I hope that I’m being a supportive wife

My husband has a lot of issues that are making him depressed. I don’t blame him, I would be too. Life has been kicking him in the dick for a long time. I know he feels alone in this world and I often feel alone as a wife to him. Does anyone else have these problems? It affects every part of a person when they are fighting health issues. And his health is declining. We’re only 38! He has so many issues, I don’t know which to try to tackle first and they’ve been piling for a while.

So, he’s on a lot of medicines, but is trying to get off of as many as possible. He took a step and started going to my hippie doctor who believes in supplements and diet to fix most of the issues. Don’t worry – she has an M.D. and is a  very good diagnostician, so I’m excited that she is working with him. He’s only been under her care for about a month, so we haven’t had enough time for him to see results completely yet. He was on allergy medicines and she put him on a dietary supplement instead. It’s not really working, but the allergy medicines weren’t either. One thing I can say is that he doesn’t sound as clogged up at night and isn’t sneezing as much anymore. So it might be working. She also added more testosterone to his regime. She took him off Androgel and put him on an injection. He has thrush and it’s affected his taste and smell, so he isn’t hungry.

He had back surgery in December of last year and his bone graft didn’t take. So the surgeon is suggesting that he go back under the knife and add more bone growth stimulator and add a cage to the other side. Needless to say, my husband is less than thrilled and that was a blow as well that is causing more depression….. And with the thrush, eating hasn’t offered any comfort. With pain, sex hasn’t been something we have been on top of either – he hurts just to get out of bed. Basically all of life’s pleasures are getting taken away one by one.

His job is not the “normal 8-5 Monday through Friday”, so he is frustrated that he never has a holiday off or he’s always on a different schedule from me. And he barely gets any vacation compared to me. It has been hard enough to be 10 years ahead of him on my career and then the economy bit us in the ass when he started looking for a job after graduating with a Behavioral Sciences degree. (Word to the wise, just get a hard science based degree. It will save you tons of heartache later.)

He has an estranged relationship with his family – specifically his mom and his siblings. His dad and he have sort of worked on their relationship and it is better than it used to be. But his mom’s relationship has now dwindled to this year we only exchanged Christmas cards and she sent cookies. I don’t blame him for the way these relationships have developed over the years, but he lives in guilt of choosing this path. I mean, if it takes 7 years to get your mom to be honest with you about a major thing, why would you want to have a really close knit relationship with her? And why would you want to work on the relationship with your sister when she just wants to force you to “fix” your relationship with your mom and doesn’t take interest in any other part of your life? It absolutely makes sense, but it’s still painful for him. I watch it all the time and don’t interfere out of respect for him. It took me a while to learn that lesson.

So, as you can see, there’s a lot on his plate. He used to ask if he was being punished in life for things. I used to always believe that it was just life and he was being too pessimistic…. But I’m starting to wonder if I’m wrong. Is he being punished for bad decisions of his family’s past? The sociological explanation is that his family is experiencing cycle patterns that are unavoidable and all those things added up to the way he handles his psychological pain and then comes out in physical ailments…. Is that too far fetched? Or really, is it the combination of it all that has taken it’s toll on him.  Am I being tested in patience by being with him? Is anyone else having this type of depression in their life?

And as much as we want it to be the answer, getting away to our vacation spot won’t erase all the health concerns we have for him right now. We’re always in flux and transition…… And I worry about him very much every single day.

Is everyone that desperate for attention?

I just finished all of my Christmas visits with everyone. A big theme I noticed is it was easy to disappear in the background if I didn’t talk. It felt like everyone was competing for attention of someone; it was truly an interesting dynamic to sit back and watch. My mom would try to “one up” pretty much everything I would discuss about my husband’s pain or surgery. My stepmom was doing the same thing. This is something that had literally been going on for years, so I wasn’t surprised. It’s just this week it clicked that it doesn’t matter which parent or family member I’m talking to. We have nothing else in common but our ailments…. And everybody wants to show their expertise and knowledge about something. Hardly anyone asked questions about how someone was actually doing; but if they did ask, they tended to want to just interject their current observations of themselves.

Is this just human nature? Are we really listening to each other? Is this why many of us feel so lonely? Just a few things to think about on this Saturday evening.

2nd dog or not?

Eeek! Last month, our friends adopted a female American Staffordshire from the pound that they thought was fixed. A month later, she had 4 puppies and I WANT ONE!!!! She’s so pretty and the pups are so cute. The pound is covering all expenses including vaccinations and spaying at appropriate ages. And this is mama.

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The problem we’re having is life is upside down right now and our 14 year old mini schnauzer, Buster, might not do so well with all of the changes.

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For one, he doesn’t like meeting new dogs, but he’ll eventually warm up to them after a spell. I guess the change is what has me nervous. All the extra expenses and responsibilities…. Are we ready for that? We cook our dog’s food now, but he’s only 19 lbs wet; This dog will be 4x that size which means 4x the food…. Oh my!!!!

And two, we have a bid on a house that will hopefully finalize in by the end of January. So right when the puppies are weened, we might be moving….

We have about 6 weeks to decide. Tick tock……

Blog Review: Mr. Money Moustache

Mr. Money Moustache (aka MMM) has some pretty interesting concepts. So far, I’ve read the first 12 blogs written in April 2011 and I’ve quickly realized I have a ton of catching up to do! He’s a smart guy. He’s very analytical in nature and occasionally loses me in the details, but he still has a dry sense of humor that comes out in the blog. He understand realism for the most part and helps you come to your own conclusions with the decisions you need to make. I think there are some good things to be learned from him and plan to continue reading his blog to the point of catching up to the most recent posts. It could take a while, but right now, I don’t want to miss anything he has shared.

So far, actions I want to take to compliment our current savings plans:

1) We have currently dropped back on saving to our 401k, so we can pay down debts. I’m not sure if this is a plan MMM suggested, but our financial advisor recommended it. Hopefully this time next year, we will be debt free except a mortgage payment. (Additional savings +$900/month)

2) He suggested biking everywhere you can. The roads we have to take currently have not been very biker-friendly. I believe a house we have a bid on right now is better fit biking to Newburg shops, so I’m mentally committing to biking to the store and post office whenever possible. (Additional savings +$0.50/mile in gas, maintenance and wear and tear AND +$300/month for the house if we get it).

3) I need to calculate what our actual annual living expenses are and apply that in a mortgage calculator MMM provided. I also need to fill in the rest of the blanks and understand them better with our advisor. This will help me understand what we need to save annually to get to our goal of retiring earlier and living off the interest of our savings instead of the principle. MMM provides some interesting concepts in one of his blogs about retirement calculators.

4) I am currently researching all of our current expenses and figuring out ways to cut 10%-75% of the expense. We took advantage of the black Friday sales this week and invested in a new television. My goal is to eventually reduce our monthly cable bill by switching some of our movie channels off and signing up for one of the streaming media subscriptions. Finding other alternatives for the way we live our daily lives will be a focus going forward.

5) Other adjustments I am going to start focusing on:
– master growing vegetables and herbs
– Save for a boat, so we will be able to fish for a majority of our meals
– Actively save money from monthly savings (i.e. put the weekly amount of money not spent on eating out into savings)
– face the monthly fitness issue. Right now, it is around $250/month for the two of us. I know that is ridiculous, hence why I need to call with it.
– Calculate how much we need to earn from Brass Hammer Designs a month to offset any expenses.

And so, this really begins the effort of “my journey out of the rat race.”

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What’s the Secret?!

Seriously? I’m so frustrated with work. I have a great job, but all I think about it how to move on. The job is almost too challenging and I keep wondering if this is what I want to keep doing. I’m sad and depressed waiting to not have to work anymore and I’m only 38! How do people do this?! I still have 27 years of it if you go with current retirement age for my generation. Meanwhile my rich brother is living a dream. I want to live a dream too, but sadly my early retirement plan is playing the lottery and rolling the dice. So far all that had been is the idiot tax that I anticipated.

I really want out of the rat race! How do I do this and what sacrifices are we really making? We need healthcare, we need enough means to live and afford a few amenities. Is it even possible?

How do we tap into our creativity that gets us paid? We have a great retirement business idea, and we’re feeding it as a hobby. My husband is amazingly talented with woodworking. But it’s an expensive hobby and people aren’t willing to pay the process we charge for heirloom pieces. And we don’t exactly have the time to sacrifice to push it to the right people.

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So how do we do it between now and 67? I just found a blog called Mr. Moustache Money that claims to have retired at 30 and he is near my age. I’ll be back – going to study over the long holiday weekend. Happy Turkey Day!

Tough Day to be a Business Woman

I’m searching on line for a clue about a specific behavior I experienced this week with three different business men. Perhaps you can help me out.

I attended a trade show this week. While walking the floor on the second day by myself, an Italian man with a used car salesman flare jumped out into the aisle to talk to me in his booth. He was flattering at first, but talked too much. The more I entertained this man, the more he talked. But at the same time, he is looking all around me almost looking for someone else he would rather talk to. It didn’t leave the best impression on me about him.

Then I experienced it with two other gentlemen that were genuinely interested in seeing me at this show. They were both from the UK. For them, I think they were nervous. The difference that I felt is that they didn’t try to have other conversations with anyone else. The older Italian white haired man was hollering out at people, particularly women, while talking to me.

But maybe I’m just a naive business woman. And maybe you all can tell me what really was happening. I’m forever studying behaviors in my journey.

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I Have a Secret

I’m plotting against my husband!

Christmas is coming and I’m planning something so big I can’t keep quiet. He never sees this blog; he may not know it even exists…. So I’m risking it and sharing with you that I’m getting some provocative pinup style pictures done for him. I’ve never been as excited about a gift for him as I have been for this! It’s so fun. Plus I can’t wait to see how beautiful this photographer will see me. I really feel she will capture a beauty from me that will make me feel beautiful and exotic for him.

I couldn’t keep it in. Thanks for listening. Now, shhhhhh…..

Update 11/30/2014 – the pics are turning out so good!!!! Cannot wait to share! Every woman should do pictures like this to show her how beautiful she is to herself!