Bigger Picture

18 Summers

Over the weekend in The Weekly PRST I shared about my recent trip to Venice Beach with Leo. It was a short trip but we packed a great time into it. I’ll save retelling the full story and share The Weekly PRST so you can check out the details.

But I will share one picture that sums up our second and final full day:

I also talked about the book The Family Board Meeting. We were fortunate to have the author Jim Shelis join us in The AGC for a conversation about the book and how to best implement within our families. It was one of my favorite sessions and I remember leaving that Tuesday with the good intentions of implementing our own one-on-one dates with each of the boys.

Sadly, and probably to no surprise, we never formally implemented the dates. I am working on living in the present and don’t look back at the last few years regretting the memories we missed making–don’t get me wrong, we’ve created some great memories over the last few years and I have no regrets.

But on the flight back home, I reflected on the trip and how special our unplanned day of skateboarding was. I think my favorite memory was the look on Leo’s face when I told him we’d go find skateboards after we had breakfast. I can’t put into words the sparkle in his eyes and the excitement that he exuded–I could feel it.

Later this month, I’m taking Roman with me for a quick trip to NYC. I already had the trip planned before Leo and I went west and now I’m even more excited for some one-on-one time with Roman in the Big Apple. Just like the trip to LA, I have a few business things planned like seeing a mentor and possibly a couple of peers, visiting the Basquiat exhibit, and being at the NYSE for the closing bell. The rest of the time we’ll explore the city, take in a few of the must-sees, and probably be on the hunt for the best shoe stores in the city. Whatever it is that we end up doing, it’ll be Roman’s call.

And that just leaves the youngest…Silas was upset with me while Leo and I were in LA. He was mad that he didn’t get to go and that we had not planned a trip for him. He’s 4 but well aware of what’s going on. So, I think we’re going to do a triple date…Ang, Silas, and me in St. Louis before the summer is over. There’s plenty to do with him there…the Children’s Museum, the City Museum, The Arch, and the Zoo and we’ll be able to fly which I think makes it even more memorable (we could drive but that’s not as exciting).

Jeremy Walter on Twitter: “We have a limited time window of ~18 summers with each of our kids. Here’s where I’m at:🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️🔳🔳🔳⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️Live accordingly. / Twitter”

We have a limited time window of ~18 summers with each of our kids. Here’s where I’m at:🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳🔳⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️🔳🔳🔳⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️Live accordingly.

My good friend Jeremy Walter shared this tweet today, which prompted me to write about my trip (and upcoming trips) and the book–I had thought about it before and his visual, which I love, inspired me to get it done.

The longer I’m in the profession (almost 18 years now–crazy) the more I realize that once the fundamentals of your financial plan are established and on their way to being funded or in place, it’s these experiences with our loved ones and people we care about that matter the most. Sure it’s nice to have nice cars, a full closet, and the latest technology but eventually we reach a point where we realize that stuff just really isn’t that important.

Memories and experiences are what we take with us forever–not material things.

If you have kids, I cannot recommend The Family Board Meeting enough. Read it and implement it in your own way; feel free to tweak it a little but just make sure you’re carving out as much time as you can in the 18 summers that you have with your little ones.

Not all of the future board meetings that I’ll have with the boys will be trips. I certainly will look to take trips and see the country and world with my family–that is one of my personal goals in my financial plan but I also want to show the boys we can create amazing memories without spending a lot of money or going far away. It’s the company that creates the memory–the location just happens to fill in the details.

Please don’t let the 2022 examples I’m sharing with my boys deter you from implementing your own board meetings–anyone can do this. You don’t need to be able to travel across the country to maximize your time and memories with your kids. It’s about the time spent, uninterrupted and present that matters the most…not what or where it happens.

As Jeremy’s chart shows–when you actually SEE the number of summers remaining, it doesn’t quite seem like that many.

Go make some memories…and be sure to share them to inspire others to do the same with their loved ones.

Disclaimer: Nothing on this blog should be considered advice, or recommendations. If you have questions pertaining your individual situation you should consult your financial advisor. For all of the disclaimers, please see my disclaimers page.