Photo from Pixabay
Since it is thanksgiving week, I have been thinking about the life events that I am most thankful for. This is mainly a blog about finances so I will explain why I’m financially thankful for each event as well. Life takes many twist and turns. Some of these are due to decisions we make and some are random (lucky or unlucky). Whatever the reason, certain events are more prominent in our lives than others.
Every life has a beginning and end, in between there are many different events that shape the life experience we have. I like to think of the ones that have the most impact as inflection points, or events that caused my life to make a distinct turn (for better or worse).
These events are the ones that stick out in my head the most. It is funny how easy it is to look back and see the impacts of these events now, when at the time I had no idea that they were so life changing.
In chronological order, here are the events in my life that I am most thankful for.
I am Thankful for my Parents
Everyone has the same starting point, being born. We obviously can’t choose our parents so there is a large range of how this impacts people’s lives. This is #2 on Max’s life lottery list!
I was fortunate to be born to two great parents who loved and encouraged me as I was growing up. Obviously I had no impact in this, but it certainly provided a great head start in life.
Related to finances, they paid for my college degree which is a huge advantage when starting out on your own in the world. With average student loan debt so high, I was fortunate to not start out having to pay this back. I will pay this advantage forward to my children as well.
Speaking of college…
I am Thankful for my College Experience
Getting my undergraduate degree did not come easy for me. This experience helped teach me to persevere through tough times, and things that are valuable in life don’t come without a lot of hard work.
I didn’t graduate in the standard four years. There are multiple reasons that attributed to this but that is a post for another time. This later graduation time frame got me a job with a company at a time when they had a lot of business. I don’t believe I would have gotten this job if I had graduated “on time”.
Getting my degree in Engineering has given me a career that has helped me achieve my financial goals and support a family.
Wooo Hooo I graduated, now what?
I am Thankful for My Job
Having a job I enjoy and which helps to provide for my family is definitely a big thing I am thankful for. I was lucky to get a job prior to the financial downturn and have been able to stay at the same place long term.
I have also made many great friends at this job that led to the largest inflection point in my life so far.
More about that one down below, but first…
I am Thankful for Losing my First Condo
Wait what? I lost something and I am thankful for it? Let me explain.
Shortly after graduating and starting my first job I began looking for a place of my own. I was living at my parents house and saving the money I would be paying on rent for a down payment on a house.
I found a new condo building that was under construction and put a deposit down for a one bedroom unit. It was 2006 and the building was due to be done in early 2007. This was the beginning of the housing market crash.
I was able to get out of the contract due to a change in to condo documents. This was sheer luck and I would’ve lost a lot of money had I been required to purchase the condo. I ended up moving out of my parents and renting for a year until I found another bigger place at a lower price.
Well, that about wraps things up. Oh wait…
I am Thankful for Meeting my Wife
One day at work a coworker asked me if I wanted to be on a kickball team he was forming. Yes kickball, something I probably hadn’t played since I was in the 5th grade. I was skeptical, but once he mentioned it was a beer league I was sold.
I am a true believer that marrying well can have the greatest impact on your financial future. This doesn’t mean they have to be wildly successful (that’s a bonus). It just means that you are both on the same page with what you want out of life financially and otherwise.
As I have stated before, getting married completely changed the way I thought about money and building for a future. In the five years that we have been married, we have already achieved some big life and financial goals.
Meeting my wife was definitely the biggest inflection point in my life. And finally…
I am Thankful for Baby Widget
My most recent inflection point was welcoming Baby Widget in the middle of the year. This was something Mrs. Widget and I prepared for to make sure we were ready, both financially and mentally (as best you can be).
Having a baby is obviously not a way to increase financial assets. She is very cute, but probably won’t be doing baby commercials.
Baby Widget has been a blessing and we are going to enjoy our first holidays with her.
What Will Come Next?
I find it fascinating how one singular event has such a distinct path to the next. I never would’ve met my wife if I didn’t play kickball, which wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t meet my friend at the job I got after graduating when I did.
There are also the events that seem negative at the time, like taking longer to graduate or losing the condo, that really turn out to have a positive life impact.
What is the next inflection point? Who knows, maybe in a couple of years I can say it was starting this blog/business!
It has been a great year in the Widget household. I am looking forward to future positive inflection points, but am very thankful for the ones I have had so far.
Readers, what inflection points in your life are you most thankful for? Do you have some that seemed negative at the time but were a blessing in disguise? Comment below!