Running on Empty

Paul Morrone |

By Thomas Morrone CFP®, CPA

This is not about the song written by Jackson Browne nor is it about your car engine coughing and bucking when you realize your gas gauge is at E. No, this is more about the fast pace of life that many of us tend to live and by the end of the day, week or month we feel like we are running on empty. We are all guilty of it at some time or another. Let me just make a stop at one more store, do a little more yard work, work out a little longer, get up a little or earlier or stay up a little later. We continue to try to squeeze as much out of every day as is humanly possible. For some it is part of our nature, constraints with our jobs, careers or business, family obligations, children or grandchildren and their activities, sports and outdoor events, travel and yes, R & R as well. I get tired even writing about it.

For me, part of it is the lack of guarantee that we will always have a tomorrow. Therefore, do today what you are not guaranteed that you can do tomorrow. Of course, I realize this is an extreme outlook, but it is just the simplest way for me to rationalize with myself. Ironically, my inclination is to try to squeeze a lot of nothing into something. What I mean, rather than all the running around of doing this and doing more of that, I enjoy just sitting and enjoying tranquility and reflection on the here and now. Sometimes we focus too much on tomorrow that we miss out on today. I enjoy reading and the escape that it offers. The plot, the characters, figuring out who did it and why. There are so many great authors and different types of reading that the options are endless. Some dedicated readers focus on authors versus types of writings. I like numerous authors and focus more on the type of reading where I want to be intrigued and challenged. I do not want to read a sad story because there is already so much sadness in the world and I get my dose when I watch the nightly news. Give me a good mystery with a twist in the plot on the last two pages where you didn’t see that one coming.  Also, I enjoy an autobiography about someone iconic or someone I admire. Reading relaxes and stimulates me at the same time.

Sometimes the tranquility of life for me comes from a simple kayak expedition. Nothing aggressive, just paddling along, quiet, serene, looking at the water and wildlife. Waving to a fellow kayaker or a boater going by. It slows you down…no traffic lights or cell phones. No iPad or email. A sip from my water bottle now and then. Peaceful. Relaxing. Ahhhhhhh. Other times it is just sitting on the patio and looking around and enjoying the fresh air (at least during the nice weather). A simple conversation with Cathy about whatever is the topic of the day. I love watching the boat traffic and waving to a familiar group that passes by now and then as they are doing what relaxes them. Life is good.

These stolen moments are what gets me through the day when I find myself trying to figure out how to get everything done today that needs to get done ………. when I am running on empty.

Until the Next Tom’s Take…