Sunsets can be beautiful whether viewed from your back porch or from Mallory Pier on Key West.
Somehow, however, I missed the memo on the wonder of sunrises. My family members are typically night owls but last weekend, after an unusually long and welcomed night of sleep, I made a cup of coffee and sat on the front door step with my mutt dog, Mabel. The sun had just peeked over the horizon. It was so quiet but for the birds. I watched Mabel as she surveyed the landscape with patient yet keen alertness, all clear for the moment.
Across the way, I watched a young woman, in a motorized wheelchair, stroll her dog down a pathway. She wore a carefree smile as she paused and raised her face to the warming sunbeams. Her dog obediently sat beside her as if to join in the moment of tranquility.
In my driveway, a little bird persistently flew around the side mirror on my car. I quickly realized that he was convinced that a rival suitor was invading his turf. Taking it all in, I fought back the urge to be doing something and just enjoyed my coffee.
Suddenly, I felt awake to the contrast. Sunsets are conclusions. The end of a day. Business is closed. The lights go off. There is little to no energy left to expend. We experience sunsets all the time: The end of the school year. The end of a job. The sunset on a life.
In contrast, sunrises are filled with opportunity. They are beginnings and fresh starts. In our financial lives, there are so many possibilities that we can wake up to! To make a spending plan that focuses on goal progress. To start a 529 college savings plan. To increase our contributions to a Health Savings Account or 401(k) at work. To pull the trigger on a key investment decision. To review our insurance coverage or to have our estate documents prepared or updated.
I remember my father often saying, “You can’t soar with the eagles in the morning if you stay out with the owls at night.” I think I’m starting to get it.
We can choose to examine important things in the late hours, of a day or our lives, and as our energy is fading. We can routinely make tired decisions if we make them at all. Or, we can capture a sunrise and choose to enthusiastically explore our financial goals, values, priorities, and progress with alertness and full presence. It is never too late to have a sunrise moment.