 months have probably been the best months of my life and just like any experience that we go through, we learn a few things. What are the most important things that I have learned while at home?

1. You spend your money on a lot of unnecessary stuff. - When one earns a significant amount of money, sometimes, you tend to just spend without thinking. You buy items without checking price tags and you can be very wasteful. In the past months, I have discovered that we could have gotten by without spending as much. When a spouse in a two-income household decides to give up a job (in the meantime), major adjustments are bound to take place. Such adjustments, however, can serve the family well even if the non-working spouse should eventually return to the corporate world after some time.

2. Some expenditures are non-negotiable. They are cast in stone. - While you are sure to make some spending adjustments, it is not possible to cut every expense nor does it make very good sense to do so. Even with a drop in income levels, there are some things you spend your money on, little luxuries that you allow yourself that must continue. You must be sensible with money but that doesn't necessarily mean that you need to feel poor, deprived, or sorry.

3. The days of a person who is not employed are actually much busier. - As a person who does not work in an office, you find that you may move around more as your involvements become more multi-faceted. You may be talking or dealing with several people all at the same time, looking at things which are very different from each other. Not being employed also gives your mind more time to think up creative projects and to pursue activities that you may not have had time for before.

4. Your children are a treasure trove of stories. - When you spend more hours at home, you will find yourself more amused by the things that your children say or do. When you work in an office, you actually miss out on a lot of these instances, simply because you are elsewhere working. While it is true that not all women (or even men, for that matter) can afford to stay at home and watch their children full-time, it may be a good thing to try this out in your life, even once, just so you can relish the many happy times that you will have with your kids when they surprise you with their words and their actions.

5. Quantity is important when it comes to time. - We always hear the term "quality time." While it is true that there is a limit to the time we can spend with our children given our numerous responsibilities, spending more time with them means that we have the opportunity to teach them more and bond with them more. While all parents desire to spend more time with their kids, only a few actually get the chance to do so. No matter how much time we actually get to spend with them though, it is important that we be fully around and involved when such an opportunity comes.

6. Every peso counts. -- When individuals earn significant amounts of money monthly, sometimes small amounts may seem like they can be done away with. Try being away from the job market for some time and you will soon give greater value to every peso that comes your way. With money, everything is really relative. P1,000, for example, may be a lot to a minimum wage earner but may not mean very much to someone earning a bigger sum.

What did I tell you? Every experience you go through brings lessons galore. You just need to be open and keen to observe.

What's going on in your life today? What lessons does your particular situation teach you?

[By Angelica Viloria | Monday, September 3, 2007]

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