In Living Our Best Life, Power of Relationships

It was 15 years ago, I was talking with a business friend on the phone. He asked me how I was doing. Without missing a beat I said “I’m living my golden years”. He asked what I meant. I said “My daughters are 7 and 5. I’m the center of their universe. I’m married to a women I deeply love. Portland is a great town. I couldn’t imagine being happier where I work. If that’s not living my golden years, then I don’t know what it means.”

It was a spontaneous response that I have thought about hundreds of times since. The “golden years” is usually reserved for retirement, a time in the future. It’s hard for me to even imagine retirement. Maybe it’s because I’m too young or because my father will be 82 this year and is still practicing law, working out 7 days a week and traveling the world.

When I think back to the answer I gave my friend, I’m reminded that I’m always living the golden years- they just all look different. In my mid 30’s, being the father to two beautiful little girls was a pinnacle experience. Before that, being newly married to my wife and not having children was a golden years experience. Living three blocks from the beach in San Diego while I went to law school was a golden time. Backpacking through Asia for 6 months after law school, another one.

Now one of my two daughters is graduating college and the other is a sophomore. My wife and I find ourselves having time together as a couple just like when we were first married.

I’m the managing partner at my law firm which lets me create a work environment that allows lawyers and staff alike to know they are valued on a daily basis. I’ve spent the last 14 months working at developing Tipping the Scales. I couldn’t have done this with children at home.

When I look back at all the different places or stages of my life, I realize each one of them hold their own unique treasure, allowing me to be and experience something that I was not before and may not be in the future.

The true challenge is to create a greater life with today’s gold and try my best to discover the unseen riches that it seems the future brings only in retrospect.

There will always be things that are not right or we wish was different – money, job, relationships, health, friends, family, time. It seems these are the easiest to see and the hardest to forget.

If you have hidden pieces of gold in your life now, where would they be? How would you go about finding them and making the most of them with your heart and hands? I don’t want to look back five, ten or twenty years from now to realize I missed some of my own golden times.

Whether it’s your law practice and everyone in it, children or relationships, the more of it we find, the richer our lives and everyone around us will be. While we possess this wealth we cannot help but share it. It is the very nature of a life most worth living.

Take time this week to look back at two of your golden ages. What did those times give you that you don’t have in the same way now? What gold is this time giving you? The treasures that spill from my pockets most often comes from the relationships in my life.

Keep digging for your pure gold. Keep your pick axe sharp and your eyes open – no protective eye gear necessary. Happy mining.

If you think this post might resonate with someone you know, please share it. It’s how we help each other live our best lives. And feel free to share your gold, whether it’s personal or professional, in the comments below

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  • Ronn Elzinga


    Love this post. Great insights.


    • Jim

      Thank you Ronn.

  • Kelly L. Andersen

    Great post, Jim.

    • Jim

      Thank you Kelly.

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