Are You Living an Inspiring Life or Are You Chasing Bank?

Parenting
Spending quality time with 3 of my girls!

So many people lately have been emailing, Facebooking, tweeting, Instagramming, snapping and whatever else lately thanking us for sharing our story, our lives, and our “inspiring” way of life.  

For whatever reason, the floodgates opened and we started hearing from parents, grandparents and even a dozen or so kids!  Maybe it’s the coming of Spring, maybe it’s the season of Lent … but whatever the reason, we are so thankful to have made the connection.

To think that maybe we’ve made even the slightest bit of difference in anyone’s life, that we’ve helped bring a family together or inspired someone to follow their dreams is a feeling I can’t really put into words.  But I think, I kinda feel like Elly does in the photo below!  🙂

Joyful Elly
Joy can be found everywhere in life if you think like a child!

We are so passionate about living in the moment and cherishing the time we have with the people we love and it’s made such an impact on our children and our lives, that we can’t help but share.

It seems like forever ago, but we started daily vlogging on YouTube in 2010.  And it was never about anything but inspiration … inspiration for us, really.  Hold ourselves accountable to our quest to do something amazing every day.

You know how it is, life can get in the way and you can get kinda lazy and not really feel like going to the park for a big game of Cherry Cherry, or to the skate park, or the terrain park, or the river, or on a hike … I mean, parents are TIRED!

But it turned into something spectacular, first for us and now for so many other people who have become inspired to get out and DO things with their kids, people who look at parenting differently now, who have found the courage to follow their own dreams.

And really, if that’s what KelloggShow has turned into, like, an inspiring story, an aspiring story, maybe a few epic quotes, that help you motivate, then that’s something blessed by God.  We surely didn’t set out with any kind of plan, we weren’t angling for anything, we just wanted to have fun, praise God and be a joyful, loving family.

And from that sprang our website, KelloggShow.com!  A family being joyful, hopeful and wild … together!

Family Raft Trip
Enjoying spending time with family is our biggest priority.

And we aren’t judging anyone.  I don’t purport to think my way of parenting is the only way.  I know it’s one of many many ways and there are gazillions of happy families who are nothing like us, who think we are 100% certifiably crazy

I know this because I’m friends with many.  I’m related to many more.

But I’m also friends with and related to an equal number of people who are miserable, who have lost their way and no matter what we tell them. No matter how much we try to steer them in the direction of happiness (which has nothing to do with travel, btw, just dreams), they are adamant to stay in the status quo.

Argh, it makes no sense.  If things aren’t working for you, you change things up, right?  I’m not looking at anyone thinking, “what the hell is wrong with you” that you aren’t happy.

Nope, I’m just thinking: “Dude, make changes. Do what makes you happy.”

We are right there with you acknowledging that life is hard.  It’s painful and it is almost always unfair.  The unshocking truth is that no-one lives a charmed life.  No-one is exempt from struggle.

The trick is to enjoy the good waves, weather the bad and stay filled with hope.  Lean on each other. If you are married you chose a life partner, for better or worse, for richer or poorer. If you honor your vows, you always will have someone to turn to, a co-defendant, a partner in crime!  🙂

Marriage
I love this man with everything I have and we both know marriage takes sacrifice of self!

I can’t say it enough: If things aren’t working, change them. If you glean anything from our story, it’s that while change is scary, it’s also exhilarating.

If you are sick of the 9 to 5, change that.  If you are tired of working every day for no joy, change that.  If you miss your kids, your spouse, change that.  Oh my gosh, people, you are the captain of your ship.  You can change EVERYTHING.

You can change anything you want, but you have to sacrifice something else.

And that is pure acknowledgment of your own power over your own life.

But, there’s a catch.  There’s always a catch.  I finally learned what the saying, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” means.

You can change anything you want, but you have to sacrifice something else.  For example if you want to be a stay-at-home parent, you have to sacrifice the second income.  If you want to sail the world, you have to sacrifice the creature comforts of home.  Or if you want to travel the continent in an RV, you may have to buy a pretty cheap RV.  🙂

KelloggShow Georgie Boy Cruisemaster
The vessel that gets the entire family to and from our destinations! Not luxurious, but ours!

See what I mean?  You can have and do anything you want, but it will cost you something.  You just have to decide what you want most and then you sacrifice for that.

The problem is a lot of people sacrifice their spouse, their family and their happiness to worship at the altar of success as defined by society, because that’s what they’ve been told the whole purpose in life is.  Since we were kids, all we’ve ever heard is study, work hard, go to college, get a good job, make a ton of money, right?  I mean, the other day I saw a photo on FB of a man, who is an acquaintance of mine, with a table that was covered in “Get Rich” books.  No-one is immune.

I think we as a society have lost what true success is.  In fact, it’s not even really anyone’s fault as it’s obvious many of us were never taught anything but to follow the money trail.  There are no subjects in school that inspire people to charge their dreams, their are no subjects in school that focus on family or being true to oneself … everything and I mean everything is geared toward knowledge that will get you a good job, that will enable you to buy lots of stuff  … and that is what society teaches as success.

Real success in life is not measured by worldly goods. It’s not measured by a job title, a large savings account or even luxury travel. 

Success is a happy, thriving, supportive, giving family. For me, specifically, it’s a happy, faithful family.  I’m impressed by happy people who have happy kids.  I’m impressed and inspired by successful families.

In this world, that’s not easy to do.  Like, not at all.  We have built a society that fully endorses the idea that luxuries are indeed necessities.  And in order to provide all these “necessities” for ourselves and our children, both parents must now earn an income.  It’s crazy!

And, doesn’t it seem that kids are more demanding than ever these days.  I know 7 year olds with smart phones.  16 year olds with new cars.  My gosh, my first car was when I got married.

We sign our kids up for every sport, we send them to summer camp, we pay for everything their little hearts desire. We, in a sense, bribe them because we are never home, or because we got divorced or because it’s simply easier to buy them things than to listen to them complain or whatever gazillion other reasons we have.

I mean I’m guilty of overindulging on occasion because I love them and want them to, you know … be happy.  🙂  Such a conundrum!

Elly Hugging a Kitten
Yep, we even buy them kittens when we aren’t cat lovers. Crazy!

But, the truth is, happy people are those who choose to be happy. It seriously is that simple (simple, yet not easy).

By indulging our kids and their every whim, we are teaching them the opposite of happiness.  We are teaching them entitlement.  Entitled people are unhappy people because there are always others who have more.

So what are you to do?  Well, how bout you go for broke and lead by example?  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times … we are not meant to only pay bills.  You have one life to live.  Look at your children.  Do you really want them stuck in a 9-5 job as a data entry clerk?  Or do you want to see them smiling, joyful and hopeful?  In order to make that a reality, you have to follow your dreams.  How will your kids have the courage to do anything “crazy” if you live so carefully?

You don’t have to be reckless, but take a chance, for pete’s sake. Be a rebel. Go wild.

I watched the movie “Wish I Was Here” last night and it was such a great movie.  I cried nearly the entire time.  I cried when telling the kids about it this morning. I highly recommend it.  There were some quotes in the movie that resonated so profoundly with me that I was a sobbing wreck at the end.

You only get one shot at this life. You only get one shot at being a good parent.

I’m glad Dan fell asleep, cuz it was ugly crying, but at any rate, at the end of the movie, Gabe, the grandpa/dad, says to his son … “If there’s a next time, I’ll do better. So fast… Try to remember how fast it goes.”

Oh my gosh, cue the waterworks. Make a promise to yourself that you’ll never ever be on your deathbed thinking, “If there’s a next time, I’ll do better.”

Make that promise for yourself and for your kids, cuz you know, you know full well, you only get one shot at this life.  You only get one shot at being a good parent; there are no re-do’s. This is it.

You don’t get yesterday back, so if you wasted hours on your computer when you could’ve been playing with your kids, that time is gone . If you spent days, weeks or months renovating your house when you could’ve been spending time with your family, you don’t get that time back.

Time is the one thing money cannot buy more of, so use it wisely, and have no regrets.

 

More from Susie Kellogg

10 Genuine Lessons Every Good Parent Needs To Teach Their Kids

When our first child, Kerry, was born, Dan and I were completely...
Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.