Optimism: Response to Bro - Sis

To start my response to Bro’s post last week, I simply typed, Optimism into my google search bar. The following definition came up:

“Optimism: hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something”

I like to think I am an optimistic person. I try to look for the good in situations and stay positive. I mean sure, I have the classic case of mid-life anxiety and an panic attack or two but in general I try to live my life in a optimistic way. This also is true when it comes to my parenting and financial decisions.

My response to Bro’s situation is one of optimism. Let’s look at his situation of traveling for work. He must be away from his family and it can be hard on his wife. Those are the simple facts, but if you blow up the bigger picture I think there is more to the story. He is teaching his kids that you have to work hard and commit to your job. He is the perfect example for them. They will grow up knowing that they had a dad who worked hard for his family and made sacrifices. One man's sacrifices is benefiting the three lives of his family. Also, it is teaching his kids to live in the moment. When he is home, and I have seen it first hand, he is there appreciating and loving his family. Knowing he has limited time has given his the insight to live more in the present with his kids. Now his wife, well she is also making sacrifices by running the house while he is gone. It is really hard on my sister in law but I know she will look back at these years with strength and grace. She is able to overcome things independently and grow as a person. It might take time for her to gain this confidence, but I know in time she will wake up one morning feeling empowered. It might be rockey for her now but the person she has become and will become is because of her family's lifestyle.

This is one person's example. You can take any situation and look at it from multiple points of view. It is important to have perspective and balance. You can’t be naive but I would rather that then a life filled with pessimism.

One of my families greatest financial worries is college for our kids. My husband and I both had college paid for by our parents. It really gave us the ability to start our lives together financially on a good foot. We both agree this was one of the greatest gifts our parents gave us. Well, we would like to provide the same opportunities for our children. We are cooking baby number 2 currently but have talked about if we would want a third. My husband doesn't think we can afford three kids college tuition but I also don’t want to have or not have a child based on college. Optimism is also taking positive actions that manipulate your future. I KNOW we will be fine if we decide to have a third child. I don’t have a worry in my mind because I have enough love and desire as a mom. The rest we will make happen. In the present, I can make steps to help achieve my goals of paying for my kids college. I can, and have, opened a 529 account. We had talked about the future of encouraging high school classes that count as college credits and scholarships. Also, if needed we could help pay low interest student debt or support trade school if that is what our kids have a passion for. The options are endless with proper planning.

Whether it is a situation far in the future or one your currently living in optimism to me is taking positive action to turn a situation around. Do something about it! If your a traveling parent, be more present with your children when you are home and keep open lines of communication. If you want to pay for a child's college in 16 years, start a 529 college fund and start strategizing. Optimism is not only a mindset, it's an action, its refusing to living a mediocre life and creating one you're proud of no matter the situation.

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