it's not about you
Let me take you back a year or two.
I had been working for pennies, honestly I did the math and could have made more money working at McDonald's (mickey dees is a pretty great employer, just ask my in-laws, they have all worked there and swear that it is the best high school job you can get). I was following my little millennial heart, and I was happy. I was, in my mind, doing what I was designed to do. I consistently revisit this season because even though it was my dream job there were a few boxes that it didn't tick. Helping us stay afloat was one of them. Now, if I wanted to make it work I would have had to also change my millennial ways of wanting the next best thing including traveling the globe. But I don't like to be bound by a budget and I have champagne taste.
Anyway that's probably way too much information and a total overshare.
|NYEve 2018 Wellington, NZ|
While floating on my millennial wings I was out for a walk one day and a thought popped into my head, "it's the hubster's turn".
Who said that?
I do a lot of my best figuring when I'm out for a walk with my dog. Mostly because if I need to talk she simply has to listen.
"It's the hubster's turn."
"It's his turn."
When we started our wedded bliss I was finishing a Master's degree and substitute teaching. I had sold my first house and had enough money to finance our wedding and part of our honeymoon, but I kept those habits well into our marriage without the nice little nest egg that was my house sale. I substituted for a while, took some small contracts here and there, worked for the aforementioned company, I even did an UNPAID internship in mediation. He put up with it, he supported it, but I had this thought while out walking that it was his turn to spread his wings and for me to be his financial backer.
I had decided to return to teaching where I could make a decent wage. You can ask anyone, I returned, initially, for the money. (All my teacher friends gasp and wonder how little I must have been making). I have since rekindled the passion for working in a team, supporting other teachers in the way that I can, and by having the most fun possible while teaching a language. It's a lot of work but it's good work that I can be proud of.
Cut to today. Standing in the kitchen, thinking, what would I do if my husband were to pass away suddenly?
I stood there, struck. Why would I wait for him to die to fulfill his dream?
I remembered the life lesson that is being hammered into me right now. And that is, life is not about you.
But isn't it about making my own dreams come true and getting what I want and need out of life?
Nope. A life well lived isn't about you. It's about what you do for others to facilitate them achieving their dreams.
My students in one classroom were being quite rude to one another the other day. I overheard some nasty things that they were passing back and forth. I stopped the class and said "turn to the person closest to your elbow and say one nice thing to them."
One little girl turned to the boy across the row from her, I have never seen them play together, not once, and she said "You are so nice and let anyone play with you". I could see the little boy straighten up a bit taller, he was pleasantly shocked to hear such a nice thing said about him by someone he rarely interacted with. I asked some of the students what it was like to hear a nice thing from someone else. They all enjoyed it and said it was great.
Then I asked them, what did it feel like to be kind to someone else.
I felt warm.
It made me smile.
I was happy.
It was nice to make someone else feel good.
I liked it.
Of course I had a couple of stinkers who continued to be unkind, so I had to kill it with kindness and a big hug. I didn't expect it to go off without a hitch. But man, is it nice to make others feel good about themselves. No matter the day I am having, or the grumpiness that I have allowed to settle in, I turn to the hubster and tell him what I am thankful for in him. He is kind, and courteous, he is always aware of other people's feelings.
All this to say, this blog post isn't an announcement that we are downsizing into a Tiny Home (what I would do if he were to pass away tomorrow), I'm not yet convinced, but I am convinced that it isn't about me, which is also why we haven't moved into Tiny House, the hubster owns too many tools and I like my paddle board. Those things don't fit so neatly into a tiny space.
I try not to live for me, instead to put others first. And I'm definitely not great at remembering it all the time, but I try and that's a start.