(This is the 4th post of this series. To read the entire series, click on the label to the left that reads "Modern Translation Series.")
* Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a life and one of your duties is to provide it.
What a great question! I think I know why my husband loves me but what is it about me that interests him? I tried to think about the things we talk about... and I drew a blank. We don't really talk about hard-hitting issues, debate politics or discuss current news stories. What we do is laugh... a lot. We spend the majority of our time trying to make each other laugh which I don't accredit to a lack of seriousness or sophistication. Rather, our work days are filled with tough decisions and professional discussions. I wouldn't say our days are boring. So it's important that our nights are fun, and at times, boring. Sometimes, we need to do nothing and think about nothing.
The problem is, now I feel boring. Perhaps I am not interesting. I have hobbies and things that interest me. I like to read- but mostly chick lit books. Books that take my mind away- literary equivalents of reality TV, you could say. This doesn't interest my husband. I like to coupon, which I would say my husband tolerates but doesn't necessarily enjoy. I like to bake, and my husband likes to eat cookies, so I guess we have that in common. But seriously, what is it about me that keeps my husband from getting bored with me?
So, I asked him. His response: "Your determination." I was confused at first. I don't really see myself as being "determined," but this wouldn't be the first time my husband saw me differently than I do. He elaborated, "I like to watch you decide to do something and then actually do it." <smile> I'm guessing this blog is case in point.
The idea of being a stay-at-home mom started as a joke or far-off dream. One day, before we were married, someone asked us if I would continue working after we had kids and before the sentence was finished my husband said "Yes!" I was shocked. I mean, I knew it wasn't very realistic but we hadn't really discussed it yet. At that moment it sounded like it wasn't open for discussion and I was caught off guard by just how disappointed I was. I knew that the ideal situation would be that I could stay home with our children, but the ideal situation would also be that we are independently wealthy and my husband wouldn't have to work either so the two of us and our version of the Von Trapp family could travel the world having fun and loving life.
I spent awhile trying to figure out if this is a daydream or something I wanted badly enough to find a way to make it happen and at the end of the day the latter won. I knew my husband was a very rational thinker so I knew I would need a plan to convince him it would be possible for us to be a one-income household. Correction: a two income household, one of which was earned from home. Thus, I developed my 2 Year Plan.
My 2 Year Plan is pretty simple: reduce spending and find a way to earn income from home. I believe that no matter how much money you have, you'll always want or need more. I don't think it's necessary for us to earn more money; I think we are very capable of living on less... even without sacrificing everything we love about our lifestyle. That's where this blog comes into play: it's my accountability. By sharing with all of you our steps towards doing more on less I feel a greater obligation to actually make it happen. (And you all will call me out on it if I don't, right??)
I am exploring ways to earn income from home and my hope is by the end of the two years I will be earning enough to supplement my husband's income. As of right now, our expenses are less than my husband's salary which is great but there isn't enough wiggle room for us to add in a baby or two (or three or four) and be able to have fun, take vacations, buy something every now and again, etc. So that is what my income will be going towards- the little extras that make the difference between living to work and working to make a living.
I am a saver and I certainly don't want to live paycheck to paycheck so it's important to me to be able to continue saving if & when we have children and I leave my current job. My husband likes to have what he calls a "buffer"- basically an emergency fund in savings for lost jobs, unexpected household repairs, medical bills, etc. Based on my calculations we should have over 6 months expenses in savings by the end of this two year period. I think this is very important and I will not quit my job until this goal is reached.
That's basically my plan. Cut back on current spending, use my salary to save, save, save and decrease debt and then find sources of income outside of my salary. Apparently my husband thinks this plan will work, or maybe he just believes that strongly in me and my ability to make it happen, because he is now on board. He is, however, a little skeptical that this won't result in a life where we never have money to spend on the fun stuff. That's what I need to prove to him and what a good amount of my blog posts will be dedicated to. I can save, spend less and still give awesome birthday & Christmas gifts, host cookouts and bonfires, keep us in non-holey clothes and vehicles that don't require duct tape, etc.
Jumping back to the original rule, I do feel that I married someone I have a lot in common with. We both like food (cooking and eating it), we like buying things (but don't like giving anyone our money), we love beer (notice I didn't just say like), we prefer a few close friends over a group of people, we like being at home, we like driving, we like mild climates, we like our pain-in-the-ass cat, we like reserving the right to try new things or being hard-headed and stuck in our ways, we like our family being important parts of our lives (that is, the family you build not necessarily the family you were born with)... should I keep going? But I don't know that having something in common with a person necessarily means that this person peaks your interest. I translated "interested in" to mean "I would watch a reality show about this person." I guess that how my husband read it as well. I can see it now, the next hit show on TLC Tracy Does Stuff.
Dear 1950's Housewife,
What an valid and interesting question you pose! I think it is a great idea to examine what we bring to the table in our relationships and in what was we enhance, improve, or arouse interest in the lives of our partners. I, personally, enjoyed this exercise to a great degree as I do any and all times I provide my husband with an opportunity to flatter me. :)
Have a pleasant day,
The 2010's Housewife