Tag Archives: relationships

Whale Done!*

*Disclaimer: the tile of this post is copyrighted by the author Ken Blanchard. This post is a book review and the author of this post does not claim copyright or creative rights in the phrase “Whale Done!” 

copyright Ken Blanchard
copyright Ken Blanchard

My husband checked out a book at the library and I did not think much about it until he told me some of the concepts in it.  So, as an example, I would say “ugh, what are we going to do, our daughter is being very difficult.”  His reply, “well, we need accentuate the positive and redirect her energy. That is what I read in this book….”  Needless to say, after several more conversations about different scenarios like this, I felt I needed to read Whale Done!  This book is not just about positive relationships at work and home but daily life.  It can help improve just about all relationships.

This book by Ken Blanchard is a quick read and explores “the power of positive relationships.”  What does this mean?  What exactly is a positive relationship and how do you go about implementing it?  The key concepts of this book are to focus on the positive in all you do and in everyone you encounter.  This really struck a chord with me because that is my resolution for this year- being more positive, and trying to stay on a more positive track- at home, in my career (all the jobs I have), and with life in general.  This book is written based on the concept of management in line with the style of training the whales at Sea World.  It addresses the basic concepts those trainers employ, and applying them to human interaction. The biggest difference between whales and people: We have the advantage because we can talk to one another.  The basic concepts are the same: “Build trust, accentuate the positive, and when mistakes occur, redirect the energy.”  (Blanchard, p.19)

One of the concepts in the book is accentuating the positive and redirecting when someone is on the wrong track.  For example, every day at home if I yelled at my husband about the dishes, or making the kids’ lunches, or dinner, or picking up his clothes off his home, will he want to be home with me?  There is a good chance that he will want to come home late, stay at work late longer, or just not want to be at home at all.  Who could blame him?  I would not want constantly want to be berated after a long day at work either.  Anyway, it is about expressing positive things about each other, in front of the kids, and to one another.  Instead of saying “this is the wrong bread- you always buy the wrong bread,”  you might try, “wow, hon, thanks for getting the groceries again- you are so kind to do so but remember, this bread is too thick for me so I generally buy X brand.  I am not clear on which brand it is and I know I never told you so I will get it tomorrow and show you the labeling for next time.”  There are essentially four kinds of responses to almost all actions:  “No response, negative response, redirection, and positive response.” (Blanchard, p.30).  Sometimes, sharing in the responsibility on why someone did something “wrong” or incorrectly helps the situation.  Also, don’t accuse, put down, or blame the person.  This would also not be a good time to bring up past issues.  Focus on the thing that was done incorrectly and move on.  The no response one is interesting- it is just ignoring the action you wish to not be repeated and a response is not really warranted.  So, when the 6 year-old throws a fit, promptly moving her to her room without a word and ignoring her whining would be one example.

Some of the examples in the book are with teenage kids, but you can apply almost all the lessons to any age.  For younger kids, you want to catch them doing something right and recognize right away.  So, when they are being quiet and reading, doing puzzles, join in and hug them and say “wow, you guys are really doing great… can mommy play too?” My 4 year-old for example does not need much to know I am accentuating the positive.  When she puts her toys away, I give her a huge hug, high five and say “OH MY look at this great job – you put your toys away!  Wow!  High five and good job!” This and a hug will make them realize that they get attention for doing the right thing.  Now, conversely when she does not put her toys away, then what?  Well, perhaps the approach would be to redirect her to the time when she did it right, instead of yelling at her which is negative.  Constantly picking on the negative and only criticizing her when she is doing something wrong accentuates that behavior and after awhile, you are just a mouth piece and no one listens anymore.  Trust is lost and the relationship suffers.

Obviously with my daughter, I do need to talk with her and address the behaviors that I want corrected, so the better approach may be to say, “hey, let’s put these toys away together so we can find them when we want them again… yeah I will help you and show you where they go, so next time, you can do it all by yourself and earn a high five and a hug.”   This response also takes responsibility for showing her in case she did not know where to put the toys back.  All of these same principles apply at work too.

Here is an example.  My boss in one of my jobs this past weekend gave me my mid-term feedback, and it was super positive, and uplifting.  He followed the book without even knowing it by providing words of encouragement, words accentuating specific examples of all the things I am doing right in the job.  With that, he also gave me some things I needed to improve on but did it in a manner to say, “maybe we can both learn together because this is a new system.”  I got it.  The next day at the job, I learned that new system inside and out.   He had motivated me and energized me so much this past weekend, it spilled over into my life, and other job too.  And, he does it every weekend I work with him- he accentuates and points out positives right when he sees them instead of waiting for a feedback.  Until I read this book I did not even realize it.  I just know that despite it being work, and being away from family, this job energizes me.  As a result, I feel needed, and indispensable to the organization.  And it’s not just me, he does it for every person in our organization.  I am not even sure he has read this book but, wow!  What an attentive boss who catches his people doing things right and saying something about it.  Now, keep in mind that one method to accentuate the positive will not always work with everyone.  Each person speaks a different language, so Whale Done! talks about finding out what motivates each individual.  What motivates employee X to do better will not be the same factor that motivates employee Y.  One employee will react better to words of affirmation, while another may need monetary recognition, while another may need you to “show them” through your actions.  Also, remember to give people specific examples of what they are doing right so it does not appear you are just being manipulative.  So, say to your teenage daughter, “when you cleaned up your room and the loft without being asked to the other day… wow, thanks so much – you saved me time and really helped me out a lot- I REALLY appreciate that – why don’t I go ahead and take your chores for Friday so you can go out with your friends that evening.”

This book goes on to to state that the traditional work environment is one in which a boss generally says nothing when things are going right [ignores you] and only talks with you when something is wrong- i.e. criticizing you, or stating the negative.  How nice would it be to get feedback early and often – at the moment you are doing something RIGHT.   How nice would it be to hear from your boss on more than the occasions in which you are doing something he or she perceives to be “wrong.”  Anyway, this book calls that system the “GOTcha” system.  In this system, all people want to do is do their jobs and not be bothered because they are afraid every time their boss speaks to them they are doing something wrong.  Wow!  Tragic.  I am so lucky to not work (in any of my jobs) in an environment like that.  That would not be fun at all.

Is all this a bit touchy feely for you?  Well, yeah, this book was a bit of that too.  But, great especially as far as my personal life is concerned because it is so important to build a healthy relationship with your spouse, a partnership rooted in love and respect, rather than one rooted in fear, anger, and discord.  The chain reaction is that when kids see a healthy, positive relationship between the parents, they themselves feel more loved, respected, and model the same respect for others and each other.  Whether you want to apply this all aspects of your life or not, I think there is a lot of value in recognizing the positives all around you and in the people in your life.  Simple concepts of accentuating the positives, recognizing that progress is a moving target, and just recalling the principles from this book when you are about to fly off the deep end with your kids and spouse can really help your relationships.  That is what the power of positive relationships is all about.

Whale Done! is a quick, good read.  Along with The Fred Factor, Lincoln on Leadership, and other self-improvement motivational books, I definitely recommend this one for all facets of your life to create positive relationships.


A Decade Ago Today

Here’TheJourneyAheads to the Internet, here’s to a match making website a friend recommended to increase my chances of meeting “the one” while I got stationed all over the world. Here’s to countless disappointing dates, numerous guys who wrote me and let me down, a few relationships and those I thought “got away” before he wrote me.  Here is to an E-mail correspondence sent on April 6, 2003, from a guy 92 miles away.  I knew nothing about him, not even his name.  Here is to finding that E-mail three days later and recovering it from the trash can (thank you Hotmail(c) for not deleting it permanently).  I had deleted it there because I had recently ended a bad relationship and was done with relationships forever (spoken as a dramatic reading).  Here is to the end of that relationship and here is to my inner voice saying, “what the heck? I’ll write him back at least.”  Here is to writing, “Hey, I’d love to meet you – feel free to call me..” and here’s to not playing games and giving him my number.  Here is to him calling right away and not playing games either.  Here is to setting up a date right away.  Here is to taking that chance, and meeting in-person despite the butterflies deep down inside.  Here is to having no expectations, no regrets, and putting no pressure on the relationship at all.  And despite my asking him on the first date whether he was a Republican or a Democrat (don’t ask what party I was then-such a long time ago), here’s to him asking me out for a second date.  Here is to dating, the big proposal, and everything since… the good, the tough, the very tough, the great, the sweet, the sour, the blessings, and the miracles in the life we have made.  Here is to a decade gone, and the hope of so many, many more to come.

Here is to the journey, the destination, and everything along the way.  Here is to having no regrets but learning, growing, crying, laughing, singing, and dancing together and with our children- daily.

Here is to a decade ago today.


Are You feeling the squeeze?

You don’t have to look far to find middle aged Americans or even those in their 60s caring for parents and their kids at the same time. It is estimated that many baby boomers are supporting their adult children, or children in college while at the same time flying all over the country or driving across the State they live in to care for their parents. And, in some instances, baby boomers are caring for aging parents, kids, grand kids, each other, and all while trying to support everyone financially. It was bound to happen. For better or worse, technology is better, modern medicine is better and people are living longer but living longer means they may need assisted or skilled care, or worse, around the clock care. Meanwhile, our generation (Generation X) generally waited to marry and may still have very young kids at home, and we are facing the same situations with our parents in their 60s or 70s. Baby boomers refer to us as the selfish generation – generation “me”. Sure, we are notorious for trying to find balance whereas our parents’ generation the lines were a little more clear- mom stayed home most likely, cooked, cleaned, and took care of the home. Mom may have even sacrificed a lot to raise us and save money. Dad went out and earned the dough and saved it all for our college. And good or bad, the lines are blurred for Generation X or Generation “Me” – mom and dad are both taking care of the kids, sometimes dad is doing it more and better than mom. Dads are cooking, cleaning, working, changing diapers, and so are moms. We save a bit here and there, we do our best but we also don’t sacrifice ourselves or deprive ourselves of things we need so our kids can go to college. If we are a selfish generation then good for us I say because we as women and moms are in better shape, eating healthier or trying to, and we have our work and careers, social lives plus our families and I think we are lucky because we get our cake and get to eat it too! We may be spread a little thin, but we do the best we can do with all facets of our lives and that is okay. And, we do not hoard our money for things to come or things that may never be- we have not lived through the depression so we try to live within our means, save, set up accounts for our kids and our retirement, we try to look for good deals but we spend when it is needed and do so willingly and generously.

So, who says our generation is selfish? Who says we don’t care about others? We may not be taking care of multiple generations of family but we could be on our way! Recently, I felt the squeeze and in a big way and I am sure my brother (my only sibling) felt it too. In effect, when something happens to our parents or our children, there is a ripple effect and it is felt by us all – it can even have an effect our extended family too- aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws especially if they are trying to help. With smaller families these days, you almost need a village to raise not just your children but also help with care of our elders. Certainly, our generation may not be as sandwiched as the Baby Boomers have been in this decade but we are well on our way and with medicare dwindling and social programs in general, who will take care of us?

Since April, my brother and I have responded in some way to help our folks. Sure, they didn’t ask – they didn’t have to. My brother is a newlywed and his honeymoon was cut short by the first incident 2 months ago. I have young kids at home, ages 5 and 3, and that is also rather tough to balance. I wrote about it here and you can read more about what happened. But, I write this post now because just when we thought my dad was on the mend and recovering and we all settled back into our routine, just like that! Mom was in the hospital with a fractured femur. And, almost three weeks after that incident (exactly 2 months after dad’s incident), they are still not out of the woods yet. Broken bones take time to heal – surgeries of that magnitude take time to heal and even then, there is about a year or more that you have to watch that injury and take care of it. All in all, just like I want to do with my kids on most days, I felt like I wanted to wrap my parents up in this protective bubble and move them closer to me for my own selfish reasons, so I can see them daily, take over their lives, and help them and of course, my ulterior motive: make it easier on me too! Because remember, we are also the generation who thinks anything is possible and so what if we have to spend money on it – we can do it! We are also the generation who thinks money is not important but life is. So, why can’t I just wrap my parents up, bring them closer to me, and then I can have my cake and eat it too? Because, simply put, it’s just not that easy. Like our kids who will need to make their own decisions one day despite how much we want them to just stay in the little protective bubble-wrapped world we have created for them, our parents have been independent since we all left for college and they want to do their own thing too. After all, they have made the decisions for all these years and we have to be respectful and mindful of that, all the while feeling frustrated that we have NO CONTROL – absolutely NONE over them and the situations that will fold no matter what we do or say.

Anyway, after all the work missed and money spent on travel – flying 1800+ miles away to help my folks is not an easy task. It is also hard to leave the little ones because they miss momma. But, we in Generation X (the Me generation), well, we are used to being spread thin so what is taking on another set of issues or problems? It’s cake walk, right? Ummm… nah, it is hard and takes it toll on your health, on your family, and it effects relationships too. I am sure other Americans are feeling this squeeze and struggle too especially if their parents, like mine, did not really take care of themselves or seek medical care all these years. After all, they were taking care of all of us at the sacrifice of their own health and single family income only went so far as well just decided to sacrifice it all for the sake of the family. My advice for you if you are feeling the squeeze as well is to (1) first, take care of yourself and if that means scheduling a massage or some time out for yourself, do it; (2) help your folks as much as you can but remember to honor boundaries because in the end, especially if you live geographically separated, you have to honor that they are independent people who taught you the value of being independent as well and you have to (even if you cuss with frustration on the inside) honor their wishes and choices however poor you believe those choices to be; (3) be supportive but try not to appear to be taking over their affairs and unless they are medically incapable of making their own health and financial decisions, do not jump the gun because if they come around, recover, and find out you took over, that can be really bad for your relationship. I say all of this now, but I was a wreck two months ago when my dad was in the hospital and I failed to obey all of the above so I am writing this as a lesson to myself I guess as well.

The only other advice I can give you from my own experience is to make sure that you encourage them to get their financial and other affairs in order – a must do kit for all adults with or without children in our country includes: (1) Durable Power of Attorney (POA) for Healthcare that names someone or alternate agents you trust to make health care decisions in case of incapacitation. (2) Living Will that sets out the desires of life-saving and life-extending measures, and other special instructions in case of coma or other conditions. (3) Estate planning including a Will that disposes of your estate (the items that will not pass by contract or agreement) and sets out wishes to the appointed executor(s) on how to distribute funds and property. Also, a will is a must have for those who have children under 18 because in it, guardians you trust are appointed. As far as bank accounts, accounts with companies including 401K, IRAs, etc. should all have a designated Payable on Death (POD) beneficiary. That POD beneficiary should have alternates so the money does not go into your probate which gets taxed heavily. If you have a safe deposit box, make sure it is joint with someone else and have even a third person on it to prevent the contents of that going into probate. (4) Finally, as I recently learned, another important document to have is a Special Durable POA that names individuals (primary and/or alternate) to take care of financial affairs, obtain medical records and medical information on their behalf, and for any other purposes you want to set forth. This “Special or limited” durable power of attorney should list all the special powers that your agent has and for what period of time (it must have a start and stop date to be valid). Another item I recently learned is that this durable POA should also contain a HIPAA release in it so that you are in the clear with the medical community releasing items to your agent(s). This last item I discussed is very important in case you are NOT incapacitated but need your help in assembling documents or getting the financial house or property matters in order. If you have to renew it every 2 years or yearly, do it- it is worth it because it is so important to have, and for kids who live far away, this last Special Power of Attorney is a must because they will be making phone calls on your behalf and most hospitals, doctor’s offices, or banks will not honor a general POA.

I have learned a lot from this recent squeeze. A lot! I have shared some of my thoughts before in a a few posts I wrote: Because of the Sacrifices They Made and In an Instant and I have to say I am trying my best to not live in daily fear of what may happen next but it is so hard not to. It is so hard to not freak out every time the phone rings, or just at the thought of what is coming next. I try to not let it consume me but in the back of my mind, I am trying to prepare myself as well. These last two months have set the foundation but does anything really prepare you for the inevitable? ‘Til then, I suppose I welcome whatever “squeeze” God throws at me because I’d rather be squeezed in the middle and I’d rather juggle a lot than take on losing a very important ball or two in this juggling act I call life.


Gratitude and Grace

Two things I have learned very recent in my life come to mind as I reflect. Two simple words, two simple concepts but so tough to execute for so many- “gratitude” and “grace”. What do these concepts, what do these words mean to me? It’s simple, really. And it’s not that you cannot vent about things that are bugging you to your friends or best of friends, and I’m not saying you cannot judge, but, these two concepts, these two words– it’s about what you keep inside. It’s about how you treat your soul that matters.


Gratitude is defined as “a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation.” I think it’s so much more than that. I think it’s more than waking up and feeling gratitude for all you have. It’s more than just saying, “oh that was so kind of you… I really appreciate it.” It is about feeling it. When you truly feel gratitude, when you truly think about the good in people and forgive their trespass, your soul feels the side effects of gratitude. Again, is it okay to be frustrated when someone invites you to a party the night before the party? Sure, it’s okay and you should vent and move on. But the key is to move on – to feel the other side of that invitation; the kindness, the gratitude that you were even invited. This gratitude is what keeps your soul free from demise. But you see, gratitude alone is not enough. It goes with grace. I think of gratitude as the “Thank You” before the graceful “You’re Welcome.”


Grace has many definitions and the word is also rooted in Christian philosophy. The two definitions of grace that I think apply for me are, “a disposition to kindness and compassion” and “a sense of propriety and consideration for others.” But again, I think it goes deeper than that. It is about composure, about how you handle a situation on the outside and inside. I think, that in any situation, depending on how you (not others around you) handle what is going on, you display grace which brings up this third definition of grace that I think is fitting: “Be beautiful to look at.” No matter how dissatisfied you may be with how you look on the outside, if you handle yourself with grace, you look beautiful. So true! For example, a few years ago, I finally learned about grace. A mom RSVPed very late (the night before) for my daughter’s birthday party. It chapped my hide. I did not handle it with grace. I basically replied back, “you replied too late. Sorry.” I learned about grace that day even if the other person never did. I can vent all I want and should vent about how disrespectful that mother was towards me but then the proper response is, “of course, we’d love to have JOE join the party. Thank you for your RSVP.” That is grace. That is kindness and compassion. Fast forward two years later, and a different mother, two hours before the party, called me to say, “RENEE is coming to the party and we are sorry to RSVP on the day of but I just saw the invitation.” Then, that same mother and her child came to the party an hour late. You know what? It’s okay. Does that mother know about grace? Maybe. Maybe not. Her disrespect is not my concern. If you have grace in you, peace with your soul, peace with the fact that others can be as rude as they want, you will nonetheless be gracious, and say, “of course, you are always very welcome.”

Now, I am not saying roll over, play dead, let others take advantage of you or mistreat you. I am saying that in small situations where it really doesn’t matter, be graceful. Move on. Fight where you need to fight and put your energy where it counts. Not everything requires a battle and you do not always have to be right.

Another example of grace is not being afraid to admit that you were wrong. Admit when you make mistakes and don’t try to cover them up by blaming external factors or others. Always look within first to see what you did to cause this and then handle it with grace. And most importantly, give others the benefit of the doubt. Life happens and people are not like you. So, how you handle the situations that life presents will dictate how joyous your soul can be…. how beautiful inside and out you not only appear to others, but how beautiful you truly ARE — for me, gratitude and grace go hand-in-hand. I may stumble along the way and I may vent to my friends, but I will always try to have gratitude and grace. And when I falter because I will, I will remind myself that I am human, look within at what I did wrong and strive to handle it all with … Grace!


In an Instant…

My dad had a massive heart attack two weeks ago today. In a minute, everything I knew, everything I believed was out the window and all our lives were changed forever. No matter how his recovery may go, my father of 67-years of age died two weeks ago and was re-born the same weekend. That is how I viewed it anyway. Some may view it differently but, I feel so blessed that he survived. He had less than a 10% chance of surviving the sudden cardiac arrest and then, the other worry was brain damage.

When my mom first called me, her voice told me something was wrong- terribly wrong. When the doctor at the first hospital they took him to talked with me on the phone, asking me more questions than providing me questions, I think at first I did not believe it, so I just said- okay whatever! He is probably just tired or exhausted from the heat, it’s not serious and everything will be just fine. I was wrong. I did not want to believe that in an instant, everything had changed.

I flew out the next day and the plane ride was the longest one I have ever taken – ever! It rivaled the international trips I took even though it was a mere 1200 miles away. The thoughts going through my head were not good. The prognosis was not certain, it was not positive and uncertainty loomed. The doctors were surprised he was still alive and now it was up to him to fight and if you are a believer in a higher power, of course, it rested in his hands more than anything. In an instant, everything had changed. I saw him in a medically-induced coma for two days before he started opening his eyes on Saturday. Even then, he would open eyes, knew we were there but could do nothing because at the Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) and the potential trauma to his brain, they had to keep him in a medical coma. It was so hard to see him like this especially when I last saw him, he was up, running around, chattering away, and even dancing at my brother’s wedding. In an instant, everything I knew had changed.

Miraculously, he recovered. By Sunday (day 4 after his sudden cardiac arrest), he was moving his lips and trying to talk, following commands, and while still sedated, trying to tell us things with his fingers and hands. He was squeezing hands, moving his fingers and toes and by Monday, he was trying to sit up, and once ex-tubated, was talking, and trying to communicate albeit he had no memory of the trauma. In an instant, everything had changed. Life as we knew it was different – would my dad’s brain recover? Sure, maybe? I have no idea. Would he be the same? NEVER! Would we be the same? Nope… not a chance.

My father died on Thursday, April 19, 2012, and returned to us on Monday, April 23, 2012 but with memories from sometime ago, with memories that were spotty and speech that was not all there. He could not feed himself initially or stand up on his own, or walk, but when he was released out of CCU on late Wednesday night, he was trying to escape, and pulling his wires out. Disoriented and weak, he was released from the hospital on Saturday, April 28, 2012, and was cleared to fly back home on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. For all of us though, we live in a different world, where we appreciate every minute, every second, and we do not take even an hour for granted. In an instant, everything had changed and we would all never be the same. I will be heading out next week to help with some of the upcoming therapies, the cardiologist appointment, and if needed, further intervention for his heart. But mainly, my mom needs us in this time and the support we provide will be indispensable. My dad may go through recovery for a few weeks, few months to a year or more but he will be a heart patient forever. He will need to watch his diet, exercise, get cardiac care, and may need more intervention if his other artery gets blocked. No matter what, we are so blessed he is with us today and while I wish we all lived closer, I am grateful. I am grateful for all the time we had, and all the time we will have in the future with every one of my family members….because in an instant, everything can still change for any one of us.

What I learned from this is not to keep second guessing what was or why this happened… why did this happen? What are we supposed to learn from this? What I learned honestly is what to do from here on out— what I want my life to be, how I also need to slow down, how I want to treat others daily in my life and what my priorities are:

  1. When parents or your kids or close siblings or even friends call, don’t be busy- listen, talk, entertain – life is too precious and these moments will never come back. It may be annoying what they are saying or that you are trying to work but work will be there but in an instant, everything could change… and you may never get to hear them talk to you again! So, listen, make time, and forget about what is going on around you. Take the call if it is safe for you to do so.
  2. Don’t worry about what people think… just live! Because in an instant, everything could change and then no one will really care what the guy on the bus thought about you or the situation. It’s not important! It’s all small stuff compared to losing someone you love.
  3. When you love, love unconditionally, love completely and do not worry what tomorrow brings because as you know, in an instant, everything could change.
  4. Travel that extra mile, walk that extra step, and do everything you can in your power to help others especially those that you love or care about because today they are here, and tomorrow, in an instant, everything could change.
  5. When you can, use up that leave (don’t hoard it), and travel with loved ones – go far, go away, go and have those memories because in an instant, everything could change and then you will never be able to take that trip again or not in the same way.
  6. Life is to precious to waste on petty issues, quorums or fighting for things that do not matter because when you really need to fight then fight for LIFE—remember to live and love because in an instant, everything could change.
  7. When your kid wants to hug you, and your mom is embarrassing you by kissing you in public, stop and don’t worry – hug away, kiss away, touch the life you love because in an instant everything can change and you may never get the chance to touch, to kiss, to hug, to be with them again. I know, sounds depressing but celebrate the love you have on earth now – don’t wait.
  8. Say what you need and want to say – say it loud, say it proud, and say it often – the word, ‘I love you’ can be said when someone is gone but may not be heard, and because tomorrow may not come. In an instant, everything we know could change.
  9. Save the memories, encapsulate them – the photos, the videos, the written blog posts, the amazing diaries and do not lose sight of how important these moments are with your children, your grandchildren, your parents, your partners—grab a camera and if you forgot yours, buy one because you’ll regret if in an instant, everything changes and you did not capture those amazing memories.
  10. Don’t have regrets or guilt- if you did something wrong, rectify it immediately. Never worry about the “what ifs.” Just do it! Life in the moment and while you should plan for the future, and put money away, don’t be afraid to spend it reasonably and wisely because in an instant, EVERYTHING CAN CHANGE