Money, money, money

It was Wednesday night when I started this blog post.

I thought about posting nothing this week...too busy with other shit. Plus, I didn't have much to say. I feel like my blog posts have been a bit boring lately. Perhaps I am blogging too much and my content is getting dry.

But then, I felt motivated. Twitter motivated me. At first I thought that the topic wasn't enough about being a pilot wife, which I like to keep to, but then I was like "heck has pilot wife written all over it." I got the kids in bed, poured a glass of wine, sat down in the office, yelled at the kids to get back to bed, and then dug right in.

Here is my motivation:

If you don't know, there are many American Airlines flight attendants (as in thousands) that are having reactions to their new (2016) uniforms. I follow Heather Poole, and when she tweeted the above I had to react.

I truly think it must be a sad life to only care about money. 

I'm serious. 

How can one put money before the well-being of a person? How can you be so driven by money that your moral compass goes off course? This truly baffles me. 

Steve and I make a good living. But, we could make more...we choose to not make more. I work about 30 hours a week. I could work 40. Hell, I could even choose a different career that would bring in even more money. But, I am choosing to be home with the kids in the morning and get them onto the school bus. I am choosing to be home for the kids when they get off the school bus. I choose to be home so much with the kids because Steve is gone as much as he is. Enter pilot wife. 

Steve could be a captain. Steve's upgrade to captain would mean a pretty shiny nickle in our pocket. But, he/we are choosing his drive-able base. He is choosing to hold a line. He is choosing to have weekends off. He isn't about the bigger paycheck at this point. He isn't about flying a bigger plane. He is about family right now...the kids are only young once.

We both recognize that there is time after the kids leave the house for us to advance our careers. Right now, we choose family....this comes above money.

And you know what, I like that. I like that my husband's #1 priority is family. Now, certainly he is providing for us, but more than that he is affording us the lifestyle we have. Vacations, and a (soon-to-be) boat, and not working 24-7...the list could go on. We are building the moments that form the memories of our life, and we are doing it as a family. 

If Steve upgraded he would have to go to another base. He would have to commute. He would probably spend less time with us. Family is more important than money. There is always time for that later, once the kids go off to college. He's got 22 years felt before mandatory retirement. There's time. 

It's one thing to want to build a nest egg. It's one thing to want to have a comfortable life. It's one thing to enjoy nice things in life. But, it's another thing when you do so in ways that hurt others.  It's another thing when you lose sight of the real meaning of life. It's another thing when greed takes over. 

I have a busted back. Degenerated disc, L4 and L5. It sucks. But I manage, thanks to my awesome chiropractor and listening to my body. I've been seeing him for about 2+ years. Steve sees him, too. Ben does too, on occasion. One day the chiropractor and I were chatting while he was adjusting me. We live in a somewhat affluent area. He was sharing interactions from a recent party he attended. Apparently there was a man there that was mentioning his really nice car, as well as his impending second divorce. The way he talked about marriage was nothing about love, but more about status. Drive the awesome car...look good to others. Marry the beautiful woman...look good to others. I would never be okay with a life that is built around status...about brands and the latest this-or-that...about how I look to others. 

Steve drives a nice car, but he bought it used...he likes the brand because it's a solid ride and it runs well. This boat we want to buy...used. Actually, it will be way used. We don't do things because of the brand or the status. We do things because of our like for it. Hell, even the handbag I carry - I like this Italian brand that no one knows about. I like that it's anonymous. Or even my engagement ring. It's rare that I wear little $150 wedding band means far more than a diamond means to me.

I learned this from my grandmother. She passed in 2003. She was a beautiful woman, inside and out. Our daughter carries on her name. Before she passed, Steve and I would go to my grandparents on a near weekly basis for dinner. During our engagement, I clearly remember noticing my grandmother's wedding band. She was 81-years-old, and that band of gold was as basic and plain as ever...but, it was beautiful and perfect. She married my grandfather after only knowing him for three weeks. He liberated her forced-labor camp in Germany, WWII. Three week later, marriage. Two kids. Immigration. Two more kids. Establishing a family in a brand new country. Infidelity. Forgiveness. much love. Empathy. Giving. Love. And that band of gold showed it all, on her beautiful hand that one night at dinner. I knew right then and there that I wanted a plain band of gold. No status...just showing commitment and love. That's what marriage is about, right?!

I don't need labels. I don't need "things" to make me. My family makes me. My friends make me. The good I do for people make me. The relationships/interactions I have with people make me.

And, I'm proud of that. On my death bed, it won't matter what car I drive, or what club I belong to, or what resort I stayed at on my last vacation, or what brand name my dress is. What will matter are the hands I am holding, and the memories I have created of a life filled with good times, good people, and good deeds. 

I wish everyone thought this way...that money isn't everything. Rather "everything" is the way we treat one another....with compassion, empathy, love, forgiveness, and love.