A few months back I started writing a post about the skydiver sacrifice, about those elements of life that skydivers “give up” to pursue their passion, but then I thought twice about it because a) I couldn’t come to any type of conclusion on where it was going, and b) every person is different, and every path is different, so there was just no “standard” to discuss.
That said, something came to my attention today that brings up a similar topic.
For the month of May, I’m making it a goal not to spend any unnecessary money. Along with that comes not eating out unless I absolutely have to (you know, like a work event or if I’m traveling) but otherwise I’m keeping my debit card in my pocket and only spending at the grocery store. This brought something interesting to the surface: I have no social life.
First, I want to clarify that not eating out ≠ no social life. Not by any stretch.
Truthfully, if I look back at my life in general, my most social times were those where I was a broke college student / newbie careerist / young skydiver with a very shallow wallet. Going out to eat wasn’t an option as I barely had enough to sustain myself and those things that I didn’t consider optional in my life.
Even now, after 6+ years in my career where I’m doing fairly well for myself, I find that moneys are tight and I’d rather spend any funds that aren’t already allocated on experiences like traveling, skydiving and tunnel camps. And personally, I’m more social when indulging in these experiences than I am in daily life.
Granted, for anyone who knows me, you know I tend to be rather reserved until I get to know someone well, so I’m not sure how much that’s actually saying.
My point is this – regardless of the kind of life you want to lead, you only have so many resources (read: time, money) to go around to make that happen. There’s a priority list that each of us lives by, whether you’re actively aware of it or not, and in order to accomplish the goals you pursue, to keep the elements of your life that are closest to your heart in your life, it takes a sacrifice of some things that others might deem “necessary” in their lives.
It all comes down to this: not everyone walks the same path in life – after all, how boring would that be? Just because someone isn’t as open about their social life, because they don’t go out drinking on weekends or sit on patios each night after work with friends, doesn’t mean their life isn’t fulfilling, or social for that matter.
Personally, I would sacrifice a lot for the success of things like Jump for Diabetes because I know at the end of the day I’m making a difference in the world. But the truth is, thanks to things like Jump for Diabetes that tend to take up free time that would likely otherwise be spent out with friends, my time is spent with positive people who have entered my life in support of a great cause. And, when you get right down to it, I’d much rather have a handful of incredibly meaningful people in my life than dozens of people who are just there sometimes. I would say, even though on the surface it doesn’t appear to be, that my life is in fact highly social – and truthfully, amazingly fulfilling.
The choice is yours. It’s your life to live in whichever way is best for you. You only get one, so use it wisely, and be happy as much as you possibly can. Judging how others are living theirs will not get you there. Instead, be happy for them so long as they are happy, and support them when they are not. It will only serve to make your journey that much more worth while.
Love and blue skies!