Sunday, January 8, 2012

Investing forward...

Oh, I'm certain that most of you have heard the phrase "paying forward".  It's the topic of talk shows and news broadcasts.  Even a song a few years back dealt with the subject.  It's really nothing new... a random act of kindness that the recipient will then in turn pass on in another kind act to another... and on and on.  A very sweet and thoughtful way to live, and one that we should all try to accomplish.

However, today I'm focusing on "investing forward".  Doing those little things today that will one day pay off dividends in the future.  It may not necessary be a monetary pay-off, but it will be rewarding.  For example... just this morning I faced a pot of pinto beans that I had cooked days ago that I have eaten on all week.  Yes, it most likely would be wiser to cook a smaller batch; but because I raised a houseful of boys and have always cooked enough for Napolean's army, that's easier said than done. 

Now considering I'm the only one left in the house  that eats them... because my husband won't touch beans (insert eye roll here)... eating a whole slow cooker full of pintos would be quite the feat.  So finally, today I squared off with them and after mashing and mixing, I fixed off a plate full of bean patties that will be divided up into single serving portions and make quick, easy meals for me to have in the freezer.  Investing in the future.  By preparing them ahead, I'll be able to enjoy them for some time to come and most of all, I'm not wasting them.

See... that's simple.  Nothing fancy. 

Another way that I invest forward will be showing up at the house here in a couple of hours.  My youngest will arrive with his weekly load of laundry.  But this week, he will also have in tow a beef roast that he called me about yesterday to inform me that he had bought.  I will be showing him how to prepare it in the slow cooker and then divide it into several various meals that  he can eat on during the week rather than relying on fast food for sustenance. 

I've  always tried to teach my sons how to cook and clean.  I know that some of the more macho type might scowl at this news.  But I personally know that when young men leave home, an automatic chef and Merry Maid do not accompany them.  Therefore, it is important to know how to fend for themselves.  I am proud to say that my oldest is a wonderful dabbler... he experiments constantly with recipes and even writes his own.  My middle son can make some killer spaghetti.  And the youngest did most of the cooking for he and my husband when I was overseas.  So was the time worth the effort... absolutely!

Now you might read this and say "well I don't have children".  Children are not required for investing forward.  You can do so for just yourself... such as the bean patties.  But if you want to do something to invest in others, to see how it comes to fruition in another individual, look around for someone you can mentor.  Those persons aren't always younger than you.  It could be an older person that would like to learn to play a guitar, or someone that would enjoy learning to read.

Also, with our great technological advances, our communities have expanded.  So someone doesn't have to live next door; in fact, they may live on the other side of the world.  Exchanging thoughts and ideas, teaching another generation of how to do those things you may take for granted; all of these things are ways for us to invest forward.

Money-wise, we may be poor as church mice and the only thing occupying our pockets may be bits of lint.  But we all possess knowledge and experience that we can share with those around us.

Until next time... live happy and live country.

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